Four years ago, I stepped onto the Duke University campus for the first time to embark on the MQM program. Little did I know this would begin one of the most profoundly transformative journeys of my life, influencing both my personal growth and professional development. From serving as the strategy track chair to participating in various data competitions and school events, I was exposed to a wide breadth of leadership experiences and learning opportunities on top of the existing curriculum offered by world-class faculty. As an international student in the U.S., the MQM degree helped me broaden my horizons, hone my technical skills, and grow as a leader in the field of analytics.
Leveraging My Analytics Skills in the Workplace
Graduating in early 2020, right as the pandemic took hold, posed considerable challenges in navigating a tough job market. However, with the help of career coaches and faculty, I landed a role with my dream employer, Amazon. I assumed the responsibilities of an in-stock manager at Amazon Fresh, where I oversaw and managed inventory for 300+ fresh vegetables across the U.S. at scale using analytical methods I learned during my time at the MQM program. This was especially crucial given how severely COVID-19 had disrupted supply chain processes worldwide for essential commodities such as groceries. Formulating creative and sound data-driven strategies to predict future demand was crucial to the success of Amazon Fresh as it ensured customers received the correct groceries at the right time, no matter where they were in the United States.
After completing two years at Amazon Fresh, I continued to pursue my passion for technology and data analytics by joining the trust and safety team at Meta. Here, I had the opportunity to work on cutting-edge machine learning models used for global content moderation on Facebook and Instagram platforms. Given how deeply Meta values collaboration and ‘XFN,’ or cross-functional team culture, I seamlessly integrated into their work environment, drawing upon my prior experiences of the Team Fuqua culture, which centers on collaboration and teamwork in diverse team settings. I was well-equipped to collaborate with a high-caliber team of engineers, product managers, and research scientists to deliver impactful outcomes.
Reflecting on the MQM experience, the program provided me with a springboard into the tech industry in the U.S. As an international employee, I had unique opportunities to collaborate on high-impact projects with top-tier talent at both Amazon and Meta. This experience greatly contributed to my professional growth and leadership capabilities.
Pursuing My MBA
Even though I had a great time working and living in Seattle, I resigned from my position at Meta this summer to return to Fuqua for the one-year Accelerated Daytime MBA program. My decision was motivated by a combination of factors: a continued passion for self-development in a more formal and structured learning environment, unique opportunities to grow as a leader in a highly diverse and close-knit community here at Fuqua, and aspiration to transition from an individual contributor to a leadership role, furthering my ability to make a positive impact in the tech industry.
Having just finished the summer term of the MBA program, it is evident to me that returning to Fuqua feels like coming back to a second home—a place where I am known, valued, and supported. The emphasis on Team Fuqua nurtures an environment where students and faculty genuinely care about each other’s success. This sense of belonging not only enhances the learning experience but also encourages personal growth and development.
I am even more convinced of the effectiveness of this approach and its substantial impact on global and diverse team dynamics after working at global companies with significant presence in various regions, both inside and outside the U.S. As I continue to develop as a leader, I remain deeply committed to the power of diverse teams and leveraging individuals’ strengths, a core principle at the heart of Team Fuqua.
As I embark on this new phase of my academic and professional journey, I am confident that Fuqua will provide me with the necessary learning opportunities, enriching experiences, and a supportive alumni network to create a meaningful and positive impact in the business world.