Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Other Half

Applying for business school is a little different when you're married. Choosing schools becomes as much about fit for us and our lifestyle as it is about fit for me and my goals.

The biggest element that is probably higher on my priorities than single folks is location. I don't want my husband to have to move somewhere that he doesn't want to go. Before this whole thing started, I said "honey, where would you be willing to move?" He said Chicago, Boston, and maybe New York. We've lived in Chicago and absolutely love it, I lived in Boston for a short time and we liked it there as well. New York ... well I know hubby kinda hates to visit New York because it's so busy, but I'm sure living there would better, albeit expensive. So, that narrowed down my school choices a bit (i.e. no Duke, no Michigan, no Tuck, no California schools).

Next, the concept of a safety school was thrown out the window. If my husband is going to be working while I get my MBA, I need to be getting an education that is totally right for me and that is going to really propel me in my career. It's not worth it and not fair to take two years off and go to a school that is only a partial fit or that I applied to just so I would have somewhere to go. It's all or nothing! (Well, not nothing ... my backup plan would be to stay in my job, which is a good job, and get a part-time MBA.)

Finally, the way a school treats "partners" is very important to me. My biggest fear is for my husband to feel cast aside while I gallivant around with my new friends and my new social life. That's an exageration of course, but I want to go to a school where the culture embraces significant others and includes them in the social fabric of the school. Obviously I will not be able to spend as much time with him as I want. And since he's a businessperson himself, there will surely be things I get to do that he'd love to do himself. But it's really important to me to know I can bring him to parties and other events and know that my classmates will be inclusive. Incidentally, Kellogg is phenomenal in this regard. Partners are encouraged to attend the KWEST trip with the students, are invited to join any club (regardless of whether the student is a member), are allowed to lead clubs and events, are allowed to audit classes, and are just generally encouraged to take part in the entire experience as if it is their own. I really liked that. Wharton doesn't seem to be quite as organized, but I was assured by many married students that their SO's were very involved and were, in fact, better friends with some of their classmates than they were.


Vik said...

Congrats on the admit TD!

I'm in a similar situation as you - SO is in Philly and we're hoping to stay together too!

I was WL'd in Round1 at Wharton, so time will tell I suppose!

Miss Curly Bee said...

Hey, congrats for K & W! Can't get any better than that! :-)

Anonymous said...


Here is some perspective from a Wharton SO :

I have friends with SOs at both schools and have found that their experience is more inclusive and meaningful at Kellogg. And Chicago offers more for them to do too.

Hope this helps!

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