Fatesta Bateman is the owner of The Spa Bar, an event hosting space and service. She earned a master’s degree in business management from the University of Phoenix.

Why did you pursue a master’s degree?

“I pursued my master’s degree to learn more about business and becoming self-employed. I wanted to be a boss instead of being bossed. I eat and breathe business and, therefore, wanted something more than what a bachelors’ degree would offer me. I knew that the playing field would be hard, and I knew that a master’s degree would give me a little bit more of an edge when competing in certain realms of my industry. Although ultimately, I knew I would be an entrepreneur, I wanted to gain as much knowledge about business and relationships as possible. I knew that getting my master’s would be challenging, but I was up for it.”

What would you tell someone who is considering returning to school to earn a master’s degree?

  1. “I would tell them to take a realistic approach to work/school life balance.
  2. Re-organize and prioritize your life to focus on your school load.
  3. Make social adjustments as quickly as possible.
  4. Have a support group of people who can talk through the emotional uncertainties.
  5. Know that there will be people in your classes that are much older and much younger. Be open to learning new things from all age groups.
  6. Stay with it. Don’t give up.
  7. Network with those in your field for possible future opportunities.”

What was the biggest challenge you faced when pursuing your master’s degree?

“The biggest challenge I faced while pursuing my master’s degree was trying to balance work and school. I managed a full-time sales job in corporate America, which was very demanding. Unfortunately, my managers did not care that I was pursuing my master’s degree. They only cared about me making my quota. School was also demanding and taking a seven-year break before returning didn’t make things any easier. I often doubted myself and wondered if I could manage both work and school. I sacrificed my social life and many business happy hours to maintain good grades and sanity in my life. But, it was all worth it in the end. I worked hard for two solid years and was able to obtain my MBA, which has helped me be the entrepreneur that I am today.”

What was the biggest reward for earning the master’s degree?

“My biggest reward for earning my master’s degree was the feeling of completion. I have to admit that business school was very challenging for me because I worked a full-time sales job. I was able to earn my degree and work at becoming the top sales representative in my sector. It was a major accomplishment – and for that I am both proud and thankful.”

Robin D. Everson is a native Chicagoan who resides in Dallas, Texas. Her appreciation for art, food, wine, people and places has helped her become a well-respected journalist. A life-long lover of education, Robin seeks to learn and enlighten others about culture. You can find her work at Examiner.com