Midterm Madness

“Sis, my life is in shambles. #sadface” This is a text I sent to a friend in California earlier today. Of course, this is an exaggeration on my part. Things could obviously be a lot worse, but at the time I sent that text, I was staring my Statistics midterm in the face. The 95% confidence interval of my lack of confidence about the exam was “on fleek” as the kids say these days.


Let me walk you through my day.

6:30 AM: Alarm goes off.
I heard the alarm and groggily rolled over to see that my 3-year old Nyah had climbed in my bed at some point during the night. I hit snooze to give myself 8 more minutes of solace.

6:38 AM: Snooze alarm goes off.
I get up, shower, brush my teeth, and open my Statistics materials. I study for about an hour when I get a call from the laundry delivery service I hired when I moved to Philadelphia. Like clockwork, they pick up and drop off 20 pounds of my laundry on a weekly basis. This has been a blessing from above and averages to about $16 per week for fluff and fold. The amount of time I’ve saved by outsourcing my laundry is worth the money. After handing off the clothes to my fairy laundry godmother, I went to wake Nyah and get her ready for school.

8:05 AM: Check emails while Nyah goes potty and brushes her teeth. (Internal voice: OMG recruiting emails have began! I read and file away 6 different emails for banking and consulting networking/recruiting opportunities. #andsoitbegins)

8:15 AM: Get Nyah dressed and ready for school.

8:30 AM: Grab some grapes, a banana, a bottle of H20 and hit the road for the 5 minute walk to Nyah’s pre-school.

8:35 AM: Arrive at Nyah’s school, chat with her teachers about a fundraiser that I don’t have the bandwidth to help with (I secretly wonder whether the other moms are judging me).

8:50 AM: Arrive back at home and realize that I’m scheduled to get a professional headshot taken at campus at 11 AM. I tell myself I’ll do something with my hair, put on a blazer and red lipstick and make it to campus for my picture but deep down, I know this won’t happen because I am not (feeling) prepared for my Stats midterm.

9 AM — 1 PM: STATS MANIA! After an additional 4 hours of studying (with random Oreo breaks), I feel more confident about my grasp of the material, my memorization of formulas for conditional and joint probability, and my understanding of scatterplots and left-skewed data.

1:15 PM: I head to campus because I have my final MGMT 801 Entrepreneurship class with Wharton Professor Ethan Mollick. I missed Monday’s class because Nyah’s pre-school was closed for Columbus Day (#sideeye), so I definitely wanted to make it to today’s class to close out my first quarter at Wharton. During my walk to campus, I queue up social media posts for Wharton’s Africa Business Forum which you can learn more about at wabf2015.whartonafrica.com! I swing by Chipotle (because duh) and pick up lunch to eat during class.

1:30–2:50 PM: AMAZING class with Professor Mollick. We reviewed a case study about Nantucket Nectars’ acquisition by Ocean Spray, discussed the politics and economics of mergers, acquisitions and entrepreneurial exits. We also re-capped what we learned over the past 6 weeks. One of the coolest things Mollick said during class was this:

There is no entrepreneurship angel that’s going to come down and say ‘now is the time’ to start your venture. You just have to go for it.

After a healthy dose of inspiration from Prof. Mollick, I left today’s class feeling great about my plans for MBA Mama and the potential of this brand.

3:00 PM: Met up with a female journalist and mom of 1 who has been following MBA Mama. She was attending the Wharton Business Journalism Seminars and reached out to me. Even though I’ve been hella busy with midterms and other deliverables, I rarely get a chance to meet the women MBA Mama is impacting so I made the time. We met for 30 minutes and had an awesome conversation about our career goals and how MBA Mama can improve. This direct customer feedback is something I very much cherish and I enjoyed hearing someone else’s perspective about our brand. This journalist may be guest blogging for us in the near future, so stay tuned!

3:35 PM: Went to pick Nyah up from school.

4:00 PM: Rushed to the grocery store to buy a few snacks for Nyah, and had a quick dinner with her near campus. I had to move quickly because I needed to get from campus to downtown Philly and back in time to start my Stats midterm promptly at 6 pm.

4:30 PM: Waited for the bus to take me and Nyah from campus to downtown Philly to the home of a classmate’s wife who agreed to babysit for me while I took my exam. This classmate is a second year MBA student who has 2 daughters around Nyah’s age. I am hella grateful for the support, especially because I lost my nanny a few weeks ago. (reminds myself to write a separate post about my disapproval of 6 pm midterms, because when you’re an MBA student with kids, this is probably the worst time of day to schedule a test).

4:45 PM: Still waiting for the bus and starting to get nervous about my timeline. As I was considering calling for an Uber or Lyft, the bus pulls up. Nyah and I get on board. Nyah starts singing “wheels on the bus” and everyone beams at how cute she is.

5:10 PM: A car swerves hard in front of the bus. To avoid a collision with this reckless driver, the bus operator slammed on the brakes sending several people to the floor. Everyone settles and the bus continues to drive for about 3 minutes, and then a passenger walks up front and whispers something to the driver. The driver then pulls over and announces that the passenger fell down and he needs to wait for his supervisor to come take a report. “It could take about 20 minutes,” he says as politely as possible. It is now 5:15 pm and I still haven’t dropped Nyah off with the babysitter. We are at least 8 long blocks from our destination.

5:15 PM: I ask God why, and proceed to get Nyah off the bus. I, once again, consider calling an Uber or Lyft but notice that my phone is at 5%. I nix this idea and decide to walk. Nyah and I sprinted through downtown Philly to get to the babysitter’s house. We arrived around 5:30 pm — about 20 minutes behind schedule and only 30 minutes until my exam.

5:30 PM: Get Nyah settled at the babysitter and call a Lyft praying that my phone doesn’t die before the driver arrives. Give Nyah a hug and glance at my phone (driver is 2 Min away and my battery is on 3%).

5:35 PM: I’m in a Lyft begging the driver to get me to campus by 5:50 pm. He took some random shortcuts and got me to Wharton at 5:45 pm. I breathe a sigh of relief and give him a tip and 5 stars just before my phone dies.

5:58 PM: Though flustered, I’m sitting in the classroom ready to start my Stats midterm. The TA (bless his heart) did not print enough exams so it looks like we will be starting the exam a few minutes after 6:00 pm.

6:04 PM: Begin my exam.

6:04 PM — 7:45 PM: I completed my exam. It was not as painful as I thought it would be. Overall, I feel good about my performance though the grade distribution is to be determined.

7:45 PM: Head back downtown to pick up Nyah and go home.

8:30 PM: Arrive back home, give Nyah a bath, read her a story and put her to bed.

Nyah having fun on the whiteboards while I study at Wharton’s 2401 co-working space

9:00 PM: More schoolwork. I have a final exam for my Microeconomics for Managers class tomorrow (at 6 pm). There was a group study session tonight from 8:30–10:30 pm but I could not attend because I had to relieve the babysitter and taking Nyah was not an option. Since losing my nanny last month, I’ve had a hard time taking advantage of group study sessions because they’re often held at times that are inconvenient for me as a mom without reliable childcare. I did take Nyah with me to one session last week and she had an awesome time drawing on the whiteboards while I worked through an Econ problem set with my learning team. Everyone was so patient, welcoming and accepting of her.

11:15 PM: Practice my pitch for MBA Mama that I’ll be delivering to a panel of judges for Wharton’s Venture Initiation Program tomorrow. Yes, my pitch is the same day as my Econ exam. I am nervous about Econ and giddy about the pitch.

11:40 PM: Draft a ‘day in the life’ style blog for MBA Mama since I haven’t posted in a few weeks.

12:05 AM on 10/15: Publish post and get some sleep because tomorrow shall be another epic day in the life as I go hard to close out midterm madness with a bang.

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