More than half a century after women began pouring into the American workplace, only a handful have made it to the C-suite.
Considering that 47% of the US workforce is female, the number of women reaching the top is disappointingly dismal. Even so, the paltry figure represents remarkable progress. In 2011, the percentage of female CEOs in Fortune 500 companies stood at 2.4%.
There are many reasons why so few women reach the top of the corporate ladder. Some of the main reasons include unconscious gender bias and the fact that women at the top tend to be concentrated in roles that are less likely to track towards being CEO.
For many women, a big hindrance to their career growth is the challenges that come with motherhood. While motherhood is rewarding in many ways, studies show that it can have a detrimental effect on women’s career progression.
In the face of these challenges, earning an MBA is one of the best ways for mothers to stay ahead of the game. An MBA gives you the skills and confidence to take up Profit/Loss positions, leads to valuable connections, and opens doors to entrepreneurial and career success.
You may be wondering, “How can I manage to study for an MBA while still being a great mom?
MBA Working Mom’s Survival Guide and Practical Advice
Balancing the demands of work and family leaves many women with little time to focus on pursuing other goals, such as an MBA.
However, with preparation, determination, and the right program, you can attain your educational and career goals.
Read on for practical advice for working moms pursuing an MBA.
Build a Support Network
Your network is critical to your professional and social development. As a working mom, you’ll especially need to have understanding and supportive people around you as you pursue your MBA.
Your network might include your partner or co-parent, extended family members who can help with the kids, close friends, and neighbors. It’s also important to get your boss and colleagues on board—they’ll have to be accommodating to your schedule.
On the homefront, discuss with your partner how they can be more supportive. Do you need them to take on more domestic chores? Will they have to shoulder more financial responsibility?
To further improve your career prospects, you also have to invest in developing valuable professional networks. Fortunately, pursuing an MBA allows you to connect with like-minded individuals, such as alumni and classmates, who can help you take your career to the next level.
While at it, remember that it’s especially important to build close relationships with other women. Studies show that to achieve executive positions with the highest levels of authority and pay, women have to have an inner circle of close female contacts.
Networking isn’t merely about meeting people and introducing yourself in the hopes that they’ll connect you with opportunities. It means building meaningful, mutually beneficial relationships.
Here are some tips on how to build a strong support network:
- Be of value: Approach networking as a “giver” instead of a “taker”. As a giver, you are focused on how you can be of value to others. When you extend a helping hand, the people you connect with are likely to reciprocate whenever they can.
- Create friendships: When networking for professional reasons, it may seem counterintuitive to focus on building friendships, but you should aim to connect beyond professional interests. Look for ways to connect through hobbies and shared interests for fruitful long-term friendships.
- Ask for advice: When you connect with people, especially mentors, prioritize asking for advice instead of jobs. Ask probing questions that will help you gain insight into your industry. Guidance and referrals that come from asking for advice will go a long way towards helping you get your dream job.
- Attend relevant events: MBA programs usually organize or host networking events such as dinners, coffee chats, cocktail receptions, and presentations. Make a strategic plan to attend events that will connect you with the right people.
If you decide to take an online MBA, make sure that the program provides learners with opportunities to meet and connect.
Quantic is an excellent choice for students who want to maximize their networking potential while taking an online MBA. Quantic’s Network enables students and alumni to discover peers in their geographical area who share their interests.
The Network Events tab allows learners to peruse community events where they can make real-world connections with their classmates. The events, which are held in cities around the world, range from in-person conferences, meetups, and book clubs.
Studying for a full-time MBA with family can be overwhelming, especially when you’re juggling it with work. However, don’t forget to socialize and build a community—it will help you maintain psychological and emotional balance.
As you’ll be interacting with the same group of people for many months, you might as well build relationships that can give you lifelong benefits.
How you socialize depends on whether your program is online or offline. In offline programs, socializing may take the form of getting coffee together, going on weekend hikes, or attending parties.
If you’re taking an online MBA, socialization may look a little different and require more effort. You can plan video hangouts with your classmates, host virtual watch parties, and plan for offline meetups.
Whether online or offline, bear in mind that interactions with peers can at times be more competitive than cooperative. Instead of competing, focus on building a positive community and forging lifelong relationships.
However, navigating the fine line between cooperation and competition can be tricky. The following tips will help you socialize effectively during your online or offline MBA program:
- Introduce yourself: Do you find introductions intimidating? Overcome the intimidation and make the first move. While introductions can be awkward, they are the most important part of making a connection.
- Form study groups: Your classmates have a shared objective: getting good grades. Instead of working alone, you can work together with your peers to help everyone achieve their objectives.
- Organize social outings: Another way to take the initiative is by organizing social outings where true friendships and networks can be formed. For instance, you can invite your classmates for happy hour, to go on a hike, or watch a movie. Social events build a team feeling that everyone will appreciate.
- Enjoy diversity: You’ll probably be studying with students from all over the world. Each person will bring their unique perspective, which will enrich your MBA experience. Take full advantage of this by connecting with people from different backgrounds and ethnicities. Take it a step further by organizing cultural events where learners get to share parts of their culture, such as music, dance, and cuisine.
Socializing will strengthen your networking efforts as an MBA working mom. When you make friends with your classmates, they are more likely to share useful information about your MBA assignments and relevant opportunities.
Quantic uses Slack to make it easier for online MBA learners to connect and socialize. Through the Quantic Slack community, you’ll be able to:
- Interact with your classmates
- Sign up for group projects
- Engage in discussions on course material
- Receive notifications about course administrative topics
In the week before your course’s start date, you’ll receive a link to your cohort’s Slack group. You’ll have access to Quantic staff to answer any questions you might have.
Choose the Right Program
To have an easier time juggling work, school, and family, it’s important to choose the right program. As a professional mom, you’ll need a program that will work with your demanding schedule and responsibilities right out of the gate.
If you’ll be working full time, you should look for a program that will fit in with your work schedule while also leaving you with enough time to attend to your parental responsibilities.
Plenty of working moms opt for an online MBA program. Studying online gives you the flexibility to take your classes, review course materials, and complete assignments when your schedule allows.
For instance, you can concentrate on your studies early in the morning before your kids wake up. Alternatively, you can make the late evenings your special MBA time while the kids are sleeping. You can even study when younger kids are napping or during lunch breaks at your job.
If you go for a traditional offline program, make sure that it provides adequate support for working moms. Do they have a lactation room? Do they offer child care on campus? What other support programs do they have for mothers?
For moms considering an online MBA, Quantic should be at the top of your shortlist. Quantic MBA courses are delivered in bite-sized, interactive lessons that you can easily fit into your schedule. Our award-winning “Active Learning” method enables us to teach faster and more effectively than traditional lecture-based MBA programs.
Alt: Quantic Active Learning method
Consider the Affordability of the Program
Getting an MBA can be an expensive affair. A traditional two-year MBA program will cost you more than $60,000. If you take an MBA at one of the top business schools, you could end up paying as much as $100,000 or more.
With the financial demands of parenthood, you are likely to have a tight budget. It makes sense, therefore, to look for an affordable program.
Fortunately, online MBA programs tend to be more cost-friendly. According to AffordableCollegesOnline, the average cost of a fully-online MBA is $29,037. In addition, you won’t have to spend on transportation, parking, hard-copy textbooks, and on-campus living expenses.
To make the costs even more manageable, you can opt for a part-time rather than a full-time online MBA program. Studying for a part-time MBA with kids will give you more flexibility. Alternatively, you can go for an accelerated MBA program where you can complete the entire program in less time.
Through an innovative employer-funded tuition model, Quantic is dedicated to reducing and often eliminating the learner’s cost.
Hundreds of companies have approved our MBA and Executive MBA programs for tuition reimbursement, which can offset as much as 100% of your tuition costs. We’re open to working with your company’s HR department as needed.
Tuition for both the Executive MBA and MBA programs at Quantic is just $950 USD per month over the 13-month duration of the program. You’ll also be eligible to apply for partial or full tuition assistance based on both need and merit.
The table below compares the average costs of offline and online MBAs with Quantic’s MBA programs.
|Program Type||Average Cost|
|Traditional MBA||$60,000 – $ 100,00|
|Quantic MBA and Executive MBA||$950 USD per month, 13 months|
Use a Career Network
An MBA can help you get job interviews, but it doesn’t guarantee that you’ll land the job. You will still need to develop the necessary skills, establish valuable networks, and demonstrate passion in your chosen field.
With MBA job placement rates decreasing since 2020, learners should improve their employment prospects by using their program’s career network. To overcome gender bias and snag your dream job, you need all the help you can get.
Quantic MBA Mom’s Real Life Success Stories
Quantic understands how hectic it can be to balance work, studies, and family. That is why we are dedicated to designing one of the best MBA programs for working moms.
Don’t just take our word for it. Let’s look at what some of the moms who have taken Quantic’s MBA have to say about their experience.
These two busy, single working moms found Quantic to be fun, affordable, and flexible. With our MBA programs, they were able to advance their careers.
Barbara Meyer, South32 Connectivity & Cyber Security Program Manager: Completed an Executive MBA with Kids
Q: Why did you join Quantic?
Although business schools have been encouraging more women to join master’s programs, many of them don’t provide programs that are conducive for moms.
As a single mother of a toddler, I realized that in supporting my daughter’s growth as a strong, independent, educated woman, I needed to be a role model for her. I had to be the best version of myself and advance my professional career. How could I do that without missing precious time with my daughter?
Traditional MBA courses seemed to be daunting. They were costly, had lengthy course durations, and required one to attend fixed on-site lectures. When I came across an online invitation to an MBA with Quantic, I was excited.
Unlike traditional MBAs, Quantic was flexible, mobile, and affordable. In addition, the learning method was pedagogically sound, ensured active student participation, and could be completed in 13 months.
Q: What was your experience like as a mother?
The pace and schedule of the program were manageable. Fortunately, I had flexible working hours and plenty of support from my employer.
With bite-sized lessons available on mobile, I used every spare five minutes to complete a learning unit. I had enough time to study during lunch breaks, waiting in queues, or after tucking my little one into bed. It was an interesting and enjoyable journey that’s definitely worth the effort.
Q: How did it change your life?
I have been able to incorporate what I learned into my day job, applying some of the principles to make innovative changes. I hope that this will encourage other moms out there. You can complete the Quantic EMBA while tending to your family and working full-time. I’m grateful to Quantic for going the extra mile to make moms feel welcome in the MBA and Executive MBA programs.
Sabrina C. (Switzerland): Completed a Full-time MBA with Kids
Q: Why did you join Quantic?
The Quantic program was perfect for me! I juggle a very intense job with being a single parent and joining a local university was no option for me because of these two factors.
Q: What was your experience like as a mother?
I was looking for a program that allowed me the freedom to study whenever it suited my schedule. Even while on vacation, I was able to study poolside using the Quantic app.
Q: How did it change your life?
I feel like it enriched my knowledge. I feel much better prepared for the next step in my career. Thank you Quantic!
Why Quantic Is the Best MBA Program for Working Moms
An MBA can help working moms upskill and gain valuable connections to advance their professional careers or entrepreneurial goals.
The challenge, however, is that most traditional MBA programs aren’t designed to accommodate the unique challenges that parents face. Here is where Quantic comes in.
Here’s a summary of why Quantic is the best MBA program for working moms:
- Flexibility: With decades of experience in education technology, we have developed an interactive learning method. This method delivers bite-sized lessons and individualized feedback every 8 seconds. That allows working moms to study fast and effectively whenever they find the time.
- Cost: Tuition for our Executive MBA and MBA programs is just $950 USD per month over the 13-month duration of the program —way below the estimated average cost of $29,037 for other online MBAs. We also partner with employers to reduce or eliminate learners’ costs and offer full or partial scholarships based on need and merit.
- Learning Management System (LMS): Our award-winning LMS is pedagogically engineered to make learning fast and effective. There are no boring lecture videos or tedious textbooks, just fun, interactive instruction.
Apply for our MBA here.