Coming into Fuqua, aside from the core class requirements, I planned to take classes that really interested me or would be useful for my upcoming internship and future career. This led me to take classes like Negotiation, Information Management, Managing Human Assets, and Pricing, but also my Strategic Planning Practicum (now part of the FCCP course) and Financial Statement Analysis (thus far, my favorite class at Fuqua). Over the last summer, I decided to look at the concentration requirements, and found that I was only two courses away from achieving both the financial analysis and management concentrations. Therefore, I aimed to complete those requirements in my second year, and I’ve already finished the management concentration and am one class away from the financial analysis one. Concentrations are optional at Fuqua, and it is totally our choice to pursue zero, one or even two.

Financial analysis and management more or less define my MBA experience. These concentrations tie directly into my interests and club leadership roles with the General Management and Finance clubs. These concentrations are giving me a balance of hard and soft skills, which will be directly related to my future work in financial analysis, and also provide the skills I’ll need to one day manage people.

Coming into the MBA program, I already had a great understanding of financial statements specifically for asset management companies, but through the courses in financial analysis, I have learned so much about analyzing financial statements for other industries (retail, consumer products, technology, etc.) and how to project a company’s future financial statements. Additionally, courses in the management concentration allowed me to think about various business concepts from a management perspective — people and change management, decision-making, and innovation — which touch a wide variety of corporate functions and industries.

At various times I considered not pursuing the concentrations, mostly for scheduling reasons, but in the end, I decided that I wanted to fulfill the concentration requirement for my own personal satisfaction and to boost my functional skills on my resume. Moreover, I think that listing the concentrations on my resume inherently helped me to get interviews and gave me talking points during interviews. In addition, due to the structure of Fuqua’s curriculum, I was still able to take other classes that I was interested in, like Raising Capital and Product Management. Although I am still tackling one final class needed for the financial analysis concentration, I’m now glad that I stuck with them and that I’ll gain the concentration credentials.