Duke MMS Student Blog
Finding the Perfect Path
I graduated from Meredith College, a women’s college in Raleigh, NC, with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and two minors in history and Italian. So how did a person like me end up in a school of business? Let’s first go back a little bit and fill in some holes to the story.
After graduation in May 2010, I moved back and forth from North Carolina and Tuscany with a mission to bring together some interests of mine. I wanted to study identity development of immigrants in Italy. I was given just that opportunity and moved to Florence on a Fulbright grant, conducting research with members of the Senegalese population and interacting with the local community. While abroad and working on my research, I became involved in the community. I helped organize and run a conference on differences, where ethnic, gender, political, and sexual orientation were discussed. The conference was sponsored by over 70 social and political groups from across Florence and Italy. During the summer, I also attended workshops led by a women’s networking group at the American consulate in Florence with Italian and American business and science leaders. I met a multitude of interesting people and made note of their personal and professional paths, which led me to reevaluate some of my plans.
Determining My Next Step
While I originally planned to pursue graduate studies in psychology, I was worried that my decision to do research in Italy would limit me to an academic life. I spoke to some of my Fulbright cohort who talked about the benefits and detriments of where that path might lead me. I was worried about how my work would take life from academic papers, and I realized that I wanted to make some change in the world.
My visa eventually expired and I ran out of ideas, moving back to North Carolina in the fall of 2012 to figure out my next step. While carving Halloween pumpkins with my friend Alison, she suggested that I look into consulting. She said that it seemed like a normal progression to use my background in research and data analysis and my interests in connecting with people. Scooping out the seeds and mush inside the pumpkin, I challenged her about my qualifications and she mentioned the master in management degree, which she was familiar with from another school. That night, I went home and Googled the degree, discovering the MMS: Foundations of Business program at Fuqua. The more I read about the opportunities for growth, the easier it was for me to consider myself walking down the halls. Not only would I obtain business knowledge, but I also would have access to a wide network of alumni and a host of resources to help me in my career development.
During my application process, I learned more about the expectations and the MMS: FOB experience by reaching out to the admissions office. I put my best effort into the application process, and after I submitted it, I just had to wait. By that time, I was certain that I was meant to continue my personal and professional growth through the MMS: FOB program. I was thrilled to get accepted, and now with one term down, I can attest to just how perfect a fit it is for me to further develop my skills and explore opportunities in consulting and other possible careers.