Some of the major highlights of the career search at Fuqua are the informative “career intensive” seminars that take place in September. Among them is the Finance Career Intensive—the marquee event that kicks off recruiting season for the industry.

Alumni from finance, including top investment banks, came and talked to first-year MBA students like myself about their personal experiences and later indulged us with a Q&A. It was a four-hour crash course and a big help for novices like me who were trying to decide which career path to pursue.

The ever-energetic Dawn Shaw, the Career Management Center sector director for finance, kickstarted the event with stress on three pillars of finance at Fuqua—decision making, community building, and value creation for the investors. The event continued to gain momentum during a session with legendary Professor John Buley, who brought 25 years of banking experience, and his unmatched wit and wisdom. He got pumped up as he said, “Fuqua is the top destination for recruiters as we imbibe team spirit and build leaders for tomorrow, and that’s what separates Fuqua from everyone else.”

That was followed by panels of industry experts, who talked about different aspects of their day to day life, in order to give students a sense of what a finance job entails. The first panel was comprised of some top names from Balentine, Iron Oak Energy, and General Motors. One of my favorites was Chris Parides, Daytime MBA ’13, from Deloitte Corporate Finance who explained that for him success is what keeps him going in life, day in and day out.

five panel members talk during a session at the finance career intensive

The second panel focused on how students can choose a fulfilling career and was comprised of leaders from Moelis and Company, Cambridge Associates, and Pepsico among others. The last session of the career intensive before lunch featured former Deputy Secretary of Treasury Sarah Bloom Raskin talking about the 2008 financial crisis, resilience, and the need for good people.

a session with Sarah Bloom Raskin during the finance career intensive

After a networking lunch, we had breakout sessions where students talked to private equity, investment banking, and other banking panels in closed group settings. As I found out, such intimate discussion sessions are common at Fuqua and a very helpful part of the overall transformational experience of business school.

an intimate panel breakout session during the finance career intensive
An intimate panel breakout session

Looking back, the Finance Career Intensive and other similar events that followed really helped me make up my mind about what career to pursue. Many students who come to Fuqua are career switchers, and initiatives like these put on by the school help us get familiar with different career paths, which is a key first step in narrowing and focusing the career search.