Please give us a brief background of yourself and what you’re hoping to do with your Leeds MBA.
My background is in Digital Marketing - most recently, I worked at S&P Global. I came back to school to improve my quant skills, grow my network, and to be able to implement creative, quant-based solutions to digital marketing teams / challenges. Post-grad, I’m looking at leadership roles in the marketing automation and growth marketing spaces.
What’s it like being in an up and coming band AND being a full time student?
Hectic! Haha. I am very fulfilled and very tired :) I love my band and the guys in it so much, and I have so much fun being in a band. I know that playing music / having this creative outlet makes me a better student and person all around. I also love my field, though - and all the exciting things happening in it! Sometimes I’ll have to choose between a networking event and band practice, but I schedule practices and events weeks in advance to ensure that I make time for both. As the second year wraps up, my bandmates have been encouraging and understanding if I need to pass on a practice to go to an important networking event. Communication is key!
You’re also married and working part time as well, how do you make time for everything?
I schedule weeks in advance - and literally map everything - sometimes even my commute - on my calendar so I know how much time I’ll have for tasks. If I don’t have enough time, I say no. I tell my husband all the time (to his amusement) that if it’s not my calendar, it’s not going to happen. At first he thought it was funny when I wanted to plan date nights three weeks in advance, but then we both realized that if we didn’t plan ahead while I was in grad school - we’d never see each other! So we schedule, and it ensures that we see each other but also that we both get to do the things we love, even if separately at times. I am also very disciplined about sticking to the time I give myself to finish tasks - i.e. if I’ve only got two hours to write a paper - I know that there are no ifs, ands or buts about it - those are the two hours I get and I make it happen in that time!
Were you a master of time management prior to coming back to school or have you learned some new tricks?
Hmm… good question. I think I’ve always been a planner and a scheduler, so that trait helped me balance work and being in bands beforehand, and has come in handy in grad school. Nevertheless, grad school has definitely pushed my limits! I don’t think I was as disciplined about completing tasks within a given period of time before - I would take an extra hour if I felt the need. Ironically, I would say that the ‘trick’ I’ve learned is that ‘perfection is the enemy of the good’ - I’ve had to push myself to meet high standards in short periods of time, and then let things go and believe that my work is strong - without tinkering for an extra hour. Doing so has delivered the same high results (and sometimes, better results!) than before, so it’s been a valuable lesson.
What’s your advice to a future MBA student who might be worried they won’t have enough time in the day (and night) for everything?
My advice would be that you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take! Actually, I think that’s Wayne Gretzky’s advice … but you get the point :) Coming back to school and immersing yourself in graduate study / life is going to be difficult, and it absolutely will limit the time you have for things. That being said, people underestimate how much they will grow and rise to the challenge! If you are creative and organized, and communicate with your loved ones about how busy you’ll be - you’ll find a way to make it work - and will be incredibly well-prepared for your post-MBA life of executive leadership :)