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MBA and Workout Continuity

So I am coming up to the end of my stint in the military. I’ve decided that afterward, I would like to pursue an MBA from the University of Texas when I get out, and there are a few options that I am considering.

With that said, I have definitely found myself in situations during my time in the military where I have prioritized work and professional related goals over my weight training goals. By prioritized I mean that my training dropped off for about 3 years.

Yes yes, call me a quitter, but I’ve recently rediscovered the reasons why I trained in the first place and I’m getting back into the lifestyle. I never want to be in that position again, as I feel the best about myself and find that I’m the most productive when I’m in great shape.

I’ve just completed the V-Diet to get me back on track, and am currently following the principles behind JB’s precision nutrition system (albeit increasing the calories slowly to minimize fat gain).

SO… The way I see it, I have 2 options to choose from in order to get an MBA from UT. #1: I can get a full-time job in Austin, TX, and participate in the executive program.

Basically I’ll be working 40 hours/week on top of 9.5 hours/week of class and roughly 35-40 hours/week of out of class work. I am leaning toward this option for several reasons, but these numbers scare me in that I can see where I might not have time for training.

Option #2: Go to school for the full time MBA. In order to live off of school loans I can only justify this choice by pursuing a dual-degree in MS Mechanical Engineering/MBA. This also looks like it could lead to squeezing training out of the picture.

My question is this… Who of you have been/are in situations like this where your life is COMPLETELY booked for short periods of time. I’m mostly interested in feedback from people who have done severely hectic school schedules while maintaining/improving their training programs and how they went about it.

I am very adamant about keeping training in my life as I’ve seen what my life is like without it, but I am also wholeheartedly concerned about my future. I understand that I don’t NEED these degrees in order to succeed, but they’re something that I am genuinely interested in.

I’ve put a lot of thought into this, I’ve just never been in this situation before (especially the fear of grad school).

Any and all constructive criticism is appreciated. I’d like to state, however, that my interest in this discussion isn’t based upon getting into the university, but rather how to deal with the proposed options.

Kyle

I don’t really have advice to offer (I will likely be in your shoes in 5 years or so) but if you come to UT I can introduce you to some good training partners!

Good luck figuring your shit out man.

First of all thank you for your service…

secondly, congratulations on getting out, rediscovering your passion for training and the pursuit of higher education…

I can’t help you out all that much because I’m basically working for experience before I potentially pursue my MBA so I’m a bit behind you.

But I will offer my opinion…

From what I gather the job market post MBA is all about experience (job and internships, etc) and who you know. From my associates who are in or graduated from B-school the info isn’t that hard and you don’t learn a SHITLOAD of new material (really just expounds upon what you already know) but mostly you’re there to network.

So keep that in mind, that you’ll probably be spending MORE time outside of class than you suppose. Also this might be a reason for you to choose the full time program instead so that you can gain more rapport and connections with fellow students and faculty.

Again, all hearsay, but from what I’ve gathered most the cats doing an executive MBA program have their company paying for them to get their MBA and they’re working meanwhile. I have a friend at Deloitte Consulting doing this currently.

So unless your job is paying for your school, or you’re making well over the 40k a year it requires to attend b-school there, then the full time route might be a better option.

And yes if you’re going to do that then you’re looking at it the right way imo. You might as well go full bore and a lot of work (ME/MBA dual degree… I’m doing this as well when I go back to school JD/MBA program program) so that when you get out of school you have a leg up on your competition.

And never forget that, every student in your graduating class you are also competing against for jobs… so prepare yourself better than your competition.

As far as training. Forgive me if I start sounding like I’m lecturing but… It’s a lifestyle. Take as much time now and develop the habits necessary to make training regularly part of your schedule.

Everyone’s busy, rarely do you meet someone (worth their salt) that just has a shitload of free time. So it is not just you.

What’s important though is prioritizing training. I realized that in my life I put a lot of things on the backburner because I would waste time doing shit that really didn’t matter…

Don’t just spin your wheels.

I did the following:

I went through a whole week, and wrote down every hour what I was doing, just to see how I was using my time and I was surprised by how much I wasted doing stupid shit.

#1 waste of time for me was basically chasing pussy…

talking to some chick via facebook, myspace, aim, text, phone, email, meeting for “lunch”, etc

it was always something and when I cut that shit out except for certain hrs on certain days of the week my efficiency skyrocketed.

My Junior year I did something similar when I canceled my cable and internet subscription. If i wanted to use the internet I had to in the library… Which basically meant studying and only a short period of dicking around.

etc, etc…

I also realized that with my other commitments that to lift weights or get in my conditioning I’d have to wake up early. Which meant getting to bed before midnight. Unheard of in college but I did what I had to in order to reach my goals…

imo, even if you think you’re being very efficient, take a honest look at your time management and see where you can make cuts, see what areas of shit are NOT as important as lifting to you and cut them out. If you have an hour or two to lift b4 class and that means you can’t stay up to watch ((Insert name of TV show here)) that just means you can’t watch the show… suck it up… move on.

It means you might miss the date with ms. hottie, it means you might not get a beer after dinner with your buddy from out of town, it means you might have to wake up at the buttcrack of dawn or that you have to lift in the middle of the night…

If you REALLY want it… you’ll find a way.

I’m a second year law student and well the crap comes in waves, you think you got everything situated so you have time to get to the gym and well shit…there’s a bunch of crap you didn’t schedule in

school plus intervi
ews, networking, resume building stuff necessary to get a job after law school takes up a lot of time

i just find time. lifting is kinda how i recharge my brain and release the stress. reading all day turns me to mush so i have two options push through it or take a break and go to Gold’s. what might takes me two hours to read if i just stay in the library takes me 40 minutes if i take a workout break. my roommates think i;m nuts for working out all the time but most people think lifters are wierd anyway its just how much you want to do what your doing. you’ll find away

Unless you are a super genius with excellent time management skills, an MBA is going to require a lot of time and energy. Especially at UT.

But, it is worth much more than muscles.

Find an apartment complex with a gym. Granted apartment gyms usually suck but it would be easy to ride the elevator downstairs and squeeze out 30 minutes of something when you are time crunched. And go to a real gym when you are not.

Forget about regular sleep and diet though. You will sleep and eat when you can. Not when you want, or even need.

[quote]FormerlyTexasGuy wrote:
Unless you are a super genius with excellent time management skills, an MBA is going to require a lot of time and energy. Especially at UT.

But, it is worth much more than muscles.

Find an apartment complex with a gym. Granted apartment gyms usually suck but it would be easy to ride the elevator downstairs and squeeze out 30 minutes of something when you are time crunched. And go to a real gym when you are not.

Forget about regular sleep and diet though. You will sleep and eat when you can. Not when you want, or even need. [/quote]

I disagree with the last part about diet. If you are well prepared, you can find an hour or two on a Sat/Sun (even if it is at night) to prepare food for the week. Pack it in tupperware and take it with you when you go. Take it for the whole day if you’re not sure when you’ll be home.

I’m starting my MBA full-time in the Fall and while finding time to train will be tough, I sleep better if I’ve taken 45min-1hour to train when I’m done studying/working. It will likely be the last thing I want to do, however it will end up letting me sleep much quicker than if I went straight home.

Any graduate studies will require excellent time management skills. As Xen Nova and jss said, you make time for what is important to you and cut out the useless crap. Obviously school and school related activities (networking, interviews, etc) will take priority, but I’m sure if you look at your week you will still be able to find 3-4 times a week where you can squeeze a few hours out to hit the iron.

My first 2/3 weeks in an intense 1 year MBA program, I had to move to a new country where I didn’t speak the language, got sick, went through a fun but hectic orientation week, attended important parties, got sicker, missed important event 'cos I was sick and had to play catch up, started classes with a lot of group projects, started learning a new language, started attending career fairs and did other things associated with finding a job…plus a lot of stuffs I shouldn’t bother you with.

I used the above excuses for an hiatus at the gym for 4.5 months and I still regret it till today.
While one could argue that my circumstances probably called for some time off based on things that had to be done and the investment I was making dollar and time wise, in retrospect 4.5 months off was boneheaded.
Some of my classmates still found time to go to the gym while undergoing the same stress I was going through.
Bottomline is if you truly love it, find time to do it.

Like others have said, training, diet, sleep and stress level are going to suffer dramatically but never let it take you away from the gym. The risk of never returning will always be there. Use your previous 3-year hiatus as a learning point and motivation.

You will always be able to find at least 2hr per week no matter what if you plan well. Use this for a TBT session. When things get a little easier like beginning of a new semester before the academic work is in full gear etc, do 2-3 sessions, and during intermissions knock yourself out at the gym. Of course exam period can be used as a scheduled time off from the gym.

You may not be able to increase your lifts in any significant way or do any major body recomposition, but you will at least maintain and retain your love for fitness.

Your life is going to revolve around 3 major things as far as B School is concerned. What you prioritize would be up to you and your cimcumstances and interests.

  1. Academics: Start reading up on Finance, Accounting, Economics etc to get a head start especially if you have no prior major business education + if you’ve been away from school for a while. Trust me you simply can’t jump up and start dancing if you are unfamiliar with the material or if you have forgotten what school work takes.

  2. Job Search: Do everything you can before you head off. It is common for a lot of people in BS to be undecided about post BS career but make sure you understand career possibilities and what it takes to get the jobs. Network with Alumni and anybody who can help. Start practising resume writing, read vault guides, research industries etc.

  3. Social life: This comes with the territory especially if you do the full time program. While I went to a school in Europe where you just couldn’t avoid or resist a lot of the dinners and parties, I also spent some time at Wharton as an exchange student and the missus attended another Top 10 BS, so I know this is important everywhere.

You need to meet people for all sorts of reasons and you have to go out to do it.

There is not much you can do before you start the program as far as this is concern but accepted students often socialize online before meeting face to face. If this is possible, do it.

You can’t attend every single events you are invited to but know the important ones and plan for them in advance.

Understand that you can never prepare enough for BS. Too many things outside of your control but If you do as much as you can before school starts, your stress level and the demand on your time may go down. And you can use this ‘free’ time to attack the weights.

Goodluck!

Ditto on Xen thanking you for your service.

What do you want to do as a career ? Depending on that answer, you might not need an MBA.

I have my MBA. My undergraduate degree is in English Language and Literature. I decided to get my MBA because I could not find a job using my undergrad degree. I didn’t look that hard and I figured I’d be a gazillionaire after I graduated from Business School.

I went to school 2 nights a week for 3 hours a night while working 40+ hours a week. I also had 2 kids under the age of 3. I was very busy. I worked out at the gym at the office.

I wasn’t very good at networking and the one or two friends I did make in school weren’t any help at all when I was looking for a job later in life.

The biggest time waster I found in business school was having to do group work. 9 outta 9 times you’d get the standard dumbasses to work with that wanted to meet at a coffee shop to map out what the project would be and talk about other dumb ass stuff.

You’d waste 4 hours of your life sitting there thinking how stupid these other fuckers were. Sometimes you could pick your own groups, but a lot of times you’d be assigned your group.

If I were you I’d find a job in the federal government through veteran’s preference and punch the clock doing nothing like a lot of us gummint types for 40 hours while going to school at night or on the weekend.

Good luck.

[quote]Court wrote:
FormerlyTexasGuy wrote:
Unless you are a super genius with excellent time management skills, an MBA is going to require a lot of time and energy. Especially at UT.

But, it is worth much more than muscles.

Find an apartment complex with a gym. Granted apartment gyms usually suck but it would be easy to ride the elevator downstairs and squeeze out 30 minutes of something when you are time crunched. And go to a real gym when you are not.

Forget about regular sleep and diet though. You will sleep and eat when you can. Not when you want, or even need.

I disagree with the last part about diet. If you are well prepared, you can find an hour or two on a Sat/Sun (even if it is at night) to prepare food for the week. Pack it in tupperware and take it with you when you go. Take it for the whole day if you’re not sure when you’ll be home.

I’m starting my MBA full-time in the Fall and while finding time to train will be tough, I sleep better if I’ve taken 45min-1hour to train when I’m done studying/working. It will likely be the last thing I want to do, however it will end up letting me sleep much quicker than if I went straight home.

Any graduate studies will require excellent time management skills. As Xen Nova and jss said, you make time for what is important to you and cut out the useless crap.

Obviously school and school related activities (networking, interviews, etc) will take priority, but I’m sure if you look at your week you will still be able to find 3-4 times a week where you can squeeze a few hours out to hit the iron. [/quote]

Yes, you will be able to peg out a few hours to train. And then the unexpected will start popping up.

The worst would be group projects. It really sucks relying on other students and schedules. You would think grad students would be punctual and reliable but it isn’t always so.

Unless you leave a few hours of flex time in your schedule(recommended, and do actually schedule down time), you will lock yourself in too tight that when other people start changing your schedule for you, you won’t have much time for yourself left.

Before you know it, your gym time is now your available time to meet with your group before deadline who re-arranged the original meeting time because some one’s dog got sick.

Or you push other projects and test preparations back and start pulling all nighters to catch up. Which will leave you too tired and too stressed to lift or prepare food on a regular basis. Regardless of how badly you want to right now.

And the focus of your MBA factors in too. Accounting, finance, statistics etc will be much more difficult than communications or some shit. Also, the school itself is a major factor. UT business school is no walk in the park.

With dedication and will power, the OP will most likely exercise and have some healthy meals in the next two years, but he won’t be on target for big growth by any means. Semi regular at best and the intensity won’t be that great.

And it sounds like he doesn’t have much to maintain.

It is easy to make a plan. Wait until you are living it.

Especially if he or you will be working or want to maintain a social life outside of networking at all.

Or you could relax on the studying, settle on B’s and occasional C’s, pull off a mediocre MBA and some training. But that would be stupid.

For both of you, free time will come in waves. Which sucks for training continuity. Sleep schedules are irregular too, often regardless of the most carefully laid plans. But definitely take advantage of free time when you can. Training and otherwise.

all else fails… adderall, ambien, & test e.

my facetious way of saying, bump to the top.

I did a full time MBA and had the two best workout years of my life. I hit a PR on my bench and lost some fat pounds too. To this day my wife still refers to that time as when I looked my best. You may have to be flexible as to what time you go to the gym because of various group projects etc., but I was always able to find time to train. I jokingly refer to those years as my “prison years” since I basically just read b-school material and lifted weights during that time.

Now that I’ve been out of school for a few years I think it’s actually more challenging to find time to train when you’re stuck at a desk all day or having to travel and make due with crappy hotel gyms.

The part-time MBA option would be the most time constricting in my opinion and the hardest to stick to a consistent schedule. That said, nothing is impossible and if you make it a priority you will find a way. Good luck.

Hey All,

Thanks for the active responses! So it looks like from the feedback that I have the means to complete the program, I just need to do it. I was really looking for some assurance, because it’s something I want to do without ditching the gym again.

I think I’m going to apply for the executive option first and try to work full time. If I am not accepted for that, I guess I can work full time in either Dallas or Houston, and then apply to one of their executive options later down the road.

A third option that I’m not too keen on is to apply for dual major program where I’d do MBA and Mechanical Engineering together. I am shying away from that as I don’t want to incur a lot of debt while going to school, and would most likely just take out loans to sustain life if I chose that option.

I really appreciate the feedback, and feel free to add if there is something else you think needs to be said.

V/R,

Kyle

As for “what do I want to do” for my career? I am immediately interested in engineering management, but other careers such as consulting, and other fields of management are definitely in my interests as well.

I like the technical responsibilities of an engineering/engineering technologies position, but I’ve found that I more enjoy working with people and acting as a liason among departments in order to help put a whole project together.

I really think I’m meant for management, but I don’t know if I need an MBA to get there. A lot of my friends (mind you, they’re probably mostly talking out of their ass or from “what they’ve heard”) are saying that a lot of mid/upper management positions don’t even have MBA’s.

I’m not sure how true that is, but I’m sure it couldn’t hurt to add a fairly high profile degree to some real world experience.

I’m not familiar with UT and its exec-mba program, but usually you need to be an exec with a certain amount of applicable work experience behind you to get into one of those programs.

I survived a very challenging part-time mba program at Georgia State University. It’s usually ranked in the top 5 as far as part-time programs go. I would say 90% of the students worked full time and did school at night. It was tough, and cost me a couple of relationships but being single without the stress of a family to support made it do-able for me.

I knew a couple of married-with-kids guys who needed to take a semester off every so often because it was too much for them.

I was able to maintain a pretty consistent workout routine throughout the 3 year I spent in the program even worked out with a couple classmates here and there.

If you do go part time, I recommend negotiating tuition reimbursement with your employer. I did this and I graduated with no debt. Even though it was the toughest thing I had done at the time, it was worth it. It truly changed my life.

Keep in mind that once you have that degree, employers expect a lot more out of you. At times, the job I have now makes grad school + that last job seem like a cake walk.

A while back a posted a whiney bitchy post business trip couldn’t workout for a month story. Someone replied that it sounded like I needed to decide how important training was in my life and get a different job if I decided that I was missing out on training. It gave me something to think about, and I am now looking for a less demanding job.

Wow, thanks Eric. I’m in the works of negotiating this whole exec program with UT. I’m sending them my resumes and whatnot to have them evaluate whether my military experience has proven enough of the “work experience” that they’re looking for.

I think I’ll be able to get in, but it’s the running the gauntlet bit that I’m worried about.

I think in the end I’m just going to have to suck it up. The problem I’m facing right now is that while the military is a demanding job, it definitely babies us to not have to think about these such things. Sure we can get disciplinary action for malingering or inattention to our job, but in the end our jobs will be there waiting for us.

I think that’s why a lot of military guys get comfortable with it and stay with it for so long. Don’t get me wrong, vets, there are a lot of different reasons for staying in, but I think comfort level is definitely one of them.

I’m definitely not too scared to let go as to where I won’t try for these programs, but it does have me a little nervous. I really appreciate those who have gone through trials and tribulations (even if it’s not grad school… There’s a lot of challenging situations out there) that people have shared thus far.

I have worked with a couple guys who were ex-military. One had an incredible work ethic, and the other was a lazy bitch who expected everyone else to do his work for him.

The one with the work ethic had to have a come-to-Jesus with his boss, because some of his initial behavior (jokes & foul language) was not office appropriate. He immediately adjusted and fit in well. The lazy bitch didn’t last long.

Don’t be a lazy bitch at school or at work. Success takes hard work, and while some people make it look easy, it’s hard work that makes you a success at whatever you do.

I’ve seen that a lot in the part of the Navy I work. I have established myself as a hard worker and “go to guy” through lots of blood, sweat, and… tears?.. But I definitely work around a lot of guys that absolutely disgust me in regards to their work ethic and what they do for the team.

So I know what you mean between the two. I guess that’s a norm for military guys; either hard chargers or tool bags

[quote]Smartass99 wrote:
I guess that’s a norm for military guys; either hard chargers or tool bags[/quote]

For all guys…

I was in a similar position to you. Got out of the Army, worked, got my MBA, tried to find time to train…etc. I have worked in banking, investments, for a dot com, a few other companies, and hold other designations/credentials.

Based on my experience, here is what I would recommend:

If you can get a job, take it. An MBA without private sector experience is not worth much any more. Another benefit to taking the job first, is that the company might pay for the MBA. Working and studying for the MBA is tough, but it can be done. I finished my MBA in 2.5 years while working full time. With the MBA, I would suggest to go part time. Like I said, the job experience is gnenerally more important. An MBA will set you apart for promotions, but will rarely get you a job withouth the right experience any more.

If you go part time you can still find time to train and enjoy the MBA process. I also think that you will get more out of the MBA process by having real world examples and a place to implement what you are learning. Hope this helps…

Sorry…I didn’t read all of the responses. But I would definitely not advise going straight from the military into an Executive MBA program. Despite what most recruiters say, unless you plan to work for government contratctors, a lot of companies will not look at your experience as being relatable to what they do.

I was surprised how hard it was to get a job after leaving the Army. I was an officer so I thought that companies would see my management experience and want to hire me. Not true. I had to work my way back up into management. It took a couple of years. I also think that you will hurt yourself by taking time out of the workforce to go full time in school. Hiring is tough these days and most companies look for directly relatable experience over education (based on my experience in the Seattle area).