My journey at Fuqua has been nothing short of a rollercoaster ride, complete with thrilling highs and plunging lows. Picture this: one moment, I’m dancing and singing tunes at Shooters nightclub, and the next, I’m struggling with a sense of hopelessness that’s as deep as the ocean. In just over two months, I’ve taken a wild emotional ride, and I’d love to take you along with me on my MBA journey.

Preparing for My MBA

So, let’s rewind to the beginning. When the idea of pursuing an MBA first crossed my mind, I was inspired by incredible entrepreneurs who had completely transformed their lives after earning their degrees. Their stories painted a glamorous picture that led me to embark on a challenging MBA adventure. This adventure included endless GRE prep sessions, deep personal reflections for those essays, and attending countless admissions events. Fuqua stood out as the perfect choice among a couple of great options. Its diverse cohort, emphasis on teamwork, and the genuine authenticity of its students and staff made it impossible to resist.

I’ll never forget that moment when I received the acceptance call while strolling through the streets of Atlanta. It was a dream come true, even though I had to rally friends and family to crowdsource the deposit due to my tight finances. Armed with my acceptance letter and some Fuqua swag, I knew I was headed to Durham, North Carolina.

An Exciting, but Challenging Start

My arrival on August 2, 2023, for orientation was a whirlwind of excitement and sky-high expectations. Meeting talented individuals from all corners of the world, engaging in fun team-building exercises, and forming deep connections with my section mates and C-Lead members made me feel like I’d hit the jackpot. Summer classes introduced me to a whole new educational experience, and while it was initially a challenging adjustment, I eventually found my footing.

Prince Okonkwo has an arm around a friend, wearing matching Fuqua shirts. They are standing in front a blue Fuqua logo backdrop.

The real test came in the first fall term, where core quantitative classes, the relentless pursuit of internship opportunities, and the constant socializing created a high-pressure atmosphere. Coffee chats, virtual meetings, and company presentations became the order of the day. I struggled on all fronts, to the point where I actually drafted a letter contemplating dropping out—that’s how overwhelmed I felt.

You see, my initial MBA dreams were rooted in the desire to follow in the footsteps of those world-changing entrepreneurs. Yet, to my surprise, I discovered that most of my peers were more interested in traditional roles within established companies than in blazing their own entrepreneurial trails. This revelation left me questioning my own path and considering the more conventional route of post-MBA consulting.

Seeking the Support of Team Fuqua

During those six challenging weeks, I embarked on a soul-searching journey to find my true motivations. It was a dark period where I hit rock bottom. I attended classes and company presentations as if on autopilot, with no real motivation to engage. But in that moment of despair, a fellow section mate reached out to me. Despite her own challenges, she offered a listening ear and a shoulder to lean on. We formed a remarkable friendship that will last long beyond our time at Fuqua, rekindling the team spirit that initially drew me to this institution. That glimmer of hope became my lifeline.

My Fuqua experience has indeed been a rollercoaster ride, with moments of triumph and despair. But I’ve learned that no matter where you are on that rollercoaster, the Fuqua community is always there to support you. Fuqua is a place that provides an abundance of resources, from its incredible people to its dedicated staff. I encourage anyone facing difficulties to reach out. There’s always someone here for you.

As I entered the second fall term, I may not have been overflowing with optimism, but I knew I’d grown stronger through my challenges. I’m determined to make the most of my time at Fuqua.