"You can do it, Mama!"
Do you know what a “MomBA” is? It is not a new business school degree; it is a name for women pursuing an MBA while raising a child. Studying for an MBA degree during maternal leave is an impactful investment for a huge return in the future. When family planning and career planning go hand in hand, the time right before a child is born or directly afterwards seems to be perfect for studying. Is it really? Or is it simply too much? We asked our MomBA Sandra Diviskova. She participated in her online MBA module 20 minutes before her daughter was born and continued her studies on the very next day. Sandra’s answer is: You can do it, Mama!
Can you, please, share with us your career development until now? What stages in your life have had the greatest impact on you and why?
I started my professional path in Greece, immediately after finishing my Business Administration studies from University of Piraeus, by being a project coordinator in a small business training company. Four years later, while in the middle of the economic crisis, I decided to move to Romania, where I started my adventure with CEO Clubs International. It’s been 9 years since that crucial moment in my life, during which I progressed through the most existing roles that we developed in the organization, leading me to where I am today, the General Director for operations. It’s been a wonderful ride so far!
No matter whether you applied for an MBA program or you knew about your pregnancy first – would you say that studying during your maternal leave was a good decision career wise?
On some parts you win, on others you lose. If you are lucky enough to have a baby who likes sleeping through the night, then you have better capacity to study and focus. On the other hand, there are so many new things you learn or concepts you want to apply on your job and yet it’s not possible to do while away. Regardless the situation, adaptability is key.
As far as the workload is concerned, how did you manage an MBA next to being a career woman and a mother?
I won’t sugarcoat my reply. Although having a baby was already in the near future plans when I enrolled to the EMBA program, we could not have anticipated the black swan called Covid that came few months after the program started. As a result, during my pregnancy my working hours severely multiplied, self-studying occupied almost all my non-working time including many nights and full weekends, and the stress levels reached maximum. 20 minutes before Ariadne was born, I was physically in the labor room and online at the MBA course. After that, there were many times I thought I would not make it, yet not only I did but also the great majority of my grades are “A”s. We can never know what we are capable of if we don’t find reasons to stretch our limits. You can do it mama!!!
What has changed in your career because of your MBA degree? How did the program support you in reaching your career goals? What concrete career opportunities have opened up for you?
Being a very fresh graduate and currently on maternity leave while my daughter just turned 3 months, it’s too early to evaluate all the possibilities that open for me due to the learnings I got through the program. What is clear is that I already applied many ideas and concepts to the business I’m doing before my pause and I feel much better equipped to reach new heights when I’ll be back! Until then, I’m enormously proud that Ariadne took her studies seriously since day 1 of her life, participating in classes from the maternity hospital and received an EMBA participation certificate at just 2.5 months of life!
My honeymoon at Papua New Guinea and the Philippines. I still wonder how we got out of the former unharmed, while having the most breathtaking experience in my life at the latter, swimming with whale sharks and being unexpectedly lifted out of the water by one!
Success in life is about happiness, in whatever each individual may find it, and inner peace. I find it in my family, good friends, being healthy, having passions and offering my help and advice to those who need it.
Read more interesting career stories of our students and graduates here.