Meet the Kids of HBS

Having children is one of many milestones that students and partners may experience at HBS. Whether your first or third child, HBS is a proven family-friendly place. The MBA Program welcomes children to campus life and the Partner’s Club Crimson Kids offers support for parents and daily activities for children.

You may see them parading around campus or chowing down in the dining hall or even riding the elevator at Soldiers Field Park. Although pint-sized, don’t underestimate their ability to attract a crowd! Look there’s one now! Look lower, closer to the ground. Do you see who I mean? This week’s column is calling attention to the smaller members of the HBS community-the kids of HBS!

Having a child for the first time or relocating your children during two years of Business School may seem like a daunting task for some. But you quickly learn from those who’ve done it before, the Business School is an extremely kid-friendly organization. In fact, children are welcomed across the HBS campus and interact with students on a daily basis.

“We love to pop in to the classroom during the 20 minute breaks and say hi,” said Megan Whitaker, wife of Matthew Whitaker, (EC Section C).ÿ “Both kids walk around and are greeted with high fives and smiles from the section!”ÿHBS kids are exposed to the same enriching diversity that makes the student experience so valuable. They meet amazing people (and other children) from around the world.ÿ

Another great thing about having kids at HBS is the ease of living on campus. Harvard University Housing allows students with children early selection in the housing lottery in order to secure preferred properties like One Western Ave or Soldiers Field Park, which boasts outdoor playgrounds and childcare center on site. The on campus location makes it easier for the student and family to connect throughout the day.

“My husband is around a LOT MORE than if he was working full time,” said Amy Lumry, wife of Worth Lumry (EC Section H). “We get to split the caretaking of our baby For example, Worth doesn’t have class until 11:40 some days, so he can watch our daughter while I go to Shad and get ready for the day.” Despite a hectic schedule, the academic calendar lends most student parents more time to spend with their children in comparison to a full-time job.

However, when the student is not available partners and children are not alone. Kari Davis, wife of Will Davis (also EC section C), and Megan Whitaker, both stay-at-home moms and both expecting their third child, are active members of Crimson Kids, a sub-group of the Partner’s Club replica breitling Aeromarine , providing support for HBS families through a variety of events, activities, and programs for parents and children of all ages. “Crimson Kids has been a HUGE blessing in our lives,” said Kari. “It connected us with other families who were in similar situations as our family and has provided wonderful activities and playgroups for our kids to be involved in.”

Crimson Kids, run by volunteer partners, organizes daily activities for its members from playgroups to dance classes and soccer lessons to seasonal parties. They even hire a teacher and run their own pre-school out of the common room in SFP four days a week. Crimson Kids also offers tremendous support to new and expecting moms.

While having children at HBS is a walk in the park for some students and partners, it may be a life-changing event for others. The time commitment, lack of a salary, distance from family members, limited participating in HBS activities and child care costs are only some of the concerns.

For Khalilah Cooper (EC section B), being a student and a mom at HBS is a real challenge. “I didn’t expect how much additional help I would need aside from day care,” Khalilah said. “I have to hire a babysitter to watch my son an average of four to six hours a week for the times after class when I have team projects, meetings, etc.” While she finishes her EC year, Khalilah is geographically separated from her husband who works in New York. Although her son was a fabulous surprise during her RC year, she does not feel like having a child has limited her involvement at HBS. Plus, Khalilah appreciates the flexibility of the MBA Program in allowing her to take a year off when her son was born.

It’s no secret that the number of children and pregnancies increases from RC to EC year. “It’s in the water,” the saying goes. The class of 2011 reported having 29 children (including those expecting a child) at the time of partner registration last year. Today in the EC year replica breitling bentley 6.75, the class of 2011 reports having 57 children (including those expecting)-almost double the number of children!

Over time, however, the total number of students with partners and children at HBS has been steadily decreasing. The MBA Partner Program reports the following number of kids and/or expecting parents at the time of Partner Registration at the start of RC year.

– Class of 2009 – 228 partners with 46 kids or expecting (20%).
– Class of 2010 – 243 partners with 25 kids or expecting (10%).
– Class of 2011 – 214 partners with 29 kids or expecting (13.5%).
– Class of 2012 – 184 partners with 15 kids or expecting (8%).

Why are numbers decreasing? One speculation is that the average age of the MBA student is lower; thus the student has not started a family yet. Crimson Kids reports its members to be younger than in past year and there are fewer first year families with children. Also, societal norms lend a hand in the equation. In 1970, the average age for first-time mothers in the United States was 21.4. In 2006, it was 25 according to the National Center for Health Statistics. Demonstrated by HBS students, people may be postponing parenthood to further their education or careers or to become more financially stable, indeed.