Park Perspectives: Yes, parenting while in business school is possible

By: Park Perspectives
Photo of Max and his family standing outside


By Max Singer, Two-Year MBA ’18

Park Perspectives are authored by Johnson’s Park Leadership Fellows.

Many people think business school is a single person’s game. Through my role as vice president of admissions for the Association of Veterans here at Johnson, I speak to many prospective applicants with families who question if an MBA is a right fit for them. Here is a brief explanation of why an MBA is absolutely the right option and why Johnson is the perfect place for them.

Business school is a life-changing experience

The opportunities you get at Johnson are truly incredible. When I was transitioning out of the military, I realized that in order to get into my desired field, I needed an MBA from a top-tier school. Go for it, it’s worth it (it doesn’t hurt that your kid becomes a legacy either!).

FOMO (fear of missing out) is real

But that’s OK. Business school is all about prioritization for everyone. Pick the things you really care about and focus on them—you can absolutely still be an active member of the community and achieve your objectives.

Every career is an option (yes, even Investment Banking)

My daughter was born shortly after recruiting ended and during our Investment Banking Immersion. I firmly believe there is no better program in the country to prepare you for Wall Street; and while it is a lot to juggle, your peers and professors will work with you to make sure you maximize your time and learning outcomes.

Fit is real

“Community” is a buzzword that gets tossed around a lot in business school admissions. The reality is that I frequently bring my wife and daughter to our weekly happy hour here called Sage Social because it is such a great atmosphere. My peers know my family well and that makes all the difference in helping to create a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere for them.

Ithaca is awesome!

There are very few places you can go to business school where you can rent a house within walking distance to class, and with a fenced-in yard for your dog, on a remotely reasonable budget. The area is also home to countless parks and almost every activity you can find in the area is welcoming to kids (yes, even the breweries are kid-friendly).

Yes, there are jobs here

While Ithaca has all of the best features of a small college town it is also a city in its own right. Spouses have access to amazing job search resources through Johnson, Cornell, and the general Ithaca community. My wife was able to find a teaching job in a nearby town within weeks of moving here, which gave us an added layer of peace of mind.

You don’t have to take your kids to class

For families with a spouse working, childcare is available through the university and numerous grants are available to help defray some of the cost. There are also tons of awesome babysitters in the area, from undergrads to partners of current students and local residents.

Old dogs can learn new tricks

While I came here at a (slightly) more advanced age than some of my classmates, I found that there was still an incredible amount for me learn in terms of being a leader. Both the Park Leadership Fellows program and Johnson leadership curriculum helped me identify and improve upon areas of weakness that I identified and become a better peer, father, and husband.

To quickly sum it up, even—maybe especially—if you have a family, an MBA is the right move for you and Johnson is the best place to do it. In the words of the great poet Taylor Swift, “I got smarter, I got harder in the nick of time.” My choice to come here was the best decision I ever made (obviously other than getting married and having a kid).

Link to learn more about the Park Leadership Fellows program

About Max Singer, Two-Year MBA ’18

Headshot of Max Singer

Previous Academic Institution(s): Syracuse University
Previous Employer: United States Army
Internship: Guggenheim Partners
Interests: Investment Banking