If you are preparing to attend Fuqua… first of all CONGRATULATIONS!! This is one of the best decisions I have ever made. Secondly, take the time to consider how you want to leave Fuqua. Are there certain skills you want to possess? Do you want to turn your business concept into a legitimate company? Do you want to build bonds or create a legacy?

Rather than coming to campus saying “I want to join XYZ club,” think about what you want to gain and stay flexible. There may be even better avenues to accomplish your end goals for an MBA. As I was preparing to move to Durham, I had my eyes set on 15 to 20 different clubs, experiential opportunities, and leadership positions. However, I knew that balancing it all would be impossible—you’ll see how jam-packed just a single day at Fuqua can get in my video below. Instead, I defined goals for myself that align with who I wanted to be once I graduate and found opportunities to help get me there.

Within the first few months of being on campus, I stood in front of my section (a group of 65-75 students who are in the same core classes together) and told them why they should elect me as their section representative. I was nervous, shaking, and hoping it wasn’t terribly obvious in my voice. Despite how proud I was to put myself out there and take the risk, I could not ignore how devastated I was when I was not selected. It was not until later that I realized this was just one role of many that could help me accomplish my goals. By fixating on a single role, I was limiting the opportunities available to me that I did not even know about.

Just a few months later, through a connection with a second-year student, I learned of the opportunity to serve as a student representative on Fuqua’s Board of Visitors. This role perfectly aligned with a few of my goals, including forming connections across Fuqua (peers, alumni, administration, etc.), improving my executive presence, and boosting my confidence. After learning more about the role, I was incredibly intimidated, but knew I would be challenged exactly how I needed to be challenged.

If I had narrowed my concentration to a rigid list of student clubs and organizations, I may have bypassed this enormous development opportunity. By staying goal-centric and flexible, I have been intentional with my campus involvement and have become a more well-rounded future business leader.

In general, as you prepare for your MBA journey, create goals to help structure your personal and professional development. Think about the greater picture: how do you want these two years to impact the next ten or twenty years? Business school flies by, so make the most of it!

Here’s what a day in my life as a student looks like: