My Journey from India to Fuqua

I was extremely happy with the job and career progression I had achieved in the first few years of my career in India. I was leading the top 5 accounts for my firm and was regularly working with the CEO, CFO and other business leaders on large strategic engagements. One day I received a call from my friend asking to join her for a class organized by a professor from a top-10 U.S. business school. I was interested in business talks and so I went. Having attended a bridge program from a premier Indian institute, I saw a clear difference in terms of how the American professor drove the class discussion and the overall quality of teaching. I quickly set my mind on going to a top business school in the U.S. for an MBA. My uncle and aunt had attended Ivy League schools in the U.S., and I was able to use them as a sounding board before moving forward with my plans.

Why Get an MBA?

I had worked predominantly in the Asia pacific region, and was looking for an MBA to gain more global exposure. I firmly believed that in a globalized world, hard skills would not take a person too far, and that cross-cultural skills and international business exposure would become increasingly important. While narrowing my search for the “ideal” business school, I started looking at the international exposure provided by each program. I realized that just having multiple nationalities represented in the classroom does not compare to actually traveling to different countries and studying in-region.

I was also looking at a career transition. Having worked with Fortune-500 companies in multiple functions such as marketing, product management, business development and sales, I wanted to transition into management consulting. Therefore, I wanted an MBA experience that would support my career change.

Fuqua was the Right Fit

To get a better idea of what Fuqua had to offer, I decided to spend a day with Fuqua’s Cross Continent MBA program in New Delhi. I was fortunate to attend Professor Katherine Schipper’s session on Global Markets and Institutions. She is a top notch accounting professor. I was amazed by her knowledge and it seemed that she knew more about my country than I did!! Of course, then, I had no idea about the things that I would be able to contribute to the classroom in the future!! After spending the day in a “regional” classroom, attending a speaker series and mingling with current students, I had my mind set on the Cross Continent program.

The culture that I saw and the top ranked faculty were factors that influenced my decision to choose Fuqua. I choose Fuqua because I thought it was the best fit for me. During my consideration process, I met alumni from almost all the top business schools and found that Fuqua alumni were smart, extremely responsive, collaborative, and enthusiastic. Fuqua prides itself in its diverse community and maintains the collaborative “Team Fuqua” culture. Fuqua is also at the forefront of innovation and technology implementation (the Cross Continent program itself is a good example).

When I visited Fuqua’s campus in Durham for the first time, I read the vision statement of the school, “The Fuqua School of Business appreciates and values differences inherent within our community. As an organization, we are committed to building and sustaining an environment conducive to capitalizing on the diversity within our community as a source of intellectual, personal and professional growth and innovation.” I felt delighted that I had made the right decision …

I had heard from people that an MBA is truly a life transforming experience and one will discover many things during the program. Now, I realize that I have developed multiple interests. Instead of looking at only management consulting, I also started considering private equity, investment banking and high tech as alternatives to consulting. I enjoyed learning more about various industries as I progressed through the program.

Vibhu Narwekar

Blogger: Vibhu Narwekar

Cross Continent MBA Class of 2013. Graduate of the University of Mumbai. Has held several positions in consulting, marketing, account management, and business development since 2006.

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