Full-time MBA a Fun Escape for Mother and Entrepreneur
Women can do it all and can be highly inspirational
Ronit Harpaz is having such a great time combining motherhood, running her own business and studying for an MBA at AGSM that she encourages other women to do the same.
Harpaz, who owns baby products company babybrands.com.au, says the “endless” information resources and opportunities to learn, coupled with an “incredible” international community have made her MBA an experience she recommends “wholeheartedly.”
“Though women would also find it very difficult, if not impossible, to step back from their work and life to join a full-time program,” she continues, “ It's suitable for someone who has complete support from her partner so that both are committed to the process.”
Harpaz admits her family has lost some weight since she now has “significantly less cooking time”, but overall she's managed to balance the usual parenting rituals with her homework.
Her school commitments haven’t affected the lives of her children, aged five and nine years, too badly according to Harpaz. “The kids are very excited about their mum studying,” she says. “They love hearing stories about my day, especially about the mean professors who all have very special nicknames in my house that I wish I could publish.”
Her husband has also been supportive: “During exams I spend 12 to 14 hours at uni so certainly the chores largely fall on him,” she adds.
Before joining AGSM's MBA program, Harpaz spent eight years running her own baby products company. With the business growing, she felt changes were needed in order to tackle new challenges. She is learning new theories and concepts, and also soaking up practical lessons from her classmates, an “amazing pool” of people from across the world.
Learning again makes Harpaz “feel alive”. However, the hardest thing about returning to the classroom has been keeping her concentration up: “My typical work day is very fast paced, I’m juggling numerous tasks at the same time with phone calls, emails and staff members... So when I’m in a lecture, my brain finds it easy to switch off.”
Harpaz believes a positive attitude helps when you’re trying to fulfill three roles. “When you enjoy what you do it somehow all works out,” she says. “I find that people who have a full, busy life always find the time to do one extra task, whereas people who do not, [they] never find the time to do anything else.”
But which of her avatars is the toughest? “Absolutely running a business!” she says. “The business is the ‘real’ world, it’s the bread and butter, and it’s what I worry about at night.
“An MBA, albeit very difficult, is my escape.”
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