July 13, 2011: First Class of Summer Term

9 – 11:15 am: Business Communications
12:15 – 2:30 pm: Team Dynamics
2:45 – 5 pm: Accounting

Fast forward 5 months …

December 13, 2011: Last Day of Fall Term II Exams

2 – 5 pm: Strategy Final Exam
5 pm: End of fall term exams, beginning of winter break

Why the schedule? These dates mark 2 very important milestones for me in the MMS program, the beginning and the halfway point. I’m already halfway through my 10 months here, and it still feels like I just got here. It’s hard to imagine that I’ve been at Duke for 5 months, but when I look back on the knowledge that I’ve accumulated during my time here, it doesn’t seem as unbelievable.

Five months in MMS = classes in Business Communications (I & II), Financial Accounting, Quantitative Analysis, Corporate Finance, Marketing Analysis, Managerial Economics, Strategy and Capital Markets. (Learn more about these classes on the MMS website.) For some, 5 months in MMS has also brought a great job offer (or two).

So far, the MMS program has been a challenge. The learning curve is steep and the pace is fast, but it’s also been extremely rewarding. My classmates, professors and others at Fuqua really do a great job of creating a sense of community and relieving the stress of the transition into the program.

The program has been exactly what it promised to be – transformational, but one thing I have realized is the role that I as an individual play in this transformation. It’s not magic and it certainly doesn’t happen overnight. It requires initiative and the ability to seek out and pursue opportunities and interests on your own. It’s easy to become absorbed by school work and forget the broader goals which brought you to the program. I’d suggest making a list at the beginning of the program of what your expectations are, and keep that list close. It’ll be a great testament to how far you’ve come, as well as a reminder of what’s left to be done.

Follow me on Twitter @FuquaJuliana for more about my continued transformation.