Progression and Regression

Since I started my spending my Saturdays in Berkeley (and beautiful Santa Clara) in fall 2005, I’ve made some clear progress. I’ve gotten out of equity research and 3:30 a.m. wake-ups and into investor relations and more reasonable hours at Yahoo!. I’ve also gotten engaged, lost 10 pounds, been promoted, gained 20 pounds (for those keeping score at home, I’m up 10 pounds) and entered into a structured separation with my fiancee.

Wow, that was a rather personal tidbit to share in the introductory post. But may my personal challenges enlighten you–all too often we here in the EWMBA program intensely focus on managing the work/education balance and neglect to nurture our personal lives. Candlelight dinners go uneaten, cats go unfed, floors go unmopped–our victims are many.

To ease the tension and serve the purpose of this initial post, I’ll now add that I grew up in rural Ohio, studied communications at Northwestern, and gave up on my dream of becoming a penniless poet to attend business school. OK, back to the juicy stuff.

I can’t blame Haas for my current romantic situation (as my Facebook profile notes, “It’s complicated”). Basically, two working adults decided in their early thirties to go back to grad school and take on $200k in debt while cohabiting in a small studio apartment in a questionable neighborhood in San Francisco. What did we expect? As I learned in my real estate finance class last year, doors are valuable.

On the plus side, my beautiful regression into pseudo-bachelorhood finds me free to hang my Northwestern pennant on the wall and eat ice cream in bed (alas, I’ll likely regain that 10 pounds and then some). I’ve embraced suburban life in San Mateo, with its free laundry, infinite parking, and superb location, equidistant to Berkeley and Santa Clara.

I’m more focused on my studies than ever. I continue to learn as much from my peers as my professors (a compliment to my brilliant classmates, not a knock on the profs). And after I graduate in May, I’m confident that my Haas MBA (#2 in the WSJ, baby!) will help me earn a promotion and raise sufficient to get me a pad in San Francisco with doors and room for two people.

And a treadmill.

One thought on “Progression and Regression

  1. I think everyone I know who wasn’t already married broke up with their significant others during the first year of the EWMBA (myself included). For most of us, it happened before the end of the first semester. The married students didn’t seem to find it any easier, either! Keeping a partner happy might seriously be one of the biggest challenges of the program. 🙂

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