When I was applying for business school, some friends told me that MBAs were only for people wanting to pursue a corporate career. I thought that working for a couple of years post-MBA in the pet industry, my passion, could be the best way to be an entrepreneur in that field. However, I completely changed my mind the first week I started my MBA. With constant mentorship, resources and guidance, Fuqua offers a powerful curriculum for student entrepreneurs like me to follow their dreams. You are probably wondering: is the entrepreneurial path as an MBA student the same as a consulting or investment banking path? The answer is no. Being a student entrepreneur is much more fun! At least, this is how I see it.
Let me tell you about one of the most incredible weeks I had during my second year. An entrepreneurial week full of work, ideas, great new people, and fun:
The first day of the week is always tricky when you have a routine. But guess what? As an entrepreneur, you will never have a routine! I start my week by having a few meetings with some potential investors, attending the exciting and challenging class Entrepreneurial Finance and finally going to the golf range to relax, improve my score (hopefully), and think about the week.
After attending the class Entrepreneurial Execution, I have a few meetings with some professors to ask for some advice for my startup. Then I return home to plan the questions I will ask as a moderator of one of the Latin American Student Association (LASA) Conference panels, while walking with my dog, Eira.
I start my day full of joy because today is the LASA Conference. My friends asked me to be the moderator of the entrepreneurship panel. I had the honor to interview Juan Pablo Ortega, the co-founder of Rappi and Juno. It was a unique and inspiring moment.
Today is a challenging day. I was invited to be part of the Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship (Duke I&E) Startup Showcase, representing my venture Truffa. It was selected among the three audience choice award winners—what an honor! It was an excellent opportunity to pitch to investors, academics, and students while learning more about other creative and revolutionary Duke founders’ startups.
I was invited to be part of the Career Management Center (CMC) live session for prospective Fuqua students. It was great to talk with Arya Diwase about our process of becoming founders while being Fuqua students. Later that day, I attended a meeting for fellows for the Fuqua/Coach K Center on Leadership & Ethics (COLE). It was one of the most remarkable events you can attend at Fuqua—a private meeting with the legend himself, Coach K. He gave us an incredible speech about leadership and the challenges we will face after graduation. Not everything at Fuqua is about work. I wrapped up the incredible entrepreneurial week by enjoying a cold beer at Ponysaurus with friends in Durham.
Now that I am finishing my second year as an MBA student, I am proud to say that I am a Fuqua entrepreneur and that without the help and mentorship of Fuqua and Duke I&E, I wouldn’t be creating my dream startup in the veterinary field.