Friday, July 21, 2006

Quick update...

First off - apologies to anyone who actually reads this. I've been quite remiss in any proper updates. For better (or worse!), I can attribute the bulk of that to school! ;-) The time commitment really turned up some with Organizational Behavior in the spring. As much as I enjoy putting excrutiatingly-detailed reviews together, they definitely take time.

That said, I'd planned on picking up the slack this summer. Clearly, that hasn't been the case. ;-) I just returned from 2nd Year Orientation last weekend - which was a blast, if not too short - but we'll be cranking back up with Marketing on Monday. I've had a few personal things going on as well - some really good; some not-so-good - that have sucked away the time, and will likely continue to for the near-term. So, sadly, I don't see much more detailed posting in the interrim - I'll try, but I apologize in advance.

Anyhow - it's a paltry offering, but since it's somewhat related to the above, here's an interesting take on work-life balance and the online MBA by the Telegraph.
Going online for a better life-work balance

To me, it's all in how you define "work-life balance". If it's not having to move, being able to study from geographically flexible locations (e.g. home with the baby; on an aircraft carrier; whatever), and maintaining a full-time salary, then yes - an online MBA definitely provides for a better work-life balance.

However, if you define or include "personal time" as a component of "work-life balance"... well... let's just say the MBA doesn't take zero time. ;-) As well it shouldn't take zero time. My personal take at this juncture - halfway there! - is that yes, though an online MBA allows you more flexibility, depending on the "compression" of the program, is that it can actually erode work-life balance, at least considering personal time. As in - great; I don't have to stop work, and I have the freedom to study from anywhere, but it for darn sure takes up some time, which is a key component of "work-life balance", especially if your life includes a significant other(s - for those with kids!). ;-)

This is not to say I'd have it any other way - less-rigorous, less-compressed, not now, or anything else - but to me, deciding to pursue a part-time MBA is deciding to do so knowing that your work-life balance will definitely change for the duration of the program.
You're accepting the reduction in the "personal time" component of the work-life balance, understanding that (a) that's temporary, (b) it affects other areas of your work-life balance less than other options, and (c) it will hopefully improve your work-life balance in the long run.

Bottom line: It takes time. Don't think that it doesn't. :-)


Chris Hobbs said...

Since I chided you at orientation about the lack of updates I figured I had better reply to let you know it got read.

The work-school-life balance thing is a tough one. I'm looking forward to graduation if only to have some time with my wife again. Getting home from work gives me an hour or two to play with my daughter, then whip up some dinner while she eats hers. Once that's done it's hitting the book or the screen, or meeting online with teammates, until bed time or later. What's suffering right now is time with the Mrs. - she's understanding but looking forward to next June as well.

Attending an online school defintely makes some of this easier (I certainly would not want to be giving up 2-3 nights a week in an executive program) - other than team meetings, attended via computer, there are no hard and fast times I *have* to be "in class". That allows some flexibility. But each class has a definite time requirement, some more than others for sure.

Anonymous said...

Glad you're back, I wondered if you had abandoned the blog.

Brian Hoberg said...

Daniel, you hit the nail on the head when it comes to sacrificing the personal time you have between studying and making the significant other happy. I'm finishing my degree with Univ. of Phoenix this August and the wife has really had to adjust to me being "away" in the home office or having to compete with the laptop for attention. I'm hoping to get accepted this Fall '07 to my MBA program and it's online, so I have an idea what I'm getting into since I've been doing it for the past 2 years. But you did a great job speaking from experience about the time sacrifice. Thanks and keep up the posts will ya?? Heh.

Brian (again) said...

(Corrected my link from above).

Rob said...

Thanks for the update... As a candidate for admission to the program I greatly appreciate it and look forward to future postings.