Abu Dhabi The challenge of studying while working is in itself daunting but when you embark on this multitasking while being pregnant, the challenge gets harder.

“I was pregnant with my second child mid-programme and had to attend classes way into my third trimester; all while working full-time, said Priya Nair, 37, an Indian bid manager with AECOM in Abu Dhabi.

She did a two-year MBA in Strategic Management and Leadership from the University of Wolverhampton, UK, with a distinction and top performer award. She had already done her masters in Mass Communication and Journalism from Kerala, India.

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As a manager, she feels, studying MBA gives her insight into practical application of theoretical concepts.

“But, of course, it comes with a hardship. My weekends for almost two years had to be dedicated to attending classes, writing assignments and reading up relevant material. I often felt guilty for not having enough time for my two young children and an ever-supporting husband,” said Nair, who has been living in the capital for 13 years.

Aprille Batino-Falla, 34, Filipina, a risk analyst with a private firm in the capital, is doing her MSc in Project Management from University of Alford, Manchester UK.

“It is really tough,” she said of pursuing her masters during her pregnancy. “I am actually working in Ruwais during the weekdays so the travel and work stress alone, plus being pregnant, is more than enough to make me just want to rest during the weekends.”

However, her husband is her motivation. Often the multitasking causes her confusion: “When the two worlds of work and school collide and you need to prioritise… which one you will do first, you will find that both are equally important,” said Batino-Falla.

But she seeks her validation in the sweet tatse of success. She once had to finish two papers for her study and needed to have ten risk reviews and two reports finalised for work. “The feeling after accomplishing the deliverables on a tight schedule was awesome,” said Batino-Falla, who started her career as an administration assistant in 2008.

As an expatriate in the UAE for almost a decade, she has made many financial investments back home in properties and businesses. “But investing in yourself via education is the best investment of all,” she said.