to the MBA
these couples, Kellogg offers twice the challenge, and double
© Nathan Mandell
Kristen Tegtmeier '01 and Doug Higgins '01
for newlyweds Kristen Tegtmeier and Doug Higgins came to an
two blissful weeks in Bali, the couple returned home to San
Francisco to find a message from the moving company on their
answering machine. "We'll be there tomorrow," the
movers promised, signaling the beginning of an intense adventure
for the pair.
hours later, the couple's belongings were in a moving van
bound for Evanston, while Tegtmeier and Higgins headed north
to begin their married life with a group of strangers in the
forests of Washington State.
companions didn't remain strangers for long. The trip, arranged
by Kellogg Outdoor Adventures, was designed to allow entering
Kellogg students to get to know each other before classes
began. Camping, hiking and sea-kayaking with other soon-to-be
first-years allowed the couple to achieve an unusual degree
of intimacy with their new classmates.
an unusual way to begin a marriage, Higgins admits. "Here
we were, married less than a month, and we sort of missed
out on the normal adjustment period," he says. "But
this was the way we had decided to go."
the Kellogg student body includes a handful of married couples
who have made the commitment to love, honor and cherish each
other through midterms, 10 p.m. group-study sessions and the
hobbies and romantic dinners get shelved for homework and
trips to the library. Time alone together -- without the intrusion
of group projects or classmates -- becomes as rare as an open
table in the atrium at noon.
say they wouldn't do it any other way.
been a phenomenal experience for us," says Higgins, who
will graduate in June with his wife. "You're on the same
wavelength as a couple, even though you're both working really
hard and not seeing as much of each other. You can share all
the privileges of school -- like new friendships and spring
and Tegtmeier, those perks have included a Global Initiatives
in Management trip to Chile and Argentina. The pair found
the region so interesting that they decided to spend the fall
studying and traveling together in South America. "That
was such a highlight," says Tegtmeier. And it hasn't
been the only one. "We've been sharing a lot of experiences,
and we've been able to support each other."
and Brian Martin, both first-year students, concur.
the MBA experience has been "pretty intense," Michele
admits. "We don't have a lot of time, so you don't always
make time for each other. But we've been having so much fun
that we haven't realized that it's been five months and we
haven't gone out for dinner together alone."
recently tried to remedy the situation by planning a Saturday-night
date -- without classmates -- during which they would consciously
try to "not talk about Kellogg," Brian says.
have been easy. The two took three out of four classes together
this past quarter. But the benefits of attending Kellogg together
have become apparent to the pair.
|© Nathan Mandell
Michelle '95 and Paul Smith '93 and family
gives you the opportunity to see other sides of your spouse,"
says Michele. "We've realized we work well together because
of our different personalities. We have totally opposite work
styles. But we seem to complement each other."
the biggest hardship cited by Kellogg couples is the double
financial hit: two lost paychecks, as well as two big tuition
bills to pay.
this was a tough decision financially," says Michele.
"You both have to be very committed to saving money and
sticking to a budget. The financial stress could really cause
problems for newlyweds who haven't lived together long. You
need to have a lot of mutual respect going in."
in The Managers' Program don't necessarily give up their incomes
when they enroll in the part-time program, but they do give
up something perhaps even more precious: their free time.
Michelle Smith know. The couple overlapped just one quarter
as students at Kellogg. As difficult as that quarter was,
it was easy compared to the challenges of going through Kellogg
we were in school together, we had something very much in
common," recalls Michelle, who graduated in 1995 and
was an IBM marketing manager until recently. "After dinner,
we could study for an hour or get our reading done together.
But once Paul was finished, he had to find something else
to do while I was in school."
definitely would have overlapped as much as possible if we
had to do it over again," agrees Paul, a 1993 graduate
and senior marketing manager at Motorola.
the sacrifices seem to have been worth it. "It was an
incredible experience for us," Paul recalls. "It
was intense, and while I thought I'd be happy to get it over
with, I found I really missed talking to professors and interacting
with other students."
and Bill Abrams at their 1990 graduation
Susan Abrams, both of whom graduated in 1990, say they are
still reaping the rewards of their shared Kellogg experience.
The two had just finished a grueling two years as analysts
on Wall Street and were ready for a change of pace when they
arrived in Evanston in 1988. "It was a great way for
us to spend a couple of years together -- having fun and learning
a tremendous amount," says Bill, CEO of Consultants-on-Demand.com.
"We'd spent two years working very intensely, and after
that, everything seemed relatively stress-free. Being in the
classroom environment and having time for yourself felt like
an enormous luxury."
agrees. "Going through Kellogg together looked to me
vastly easier than if one of us were working, when a 10 p.m.
study group might really have been disruptive," says
the former marketing and strategic planning executive at the
Chicago Children's Museum and author of The New Success Rules
for Women. "We took classes together, we socialized together
-- it was a great phase in our lives."
of a marriage aren't made easier by the pursuit of a Kellogg
degree. But as these couples attest, the personal and professional
rewards can be tremendous. "When two people have the
same goals," observes Brian Martin, "they can go
after them more strongly than if they were doing it on their