Deciding on a college for your graduate studies can be a stressful task for students. You want to choose one that’s going to bring you closer to realizing your personal and professional goals. A wrong decision can have serious repercussions. The process is ever so slightly more daunting for international applicants because in most cases, we do not have the opportunity to visit campuses of the universities we apply to. I, for one, did the majority of my research online. There’s tons of information out there on the MMS program despite the fact that it’s fairly young. So in order to provide some guidance, here is what the process looked like for me and in my opinion, what distinguishes Fuqua from other similar schools in North America and other parts of the world.
So, you’ve survived most of the taxing parts of the admissions process—standardized tests, application essays, recommendation letters and what have you. Now comes the anxious wait. If you are an impulsive person like I am, chances are that you’ve already formally resigned from your job (ATTENTION: I do not endorse or recommend this strategy, I just feel that I perform better without a safety net). So, you’re really hoping that you make it into at least one of the X programs that you applied to (for me, X = 6). The decisions start to roll in and you start weighing out pros and cons in hopes of making an informed decision. I somehow managed to get admission offers from all six universities. At that point, Fuqua was one of the two schools I was seriously considering from my list of admits. I exchanged a few emails with some friends who were studying at some of the best colleges in North America. They unanimously agreed that Fuqua is a global brand and definitely the way to go.
Fast-forwarding a few months, Fuqua organized a series of incoming student receptions at various locations around the world (the only school in my list of six that did), my home city of New Delhi being one of them. It was a great opportunity to meet fellow classmates, Fuqua admissions staff and alumni. I was pleasantly surprised to see a few Duke MBA alumni from as far back as the 1990s show up to the event and talk enthusiastically about their time at Duke. At this point I had been a student at a residential school for six years and it was going to be hard for me to sever ties with my institution. It really pleased me that they still had fond memories from Duke. Not many schools can evoke such a sentiment. It was at that point I knew I made the right choice and was going to fit in just fine at Fuqua.
I know picking a college is a very personal decision and everyone has different parameters and priorities. The trick is to find that one thing about the school that simplifies the decision-making process for you. For me, it was the fact that Fuqua has a collaborative spirit and a no-one-gets-left-behind disposition that I found to be a rare attribute for a top-ranked business school.
I’ve barely scratched the surface of what the MMS program is all about. A few days into the program, I was writing my personal goals in concealed plastic egg shells, learning statistics with M&Ms and tight-roping with my teammates.