At Fuqua, my business school experience has been transformational rather than transactional. This is due in large part to the work of second-year MBA students throughout the community.

Second-year students pass on their wisdom, experience, and advice to first-year students in a number of formal ways: Coach K Center on Leadership & Ethics (COLE) fellows help their first-year classmates with personal development, while career fellows and academic fellows focus on recruiting and classes. The generous contributions of second-years not only build strong relationships, but they move the entire MBA community in a forward trajectory.

Here is a list of the top things first-years learn from second-years:

1. Leadership

COLE fellows help first-years be thoughtful about their leadership journey at Fuqua through the lens of the paired principles, with the goal being to become stronger and more impactful leaders. COLE fellows lead six sessions with their consequential leadership (C-LEAD) team to discuss how each principle can be applied to the team, Fuqua, and beyond. 

2. Perfecting the Resume

Career fellows mentor three to four first-years through the recruiting process. Career fellows conduct rigorous resume and cover letter reviews in which first-years are provided honest and constructive feedback to ensure resumes are ready for the recruiting process.

3. How To Give Feedback

COLE fellows help teams optimize their cohesion and productivity by conditioning them to share feedback with one another. At Fuqua, first-year teams take core classes with their section (approximately 70 students) and work on assignments with their C-LEAD teams. Fuqua has institutionalized mechanisms to share feedback within teams while COLE fellows facilitate the discussion and help teams with difficult conversations.

second-year MBA students present during a training session with their peers
Members of the COLE Fellowship participate in training sessions in advance of their work with first-year teams.


4. Storytelling

Career fellows help first-years crush interviews through one-on-one coaching and feedback about how best to tell their story. When I was a first-year, my career fellow was always there to help and even though he’s graduated is still just a text away!

5. How to Master the Core

Seriously! I would not have made it through the core classes without review sessions and tutoring offered by academic fellows.

6. Networking

Career fellows coach first-year students on identifying and prioritizing target employers.

7. Personal Development

COLE fellows meet twice with first-years to identify leadership gaps in order to create a personal development plan for their time at Fuqua.