Two years ago I was a sitting at my desk, working for one of the leading investment banks in Chile. I had recently been appointed to Senior Associate, and I was enjoying a comfortable position. At that time, my career path was all clear to me. Go to business school, then come back to the bank, and continue my career as a senior executive. But none of those plans have become a reality. The culprit? Fuqua! I have lived through a transformational experience during the last one and a half years at Duke …
It all started when I attended multiple info sessions about the top business schools in the U.S. Not surprisingly, Duke’s Fuqua School of Business was the only one that captured my attention. It was primarily because of the people. I was really impressed by how close and committed the alumni were, and how much they interacted with prospective students. Even more, it was the only info session I attended that included alumni partners, illustrating how important the community/family are at Duke (a critical issue since I was coming with my wife). After attending some of Fuqua’s other Daytime MBA admissions events including coffee chats and interviews, I felt very connected with people at Fuqua including alumni and the admissions team. The same feeling came over me once I arrived at Fuqua. The student body is just fabulous! I had never before been in a place with such a collaborative environment. Everyone is available to advise you about courses, internships, clubs, sports, or any other topic you can imagine. Interacting in such a diverse school definitely helps you to open your eyes and discover new interests.
Also, Fuqua has a high proportion of international students (roughly 40%) from diverse backgrounds. If I had to name the three most important assets of Fuqua, it would be: 1. Its people, 2. Its people, 3. Its people. The admissions department clearly does a great job of selecting the best possible and most diverse student body.
Another important reason I selected Fuqua was location. This is something you may not consider when choosing schools to apply to, but it’s essential considering that you’ll spend two years of your life at business school. In my opinion, Duke is in a “paradise of the outdoors.” Imagine any sport or outdoor activity you may want to learn or practice, and you can probably do it in North Carolina, and most importantly, almost year-long because of the mild climate. In my case, I have gone fly fishing multiple times (it’s a great passion of mine!) in Asheville and the surrounding area. The weather in Durham is just perfect, and almost every weekend, I play golf with friends. The weather is also a huge asset for those who have a family since kids can enjoy the outdoors all year long (no kidding).
Finally, Fuqua is a place where all doors are open. It just depends on you to open them. Although I worked in investment banking, I’ve always been attracted by social service. Given my background, would you believe me if I tell you I interned for a foundation in Maputo, Mozambique? Just look at the picture! This was made possible by Fuqua’s Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship (CASE), a leading center in the industry that promotes initiatives such as impact investing. Read more about my summer internship. In addition, during my first year at Fuqua, I applied for a Master of Public Policy (MPP), something that I wouldn’t have considered two years ago. My experience in Africa and the testimony of some classmates encouraged me to apply. Guess what? I was accepted! Now I’m a dual degree MBA/MPP student.
Please believe me when I talk about a transformational experience at Fuqua. Here you will explore your deepest self, and pull out all those passions that have been waiting for years to come to the surface. Being a Fuqua student allows you to take action on your passions, and to even discover new ones.
I am from Chile where I worked in investment banking before coming to Duke to prepare myself for future challenges as a senior manager. I’m pursuing a joint degree so in addition to my MBA I will have a Masters in Public Policy upon graduation. When possible I try to escape my busy schedule to go fly fishing.