On my thirteenth birthday, my dad gave me a thin manila envelope. I knew instantly this was not the Gameboy I was hoping for. However, I did not realize that this gift of a thin piece of paper saying I was the owner of 100 shares of stock in a restaurant I never heard of would show me a path that would shape my journey into investing.

Starting My Journey

Pre-Fuqua, I started off my career as an equity trader for a hedge fund in San Francisco before transitioning to an equity analyst position. I was a generalist analyst at a value fund where I focused on researching opportunities across a variety of sectors to buy and sell.

My days were spent reading, working on financial models, going to conferences, and talking with other analysts. Since then, I gained experience working on the private side of investing by working with startups and a venture capital internship, as well as continued with equity research for a family office while in school.

Moving Towards an MBA

I decided to get an MBA for a few different reasons:

  • I knew I wanted to expand my horizons and going to business school would allow me to explore other investing-related roles.
  • I also wanted to expand my skill set as well as my leadership opportunities. Pre-Fuqua, I have only worked with small teams and I knew my long-term goal was to lead a company.
  • Lastly, I wanted to build my network and I knew going to a great program would be a tremendous opportunity to form connections with my fellow classmates as well as alumni.

Friendly Fuquans Along the Way

When I was first deciding about Fuqua, I was fairly analytical with my approach. I knew I wanted to be at a place with great teachers, but also great programs that met my interests. While I do continue to love investing, I have always had a strong interest in startups, and I wanted to find a place where I can learn more about this area while at the same time maintaining my investing perspective.

Then I started talking with alumni as well as current students through the Fuqua Buddy program, and the type of person the program attracted definitely appealed to me. I don’t know how best to describe it, but the Fuqua people I came into contact with felt like good people. They were incredibly nice and helpful, and it felt genuine. It didn’t feel like things were forced and they were truly happy to be part of the program.

The Adventure Continues

I am now starting my second year at Fuqua, and I’m thankful that I have had the opportunity to take classes from incredible professors such as John Graham, Bill Mayew, and John Buley among others.

I have also learned more about startups through events at Duke’s Bullpen and through Fuqua’s Mentored Study Program, where I am currently interning at a venture capital fund-of-funds that also does direct investments.

My skill set with investing has also improved through stock pitch competitions where my team won the internal competition and was a finalist at the University of North Carolina’s Alpha Challenge, as well as through my summer internship as a credit research associate with Vanguard.

I am currently co-president of the Asset Management Club, and while the group of students interested in equity research is on the small side at Fuqua, we’re a close-knit group.

My first year of school was an incredible learning experience from not just the technical side, but also through personal growth. I am looking forward to continue accomplishing my goals in my second year and strengthening the friendships I have made.