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How to balance an MBA as a full-time parent

21 August 2015

Going back to university might make you think of all those undergraduate parties, clubs, and long afternoons spent drinking in the campus bar – but in actual fact, the majority of people who return to study a Master of Business Administration (MBA) are busy juggling careers and family commitments. Here are some tips about succeeding in the complicated balancing act of work, kids and study.

Know your options on and off campus

While it’s common in other countries for students to relocate their families in order to attend a business school, that’s not necessary in Australia – unless you really want a change of scenery.

It’s important to choose a university that offers the right options for you – even if that means choosing to enrol in an online course on the other side of the country. At Southern Cross University, we offer our MBA in an online study format that allows you to work full-time and fit study around family and work – so you can work towards your future career without ever leaving home.

Take finances into account

Although the ROI on an MBA can be substantial, it’s important to consider your family finances during the time you’ll be studying. The flexibility of a part-time, online course allows you to keep working while you study, so you don’t have to forgo your salary.

If you’re concerned about finding the funds to get your masters, remember you may qualify for FEE-HELP, which will give you some extra breathing space.

At Southern Cross University, we strive to keep our fees as affordable as possible to ensure our courses – some of the most affordable in Australia – are accessible to students with a family. This way, you’ll see a return on your investment even sooner.

Have a support network

One of the most difficult things many parents find about doing an MBA with a family is the constant, and sometimes overwhelming, time demands. It’s important to ensure that you have a good support network around you – whether that’s friends who you can call to take your kids for an hour or two so you can get some work done or enrolling young children in a childcare centre.

For those living near one of our campuses, Southern Cross University offers a childcare facility at Lismore and parents’ room facilities at many other campuses. These are accessible to all students, regardless of whether you study online or on-campus.

Only take on what you can do

It’s important to remember that you have seven years from the time you enrol to complete your MBA. While the MBA is often mapped out as a three year course in Australia, Southern Cross University provides the support for you to work through the MBA one or two subjects at a time, and save the bulk of the work for when your children are older or you are in a position to leave work for a period of time.

Doing an MBA with a family is far from impossible – in fact, studying alongside your children as they grow can be a rewarding experience. Southern Cross University is proud to support families to achieve their best.

Chat to one of our friendly student enrolment advisors on 1300 589 882 to find out more.