One of the key drivers behind my decision to pursue an MBA was to acquire the credibility, connections, and resources necessary to seamlessly transition between careers. Specifically, I aimed to pivot from consulting to marketing, which I was successfully able to do. However, an MBA at Fuqua not only facilitated this transition but allowed me to explore alternative career interests, such as venture capital.

While my passion for understanding consumer behavior, scaling multimillion dollar brands, and developing growth strategies has been a longstanding interest, my entrepreneurial spirit and curiosity toward better understanding the intricacies of venture capital have always been there at the back of my mind.

Before business school, my exposure to entrepreneurship primarily came from volunteer work, family/friends who started their own businesses, or from analyzing deals on platforms such as Shark Tank. However, the notion of pursuing a career as an investor remained largely unexplored, partly because I felt I didn’t have the connections, resources, or ‘right’ profile, but my MBA at Fuqua gave me the space to challenge these preconceptions and change that.

From attending entrepreneurship-focused events (e.g. pitch competitions, networking events), taking finance and startup classes, and learning from classmates who interned at venture capital or private equity firms during their summer internships or the school year, I found myself significantly better prepared to explore opportunities to gain real-life experience at a VC.  Additionally, I gained a wealth of knowledge about how large corporations run an innovation arm where they trial, test, and launch new businesses during my summer internship at P&G Ventures. I’m grateful for my experience at P&G, and in particular, the following resources that landed me my second-year spring semester internship as a Venture Fellow at Cofounders Capital, a VC that focuses on early-stage B2B software companies in the Southeast.

Fuqua’s Mentored Study Program (MSP)

A mentored study is a unique experiential learning opportunity for a Fuqua MBA student to partner with a company on a customized 12-week project for academic credit. As one of the most active and well-renowned VCs in the area, I was grateful to be able to apply and receive a spring internship offer with Cofounders Capital.

VC and Startup Classes

Entrepreneurial Finance & Venture Capital Strategy taught by Professor Manuel Adelino was one of my absolute favorite classes at Fuqua. It was highly recommended to me by second-year students and alumni before I even applied to Fuqua. Professor Adelino is a phenomenal professor with a wealth of knowledge about the startup ecosystem. His class helped me better understand how VCs evaluate the long-term potential of a startup, the challenges of financing innovative businesses, and the dilemmas founders face with fundraising.

I also loved taking the experiential course New Ventures: Deliver with Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship (Duke I&E) Lecturing Fellow Max Stern during the Fall 2023 semester. In the course, I worked on Himayat, a social impact venture founded by a fellow MBA classmate. Himayat is a comprehensive employment benefits platform supporting female domestic workers and employers in India. We learned how to develop a functional hiring plan, branding strategy, and fundraising strategy for the initial round of funding for 2025.

Finance and Accounting Classes

I’m extremely glad I pushed myself to take multiple quantitative electives, as these courses are some of best here at Fuqua. Notably, classes such as Corporate Finance taught by Professor John Graham and Managerial Accounting taught by Professor Elia Feracutti helped me develop a strong foundation of key concepts in different valuation methods, capital budgeting, and cost management methodologies. These rigorous courses helped me develop the knowledge and technical skillset to better understand deals, conduct due diligence, and develop financial models at Cofounders Capital.

FoundHer Challenge

During the first year at Fuqua, I participated in the FoundHer Challenge, a 4-week pro-bono consulting project for a female-founded startup organized by the Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Club. I worked with three other students to help the founder of a CPG startup prioritize new product development by analyzing the total addressable market, cost implications, value, and ease of implementation between two new product line extensions.

Support from Classmates

I’d also like to give a shoutout to classmates who helped me with my recruiting journey. In particular, I’d like to call out Arya Diwase, Arnoldo Matheus, Lohita Chamarti, and Nali Shah for their support, encouragement, and interview preparation. I could not have done it without them  Go, Team Fuqua!

Anandi Rahman, a Class of 2024 Daytime MBA grad

I’m extremely grateful for the multitude of learning opportunities afforded to me throughout my time at Fuqua. An MBA at Duke was not only instrumental in helping me successfully switch careers from consulting to marketing, but it fostered a stronger sense of confidence, empowering me to undertake calculated risks and explore diverse professional interests.

Looking ahead, I’m extremely excited about starting my new full-time career as an Associate Brand Manager at Mars, based in their headquarters in New Jersey. I’m excited to help Mars Wrigley expand and grow their portfolio of brands, while remaining open to the prospect of transitioning back into the realm of venture capital in the long term, drawing upon the insights and experiences garnered from a strong career in marketing.