“Wow, you are so brave!”

This is the first thing most of my friends said when I told them I was going back to school for a full-time MBA. And they didn’t think I was brave because I would be sitting in long classes or getting back into the super competitive recruiting scene—but because I was going back to school with a toddler in tow.

This made me second-guess myself almost every time I heard it. However, now a quarter of the way into the program, I am fully convinced that the decision to come to Fuqua—in this stage of my life—is the best decision I could ever make.

Initially, my process figuring out which school would be the best fit for my situation was made much easier when a current Fuqua student reached out to me and offered to chat about her experiences as an MBA mom of two young kids. I was instantly relieved that there were other women like me that could help me navigate my life over the next two years. We had a Skype call and those 30 minutes were enough for me to get a sense of how extremely family friendly the school community was, and how the staff, faculty, and MBAs went above and beyond to support Fuqua moms and dads. She also sent me the “Fuqua guide for Families” which ensured I had the information to choose a family friendly apartment complex, reliable daycare, and a loving nanny for my daughter before I even arrived in Durham.

MBA mom Swati and her daughter making cupcakes
Fuqua Friday always has fun activities for kids

Once I arrived on campus, I went straight to the registrar’s office to see what my class schedule might look like over the next few months during the core curriculum. They sat down with me and helped me understand what my time constraints might be so I could better plan for my daughter’s daycare drop-off and pickup times. 

Since class started, what has pleasantly surprised me the most is how empathetic my classmates are toward my mom duties. My first-year learning team—with whom I have spent the majority of my time these last few months—ensures our meeting schedule allows me to pick up my daughter at daycare on time. They’ll push me out of the team room if I’m running late. My team also bakes brownies for her, invites her to team outings, and plays with her at Fuqua Fridays as if they were toddlers themselves. All these little efforts go a long way to keep me motivated and help me contribute my best—both as a teammate and as a mom.

In the Daytime MBA program, we have a community of 13 first-year and second-year Fuqua moms. As the first-year motherhood chair of our Association of Women in Business club (AWIB), I’m hopeful we will increase this number over the next few years and make Fuqua the number one choice for all prospective MBA rockstar mamas out there!