Balancing a Master’s degree with a family

Pursuing a Master’s degree is a large decision to make and starting a family is an even bigger one. Imagine trying to both now; that is to undertake a Master’s degree program while continue to working and raising a family. It’s tough, but it’s not impossible.

At the Rotman School of Management, we make a continued commitment to all our students in supporting their professional development but also personal growth. We spoke to Jinzi Zheng, MBA 2017 on how to balance her time between raising a family, pursuing an MBA and working at the same time.

Prior to joining Rotman, she obtained her Bachelor of Applied Science in Biomedical Engineering and also has a PhD in medical biophysics and is currently a scientist at UHN and assistant professor of Biomedical Engineering. She is also the Co-Founder of Nanovista Inc., a startup dedicated to developing new technology that can help with patient care.

New Priorities

During her 2nd year in the program, she decided it was time that she wanted to raise a family. “Having a child changed a lot in my life but I’m grateful that everyone in the program was super supportive. Because of that, I didn’t have to lose any time to complete my MBA. All the faculty and staff’s willingness to be flexible has allowed me to progress smoothly through this journey.”

Time management was also an essential skill to successfully balancing the MBA and family. Jinzi says that her situation was not too different from other part time students. “All of us in the program have a full time job that we are managing. I like to think of myself as having just that extra bit of commitment with my family. Because of the cohort nature of the program, we all have the same challenges but by working together, we’re able to overcome these obstacles and build a better relationship while doing so.”

Her advice for those in similar situations is that “there’s never a best time to have a child so if you feel now is the time to do a master’s degree, it’s best to pursue this degree sooner rather than later. There’s no better place to do a part time MBA than at Rotman. The school’s strong reputation and convenient location to Canada’s business hub made it an easy choice for me. Remember that doing an MBA and starting a family are not mutually exclusive.”

Journey of a Lifetime

After completing her MBA, Jinzi hopes to use the knowledge she has gained from the program to continue to run her successful company as well as leveraging her network to grow professionally. “Through this program, the people that I have met and the connections I’ve made have definitely changed my career. It’s great to be part of the Rotman family. The entire experience has been amazing for me.

To learn more about our programs for working professionals, visit our website.

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