I was sitting in accounting class, listening to the lecture on accounts receivable, and during the break I heard all the different languages around me: Chinese, Korean, and Hindi. I suddenly realized how awesome it is for all of us to be gathered here at Fuqua.

A year ago, I was in Moscow and it was cold outside. I was sitting in my room searching for master’s programs in the USA and trying to study for the GMAT. I was really excited about the opportunity to study abroad, but at the same time, I was starting to feel really overwhelmed. At some point I considered giving up and thought about waiting a year to apply to US business schools. I knew that I might regret that decision, so I sucked it up and decided to push through.

Honestly, I was stressed out. Now, looking back, I think that I should have been more confident in myself. Of course you never know how things will turn out, but at the end of the day, I believe everything happens for a reason. In speaking with my classmates about their experiences, I realized that we had all felt the same way. It was very intimidating for many international students to apply to US schools.

When I found the MMS: FOB program at The Fuqua School of Business, my first thought was: “Will I be a good fit? Am I good enough for this top-tier business school?” My answer was “No,” at first. I researched the school, the area, and the people by looking at the website and by reading this blog. I became more and more confident that Fuqua was where I wanted to be — I wanted to become part of the Fuqua Family. So, I put my intimidation and my insecurity aside and I gave Fuqua a shot — my best shot. I had a strong feeling that Fuqua was where I should be, and one year later, here I am! Maybe some of you feel the same way that I did a year ago. Several of my classmates did, and agreed to share their experiences and feelings, too.

mms studentKonstantin Belchuk, Russia:
“A year ago I was taking the GMAT. I remember that I was doing everything else on autopilot. I did not realize till my plane landed in Durham that I might be studying in the USA at a world-class business school. A year ago, I can’t say that I was frustrated, but in the back of my mind I was not fully confident about getting in.”

mms studentJennifer Hong, China: “I was extremely overwhelmed a year ago this time. I was taking 5 advanced courses and was preparing for the GMAT. I made up my mind to pursue a master’s degree in the US to broaden my spectrum and enhance my global mindset. But I had to give up the opportunity to be admitted to a master’s program in China, which was extremely risky. I used to ask myself whether I made the right choice to study abroad. But after I got an interview invitation and then an admission notice from Fuqua, it turned out that I should have been more confident about my application.”

mms studentJimmy Choi, Korea:
“I decided to apply to the MMS program because I felt that I wasn’t fully prepared to get a job I really wanted. I talked to two of my college and high-school friends that graduated from MMS and learned that it was the ideal program for me. I was confident that I had something to offer to the program but still afraid of not being accepted, because at that point it was the only school I applied to. A lot of things were happening at the same time: my finals, senior paper and job interviews — it was quite overwhelming. But I knew that I needed to go for my goals and now being here, I don’t have any regrets. I am happy that I got admitted, and so far I really enjoy the diversity of this program, the people, and the team spirit.”

These experiences show that it is normal to feel some insecurity and to be overwhelmed at times during the application process. Despite these feelings, what I want to stress is that it is extremely important to give it your best and go through the process to the end. Later in life, you will regret more of the things you didn’t do than the things that you tried. So my advice to prospective students is to be yourself, look for all the unique things that you can offer, and even if you are not 100% confident — go for it anyway! Give Fuqua a shot if you think it could be the school for you!

Just imagine, in a year from now, where could you be?