ONE-YEAR AT GOIZUETA: SCOTT KAGAN – SUMMER LOVIN’ HAD ME A BLAST

True to the song, the summer is happening SOOO fast.  It is difficult to imagine that we are already almost done!  My classmates and I are frustrated that we are running out of weekends to plan social events.  We have registered for fall classes, ordered parking passes, and I can’t help but think pumpkin spice lattes are right around the corner.

MBA students in their natural habitat - studying!

MBA students in their natural habitat – studying!

Now that things are about as stressful as they will possibly be, I thought this would be an appropriate time to do some polling among our group.  I decided that it didn’t make sense to poll my classmates, as that would be too easy.  Instead, I decided to ask the partners of a few of my teammates (and my own wife) to get their perspective on the summer experience.

Sarah: Married, moved from Arlington, VA

Bryan: Engaged, moved from Nashville, TN

Soyoung: Married with two children, moved from South Korea

Summarize your experience thus far with a partner at GBS: 

Sarah: Moving to Atlanta has been quite a change!  Within 2 months of acceptance to GBS we sold our house in Washington DC and moved to Atlanta.  We left our friends, jobs, and our favorite sports team (Go Nationals!) but we have never regretted the decision.  Goizueta goes above and beyond to include partners in almost all GBS activities and Atlanta is a wonderful city to live in.  I see how much my husband enjoys this experience which makes the minor interruptions in our life well worth it.

Bryan: Overall, the experience has been a great one. Moving to a new city is always stressful but over time I’ve grown to love Atlanta. Goizueta is a great school and I’m glad I have the opportunity support my significant other while she is enrolled. It’s a very demanding year not only for the students but also the partners.

Soyoung: Hot, boring (because my husband is always so busy), demanding (I have to prepare 3 lunches every day at 7 am) but happy.

Q: What has been the biggest change in your personal life now that your significant other is at Goizueta?

Sarah: Juggling schedules.  My husband and I had similar schedules however both of our schedules have changed since moving to Atlanta.  There will be a few family and social events that he cannot attend this year, but that was something we prepared for before school started.

Bryan: Coping with the lack of seeing my significant other has been the biggest change thus far. It’s a very intensive program, especially during the summer modules, and I typically only have around 2-3 hours per day to spend time with her outside of school hours and study time.

Soyoung: Driving, everyday giving a ride for two children to summer-camp, soccer camp, etc.   

Q:  What was the biggest adjustment as a couple you had to make to accommodate your partner’s new schedule?

Sarah: Traveling.  We like to travel together and often traveled to visit family and friends. With school fulltime I travel alone while my partner studies.  I am looking forward to joining Scott for some relaxation and scuba diving after he finishes his GBS trip to Belize and Panama (Global Selective)!

Bryan:  I would say the biggest adjustment so far has been the division of responsibilities at home. My SO’s classes, group meetings, and homework has left very little time to do anything else.  I have had to take on all responsibilities at home which is also difficult as I still have a full time job.

Soyoung: Paying a lot of attention to my children and husband (they need my support to adjust themselves to different culture and life)

Q: What is one thing you wish you knew before the summer started?  Advice you can pass along to future partners?

Sarah: How much carry out we would eat!  We cooked together almost every night before GBS but with different schedules and long days for both of us we find ourselves eating delivery quite a bit more than we did in the past.  Hopefully we can find a better balance in the fall 🙂

Bryan: How expensive school can become! Aside from the tuition itself, books and international trips are a huge financial factor. If I had known how much of a factor it was, I would have saved up a little more before school started. One piece of advice I would recommend to future partners is to include yourself in what your SO is doing. The program is very accepting of spouses already but make a effort to attend extracurricular activities with your SO and their classmates. It’s not only about networking but also about making friends.

Soyoung: Find something that you can do even when your spouse is not with you.

So there you have it!  Emory does a fantastic job creating a community environment for students as well as their partners and families.  Families (and pets) are invited to most social events, which creates a great opportunity for everyone to bond.  As a “bonus question” I asked the question – What is the funniest thing you’ve seen your partner do this summer?  Everyone had some form of the same answer so I will leave you with my favorite response:

Bryan: I’d have to say the funniest thing I’ve seen my partner do was coming home from a networking event after a full day of classes, laying down on the floor, and falling straight asleep – literally in that order and without even changing out of her business professional attire. I think she slept for a good hour just on the carpet.

 

Team One in front of the Atlanta Federal Reserve

Team One in front of the Atlanta Federal Reserve (we clean up well)!

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