June 10th, 2010
I have been away from the blogging scene for quite a while now. Things got busy since I was shifting to Seattle for my internship with Microsoft. The work and the whole environment here has been awesome so far. Probably I will do a separate post about my internship and about the very pretty Seattle & Microsoft.
So class of 2012, here are some of my personal recommendation on things to do before you start with your Fuqua pre term!!!
- Take time to ponder upon what you actually want to do during your MBA. This would help you get a little clarity about things before the grind begins. In my experience, focused people got a great head start over others who spent a lot of time figuring out what they wanted to do, post MBA.
- Try to finish your pre-assignments before you land in Durham. International students, double attention here!! I arrived in Durham a good 15 days in advance and still things got little hectic with settling down, car hunting etc. Getting done with the Math CD and the accounting CD would have definitely helped.
- Once you arrive here, take your time and explore the school a bit before the actual classes. Getting a feel of the environment makes the start all the more nice and enjoyable. Also, you might save some time in figuring out which classroom is where.
- Come in with an open mind! Fuqua is a melting pot of ideas and options and you definitely do not want to miss on something you might actually enjoy!
- Spend some quality time with your friends and family as you might run short of time once the school starts!
Thats enough of ‘gyaan’ (hindi slang for preaching ) as of now. Good luck and I look forward to seeing you all here.
April 27th, 2010
Duke university offers a lot on the fitness front. Though the first 3 terms in Fuqua is relatively hectic, I would definitely recommend a run or some gymming in the schedule. With all the classes, info sessions and recruiting, a little bit of endorphins would not hurt right?
Duke Wilson gym should be a no-miss during these two years at Fuqua. With its awesome squash courts, pool, weight training room, rock-climbing wall, it offers something for everyone’s palate. They also have some group fitness classes (http://www.duke.edu/web/intramural/fitness/index.html). I personally have tried their Cardio dance, Step and Hatha yoga classes and each of them were amazing.
While Fuqua students can enjoy the Wilson gym facilities for no-charge , partners too can utilise these for a minimal fee of $36 per term. All they require is a Duke spouse card to get the gym access.
Duke campus also has some fantastic trails. The WA duke or Al Buehlar trail is pretty popular and is filled with joggers and bikers all time of the day. The above Duke fitness link has some interesting trails and jogging tracks. I highly recommend exploring all these options during the two year MBA tenure, it would surely make your b-school journey much much more enjoyable.
April 13th, 2010
How to buy a car in Durham
This post is mainly aimed at International students who would be freshly relocating from their home countries to Durham.
Staying mobile is paramount as soon as you land especially in a place like Durham where public transport is very minimal. Students generally prefer to buy a second hand car which they can use and sell it at the end of their course tenure. Finding a used car, which is in a fairly good condition, is a multi-step process and it demands considerable amount of time. The below are some tips which might simplify this long process.
- You can either buy the car from a dealer or from a private owner. Buying from a dealer is a much simpler process as the dealer takes care of most of the headaches. But usually, you end up paying a premium for using their services. There are several car dealers in Raleigh and Durham and you can reach out to them once you are here. Finding a trustworthy dealer is altogether another different thing and I cannot throw much light on it since I got mine from a private owner.
- If you are planning to buy it from a private owner, the process is little longer and I would recommend coming to Durham a good 15-20 days before your course starts.
- You can start your search even before you land here by checking websites like www.craigslist.org and get in touch with the owners of the vehicle.
- Kbb.com (Kelly Blue Book) quotes reasonable price which can be offered for each car based on year, model, mileage etc. Referring to this often would give enough reasoning to differentiate between a fair car and a good car and also an idea about the pricing.
- In the US, the insurance premium of the car goes high if the vehicle history is bad. So it is vital to check whether the history is clean without any accidents before buying it. Even if the car doesn’t have a clean history, the price can be accordingly negotiated.
- Carfax.com is a paid website which provides this history report (carfax report) when you feed in the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) associated with the vehicle. Remember to ask and note this VIN from the car owner when you get in touch with them.
- Once you are satisfied with the price and car history, the next step is to see the car personally and get it checked at a garage. There are several auto tuning chains such as Precision and Firestone which help you with that. It is important that you do this check to avoid unnecessary problems once you buy the car.
- The last step in this process is the registration of the car. Registration is pretty simple and painless process. North Carolina driver’s license or State Identification is required for the registration process. So make sure you have either one of these before going in for registering the vehicle.
- Not all DMV offices do vehicle registration, so make sure you find the right address from the Durham DMV website!
Hope that was a useful post and goodluck with your car search!
April 7th, 2010
Duke presents a whole lot of versatile and interesting options for the spouses and partners during the MBA tenure. Given the fact that considerable percentages of students are married, it is only fair to involve their families in the Fuqua activities.
Subscribing to the Fuqua partners mailing group helps one to get familiarized with the environment and it kind of inducts you to the Duke family even before you arrive in Durham. Separate career management sessions are held with resume building tips , company shortlists etc., For people who look forward to explore new career options, the club conducts surveys to introduce careers that suit your persona.
Since majority of the international partners are unable to take up work options, lots of social activities are also being planned. Regular shopping trips, potlucks, movie nights are held which proves to be a huge platform to meet people from different cultures. There is also the social work group, cooking club and conversation club for people with specific interests and they present a whole array of opportunities.
Apart from all this obtaining Duke Spouse card gives access to the university library, fitness centre and opens a whole new world of knowledge. Durham also has a few outdoor locales for the adventure and travel lovers. The WA duke trail, Duke Gardens, Jordan lake, University lake, Chapel Hill downtown are few places to explore. North Carolina is also a central spot for many holiday destinations. The Great Smoky mountains and Asheville are must-visit places in NC and they are a paradise for trekking, rafting, hot air balloons etc.,. It is also only a few hours of driving distance from Washington DC, New York and the South Carolina beaches and you can be assured of the most enjoyable vacation experience.
April 7th, 2010
Ah, the journey begins…
Welcome dear friends! If you are reading this, you are either at Fuqua or would soon be at Fuqua or are contemplating on applying to Fuqua. In any case, please feel free to drop me comments.
I am a first year student at Fuqua and I relocated here with my wife. Prior to Fuqua, my wife and I were in Hyderabad, India. In this blog, I would talk about partner’s life at Fuqua and some other stuff, which might help prospective students.
It’s been 8 months that I have been here and I must admit, it’s been a roller coaster ride! Academics, socialization and recruitment – each one seem to have sufficient fabric to have consumed 100% of my time. Time just flew away and I am hoping it’s downhill from here …