Ankita, 33, a Software Team Lead from India, considers her 5-year-old daughter, Smahi, a driving force rather than an obstacle in progressing her career. She recounts her bold move to France to join ESCP Business School and how she conciliates two demanding, full-time roles daily: single mom and MBA participant.
“This blog post is dedicated to all mothers considering pursuing an MBA.” — Ankita
It starts with a choice
“I have always been someone who constantly strives for self-improvement. Doing an MBA was always my dream but it seems that it was never the right moment, time or money-wise. Living in India, as a working mother of a 5-year-old kid, I felt a bit stuck in my professional life. I started questioning my happiness, goals, and dreams. And that’s how I decided to move to Paris and join the MBA in International Management programme at ESCP Business School.
The project of pursuing an MBA abroad was definitely exciting but at first, as a mom of a young child and a single parent, moving to a completely new country was not only challenging but also terrifying. Well, life is full of obstacles and what counts is how you overcome them. I choose this life for me and my family and I am now working hard to get the most of my time as an MBA participant.”
Not all heroes wear capes
“I am enjoying this challenge but I won’t lie: it is demanding. I have the same amount of classwork as my peers, but less time to complete it. I also need to take more decisions every day. For example, if I decide to attend an MBA event, how can I still ensure that I spend enough time with my daughter, Smahi? Who will watch her if I get home late? Dealing with two huge life changes in a short period, while in a fast-paced environment, is tough at the end of the day.
Nevertheless, it is thrilling to be a mom and student at the same time. I am the only mom in my cohort and I feel proud to be part of such an encouraging batch. I am surrounded by exceptional and diverse classmates who see the world from different perspectives. The diversity that I find myself encircling at the ESCP MBA helps me to continuously improve myself, both at home and in professional settings. My colleagues make sure that I get to join as many social events with them as possible. I cherish the friendships I have built in the cohort and believe they will last a lifetime.
ESCP Business School has been very supportive in ensuring I get the support I need as an MBA mom. In various occasions, such as Diwali celebrations or Christmas party, I was able to bring Smahi to school and enjoy the evenings. Through a challenging Covid-19 period, the MBA administration team helped us all to stay strong and hopeful. It is undeniable that ESCP strives to empower women and support them to overcome challenges.”
A typical day in the life of an MBA mom
“My typical school day begins at 6.30 am – I get my daughter ready for school, prepare breakfast for her, do some house chores and then head straight to my 9.00 am class. Even though classes at ESCP typically ends at 4:30 pm, I usually stay for another hour to hang out with my peers. Then, I pick my daughter from her school around 5:30 pm and we walk back home. In the evening, I make time for dinner with my daughter as this is the only time in the day we get to spend together. We talk, play and enjoy some family time. After putting her to bed, I return to my MBA books and assignments. I usually cram my studies on the weekdays to ensure that my weekends are freed up for my loved ones.
ESCP feels like a family to me and supported me throughout my journey so far. The first semester of my MBA journey has proven challenging but I enjoyed every part of it – adversity makes me a better person and I look forward to my second semester at ESCP.”
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