So I’m a typical EMBA student – thirty something, a husband with a demanding career, three young children, a super career and a life! One of the reasons that the Kellogg Executive MBA program was top of my list when I considered going back to school was the amazing support network that I heard about and have now witnessed as being a part of the Kellogg family. I remember talking with current students before I applied to Kellogg and being told that the successful completion of an EMBA was a “family affair”. In addition to the support from your spouse, partner or significant other, a key part of the two years is the support network that Kellogg provides to ensure that we have a satisfying, successful program experience.
My class, EMP-87, hosted the annual Partners’ Weekend from May 17-20 on the Kellogg Miami campus. Partners’ Weekend is designed to engage our spouses, partners and families in the EMBA program. During this annual tradition, they get a taste of life on the Miami Campus and a sense of what makes our Executive MBA program one of the world’s best. Partners are introduced to classmates and faculty and witness firsthand what it means to be an EMBA student at Kellogg – the amazing teamwork, the late study group sessions and the irreplaceable interaction, needless to say the amazing food the weekend offers.
The sacrifice and support of one’s partner is critical in ensuring their success as they balance career with study and quality time for family. Getting an EMBA is a significant time commitment and for my spouse, participating in this weekend was one of many ways for him to involved, expand his professional networks and make new friends.
It is always very interesting to watch our children meet each other, play together most of the weekend and become friends by the time the weekend is over. Lasting memories, for sure, and who knows? Maybe one day they will meet again in the same Kellogg cohort, this time as students themselves.
The weekend began with a social hour and a welcome dinner on Thursday. For some of us, this was the first time introducing our spouses to our classmates (my family was not able to make the weekend in my first year at Kellogg). On Friday, our partners had lunch at the amazing Lombardi’s Italian Restaurant where, despite the rainy weather that afternoon, there was great conversation. Many interesting conversations were shared at lunch ranging from how partners work together to share responsibilities for the children when one partner is away in school to how partners do the assigned readings together, just for the fun of it.
On Saturday, our partners had the pleasure of sitting through a class with Stephen Presser, a professor of management & strategy and business law at Northwestern. Professor Presser is a leading American legal historian and expert on shareholder liability for corporate debts. Partners came prepared to ask questions about American law and our legal system. Professor Presser expressed to several of us after the class that our spouses would make “fine lawyers”. Partners were also granted with the degree of “Master of Understanding” having participated in the class. Such a nice gesture!
The weekend ended with a wonderful dinner at Season’s 52 restaurant. Everyone attended with their families and the children had so much fun. Many of them were asleep by the end of the evening. These are the experiences we will treasure forever.
In reality, pursuing an EMBA is not just about one person; it is also about those that go through this experience with us – in one way or the other. To them – our spouses, partners and children – we give thanks!