Last year, around this time I was knee-deep in business school applications and school visits. This year, I am on the other side of that equation, and now I’m sharing my experiences and my advice with prospective students. It’s the strangest feeling, but it’s also highly rewarding.
In mid-November, Fuqua hosted the Duke MBA Workshop for Minority Applicants — an event that has become a rich tradition at Fuqua. This event was held on campus, and gives prospective students an inside look at life here. The weekend-long event is informative and fun, including lots of social events. It’s also a targeted effort to increase the number of underrepresented minority students in business school. As a black woman, programs like this were helpful during my application process because they provided a space to ask questions and gain insight on how business school works. Events targeted to women, such as the Duke MBA Weekend for Women, were equally helpful.
But this year, I was just there to absorb. Now on the other side, I did a lot of talking and certainly had some moments of reflection. The entire Fuqua community got involved in preparing for the workshop for minority applicants. Administrators and professors played their role, but so did alumni and students. The Black & Latino MBA Organization (BLMBAO) spearheaded the logistics of the event, and students of all ethnicities were active and supportive in embracing visitors on campus.
I served as a panelist during the Health Sector Management (HSM) breakout session. It’s always dangerous to put me in front of an audience, since I enjoy sharing things I’m excited about, but it was an honor and a privilege to give my perspective on HSM. Though I’m less than 1/4 of the way through, prospective students were interested in my healthcare journey and whether I thought HSM was giving me the tools to succeed in that realm. The short answer for me is “YES!” and I appreciated the great questions folks had on why I felt that way. Second-year students and alumni with healthcare backgrounds shared their thoughts and the session evolved into a nice dialogue.
I met a lot of great people during the weekend – many of whom I hope are Fuqua classmates next year. For now, lots of luck in the application process, it’s the beginning of good things!