Last year I wrote a post entitled, “Why I Chose Duke!” Now, in my second and final year, I wanted to follow-up on my original post to highlight why I am still grateful that I chose Duke! As I mentioned in my first post, I came to business school seeking a career change and to further develop as a person. What I did not expect was everything else that I got out of Duke.
A New Career Path
I am in the middle of my career change (still trying to find a balance between corporate finance and general management!), which has benefited from the truly broader, more worldly perspective that I’ve gained from Duke. A little over a year ago, my professional experience consisted solely of accounting for investment management companies. At Fuqua, I’ve learned that there is so much more to the business world that I was missing. From my courses, classmates, and even job search, I have learned so much about the broader business world. There are too many lessons to list here, but in general, my eyes have been opened to many more industries, services, and functions that I had been overlooking. For example, Fuqua’s Health Sector Management program/classes, combined with my work during the Strategic Planning Practicum introduced me to many of the intricacies of health care. Even in accounting, I learned about other opportunities, and about how to do accounting for non-financial service firms. This broadened perspective has surprised me the most, because when I came to Fuqua it was after spending 6 years with such a narrow mindset. Looking forward, I know that the new outlook I’ve gained will continue to surprise me as I progress in my new career in the weeks, months, and years ahead.
Something for Everyone
Fuqua is what you make of it. I know that this sounds cliché, but there is something for everybody at Fuqua. I found my niche in corporate finance and general management. So my class choices and campus involvement generally caters toward management and financial analysis. However, my version of Fuqua is completely different from what Fuqua is for other people — just look at my fellow bloggers — we have marketers, consultants, and people studying health sector management. One of the greatest things about Fuqua is that there are many clubs and activities that support and cater to everyone’s professional interests. Moreover, we have social clubs (like the Beer Club and Outdoor Club) where we can find common ground and have an escape together.
Every day at Fuqua I hear about events and opportunities that I did not know even existed. One way that I try to stay on top of everything is by checking the student club calendar every Sunday to see what events I might like to attend. There is more going on at Fuqua than you can even imagine. This is a very active place, and much of the activity is driven by students, which provides networking, learning and leadership experiences. For example, I am working with another second-year student now to help increase the corporate finance presence on campus (through events like the Corporate Finance Symposium, Corporate Case Studies, and recruiting preparation). This initiative that we took on ourselves allows us to communicate with Fuqua’s career center, corporate contacts, our classmates and our professors to ensure that we are helping the greater Fuqua community.
Looking Back & Ahead
For me, looking back, I’ve already hit many of the goals that I set at the beginning of business school. I have traveled extensively for internship interviews, the Week-in-Cities trip, and global course experiences (and hit silver status on United Airlines for the first time!). Traveling is a passion of mine. Traveling through the Fuqua curriculum allowed me to see so much of the global business world in action, and how it’s interconnected. I took many classes on subjects that I never thought I’d be interested in, like organizational change management. And I am successfully changing careers—I’ll soon be 2 busy seasons out of public accounting! But mostly, I am excited that I still have most of my second year to meet more people, take more classes, see more Duke basketball, and get a few more stamps on my passport.
Being a blogger allows me to hear from various prospective students (like you!) who constantly remind me that I am in an envious position. Sometimes, in the crazy midst of classes, club activities, and recruiting, I temporarily forget about the incredible things that Duke and Fuqua have introduced me to. So, thank you to my readers for reminding me to be grateful, and I hope this post provides you with some additional insight on what you can expect from Fuqua.