I’ve finally memorized what TOM stands for, met some wonderful partners, and discovered that Whole Foods is dangerous to my paycheck. Yeah, I think I’ve settled in here.
However, one little thing that continues to be tough about life as a business school partner is getting into a routine. I’m that person who thrives off organization, consistency, and to-do lists (I’ll spare you and not tell you I may or may not use three different planners). While you’d think a class schedule would fit nicely into a routine like the one I’m craving, it really doesn’t.
For those of us thinking that we’d come home from work at the same time each day and see our partners hard at work on cases, we’ve been thrown for a loop. This isn’t your typical college schedule, folks. You know, with certain classes Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and others on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
It’s more like every week is completely different yet equally crazy and hectic. While classes might run from 8-3 most days, there are days where there’s one class, a kind of team building seminar, followed by a career meeting, or guest speaker, and then meetings for any club your partner might be in. Not to mention that evening get-togethers are practically mandatory as part of the student experience! Any given day (and not the same day each week) can contain flag football practices (which are evidently quite serious), investment club meetings, recruitment sessions, etc. and it makes it hard for me to keep track of where my husband is!
As many partners can probably relate to, between their schedule and yours, it can get really easy to over schedule and lose time for one another. So the question is: how do we get into the HBS groove? For us at least, the answer is the fridge. Confused? I’ll explain.
Every Monday morning before we go our separate ways, we look at our schedules for the week and write it down on the whiteboard on the refrigerator. This way when we head off to our respective destinations each morning, we know what’s going on. I know he’s at a meeting until 6 and he knows I won’t be home until 8, etc. Initially, this felt a little high maintenance, but it’s served us well. Inevitably, events will pop up throughout the week and we know right away whether we can commit or not without stepping on the other’s toes. It also leaves me feeling in the loop, which is important.
When it’s all said and done, we may not have a consistent schedule, but at least we know what to expect – including date night every Monday. It may not work for everyone, but we all find a way to get into the groove.
Megan Birkel is the wife of RC studentRyan Birkeland member of the Partners Club. When she’s not working as a Nutritionist she enjoys making a mess in the kitchen, trying to convince her husband to get a dog, hanging out with Section D, and making road trips to Maine to spend time with family.