I Chose Fuqua to Find My Dream Job

One of my passions is contributing to the development of others. I am driven by the opportunity to show someone who thinks they are “average” how much potential they have to achieve more, and ways in which to improve themselves. I didn’t realize I could make a career out of doing what I love, but through researching business schools and potential career paths, I realized it was possible. My short term plan is to get into human resources, or a role in human capital management, where I can drive a company’s performance through the strategy behind their people. Long term, I envision myself leveraging my experience in a non-profit industry, like education, because I believe our education system can be transformed with great leaders. Of course, like my peers, I’m also open to learning about different careers and industries while I am at Fuqua.

Waking up to do something you love is not working, it’s called living a dream, and Duke seemed to be the perfect choice to help me get to my dream job. Why was Duke the right choice and how would it help me? Well, one of the reasons I applied to Fuqua was because of its many concentrations. These concentrations, specifically Leadership & Ethics, Management and Social Entrepreneurship, cover all the information I hope to learn to achieve my short-term and long-term career aspirations. Also, the 6-week terms provide flexibility to study multiple concentrations and to take more classes than at many other business programs.

Through business school, I want to learn about managing others, developing myself, and becoming a better leader. Leadership training is interwoven in the Fuqua curriculum and extracurricular activities, for both years of the MBA. Two other big factors that drove me to choose Duke is their Net Impact Club and Fuqua/Coach K Center on Leadership & Ethics (COLE). They both offer so many programs and opportunities that I want to take advantage of.

The Net Impact Club is the largest on campus. They also won the best club of the year last year, which goes to show you how strong their commitment to the community is. Within my first month of being here, I was able to experience Durham through their signature Day in Durham event. I met leaders in non-profit organizations and learned how I could become involved.

COLE provides lots of leadership training. Each study team is assigned a COLE Fellow — someone to serve as a ‘leadership facilitator’ for lack of a better term. I love my fellow. I value the insight he provides to our group with respect to team dynamics, stress management, and creating the best two years of our lives. I didn’t understand the role or impact COLE would have on me, but our mandatory PDP (Personal Development Plan) and COLE Fellow, have allowed me to question how I define leadership and success, and how I want to transform myself as a person, and my community, from being a part of it.

There’s so much that I plan to accomplish in two years here. I’ve tried emphasizing to my family just how much I plan to do, and I know they think I’m crazy, but I actually have a spreadsheet to keep track of my activities, and prove just how much can be done!

Feeling At Home at Fuqua

On top of everything I felt that I would learn at Fuqua and finding a path to my dream job, another main reason I chose to attend Fuqua was because I felt at home here. I knew I wouldn’t have the luxury of 4 years to find my niche, so I sought out a place where I felt I would be surrounded by extended family — a strong support network. Team Fuqua is where it’s at. Team Fuqua is so awesome that on my first day here, I felt comfortable enough to send the people responsible for admitting me this note:

Subject: I am officially a North Carolina resident!

Hello new family,

I wanted to update you all that I had a wonderful 4 hours + breakdown yesterday as I said goodbye to my mother – of course, not in front of her, because that would’ve delayed my arrival. The reason I am sharing that is because I want you all to know I made the decision to come to Duke primarily because I felt the safest and most comfortable in this community, thanks to you all, who represent the school so well. I am confident I’ll be too busy to even remember being homesick and that this is the right decision for me today, and for my family’s future trajectory…

I’m sure other schools have almost as amazing admissions officers, but the team here at Fuqua is incomparable. Here are some facts about the admissions officers — the Queen, Liz Riley Hargrove knits. We chatted about knitting one day, for over 10 minutes, because she found me knitting in the hallway. Willie Green is currently in the Cross Continent MBA program — so trust him when he says he knows the curriculum — he really does! Sharon Thompson helped coin the term Wellness Wednesdays for the folks up in admissions, and it spread to the students. Each Wednesday they host a PiYo class (it’s a combination of pilates and yoga). We hang out, even when we don’t have to. That’s love. I can’t put into more words how welcoming this community is, and how excited I am to be here. Go Team Fuqua!

Radiris Diaz

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Daytime MBA, Class of 2015. Find out more about me...

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