UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

Shaping Leaders, Driving Results

UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

Erika Stinson

Erika Stinson

Class:

Evening MBA Class of 2012

Title:

Product Manager

Company:

Genworth Financial

"It’s always been a personal goal to earn my MBA. I love learning and am constantly challenging myself to grow, personally and professionally."

When Your Husband is Your Classmate

“There’s never a perfect time to return to school, and there are always a million excuses. But we both knew we didn't want to look back in 20 years and think, “I really wish I had gotten my MBA.” So, we decided to start the adventure together.

I feel very lucky to be going through the program with my husband. While we’re both extremely competitive (we have a running tally on who is doing better), we’re also very supportive of one another.

Our kitchen table is buried with computers and homework. The day to day chores often get neglected. But it is worth it to have a partner who can relate to my experiences. I think the professors like it too - we give them fodder for their jokes (no, we are not brother and sister and, yes, he knows the date of our anniversary)!

By doing the program together, we have all the advantages of a typical Evening MBA student, plus:

  • A study partner. Being in the program with my husband enhances my learning. Over dinner, we can continue any compelling classroom discussions. And we have different strengths, so we can help each other in the areas we need it most.
  • A built in carpool!
  • Support at home. As supportive as I know other partners are, I can see that it’s sometimes hard for my classmates to tell their partners, “I can’t do this with the family because I have to meet with my team.” For us, it’s easier. Our classmates are not my friends or his friends, they’re our friends.
  • A stronger bond. I share stories with my husband that he might not understand if he weren’t in the program. This experience has definitely brought us closer.

Of course, having your partner in the class changes the social dynamics. It’s natural to gravitate toward familiar people. So we make an effort to engage with our classmates during breaks and at social events. We’re also on different study teams. In the end, we’ve got a stronger bond with each other and meaningful friendships with an amazing network of peers. I’m so glad we decided to pursue this goal together.”

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