This post is courtesy of Stefanie Gordish, a member of the Texas MBA at Dallas/Fort Worth class of 2013.
When I was asked to write an excerpt for this blog, I struggled with where to begin. My head immediately filled with all the real-life, tangible experiences I’ve had throughout the program. There are so many! I’ve undoubtedly become smarter, stronger, and more well-rounded through my involvement in this program. Having a communications and marketing background, I struggled most with the financial and analytical aspects of the program. But already I’ve become conversant on business valuation, the capital asset pricing model, and market segmentation. I can read a 10-K for one of my clients and really understand what it means. All aspects of business that I wasn’t able to fully appreciate just over a year ago.
However, my greatest achievement in the program may have come from its intangible benefits. You can’t put your hands on it, nor demonstrate it by how quickly you can solve for yield-to-maturity on a TI business calculator, so allow me to explain. I’m someone who is very organized and detailed. Some people might choose a different word to explain me, but I prefer to say that I am always in control. My husband calls it a “superwoman” complex. In my mind, I can balance everything going on in my life and I don’t need to take shortcuts. I’ve got it all under control. Or so I think…. It took me until recently to realize that no matter how early I wake up, how late I go to bed, or how many sacrifices I make along the way, I just can’t do it all. I can’t read every page and do every practice problem at the end of the chapter before class. I can’t wake up at 4am because my already implemented 5am wake-up call isn’t allowing me enough time to complete everything. There are only 24 hours in the day.
The personal development I’ve experienced in this program is just as important (if not more) than the professional development that I’ve achieved, and that’s the story that people may not often hear. Ironically, I’m learning the importance of work/life balance when I have the least of it in my life right now. I’ve also learned to give myself a break once in a while and understand that I won’t always have control over things that happen in life. So with my new outlook on life, I’ll still hit the books, but also try to find time in my schedule to watch college football on Saturday again, do yoga more than once every month, and enjoy a good bottle of wine without worrying about the consequences that might affect my study schedule the next day. In addition to the professional and academic skills that I am developing, this realization will help me tremendously in my future.