It’s been four months since I graduated, and I miss MMS and Fuqua so much. For those of you who are considering starting this amazing journey as business school students, I’d like to provide some advice on how to make the most of it.
Focus on the Job Search
Business is about people. Seize every chance to hone your skills with people. Talking with as many people as you can will give you extra knowledge and information, a perspective that you are not familiar with, and even job opportunities.
Many excellent job openings are “hidden,” and speaking with someone from a company you’re interested in is the most effective way to find those opportunities. In the beginning of the MMS program, each student will be equipped with a Career Advisor for MMS (CAM). A CAM is a Fuqua alumnus—either MMS or MBA—with career experience who can help you conduct mock interviews, give feedback after them, and answer questions about his or her company and career path.
Some classmates of mine made additional connections through their CAM’s network. In the beginning, you may find it extremely difficult to call someone, because you don’t know them and might not know what to talk about. However, after awhile you’ll get the hang of it and will be able to ask great questions and have the chance to impress the people you’re talking to.
If you’re an international student like me, you may need more preparation before dialing the number. Your American classmates, Business Communication professors and advisor in the Career Management Center are great resources. They can help you with pronunciation, phone etiquette, and mock interviews so you know how to approach these conversations before picking up the phone.
Although securing a job is perhaps the highest priority, there are many fun and more interesting things to get involved with, both at Fuqua and within the larger Duke community. Ten months is such a short time, so make full use of it! Fuqua has all kinds of amazing activities, such as the famous Fuqua Fridays, Fuqua Vision’s sketch comedy shows, and forums held by different clubs. You also want to try some things outside of Fuqua and hang out with people from other schools. You wouldn’t want to miss the spring view of Duke Gardens, which is breathtaking. And as a Duke student, how can you miss the basketball games at Cameron and the chance to be a true Blue Devil?
July 2015 to May 2016 was an amazing year for me at Fuqua and Duke. I discovered a new self. I gained much more than I expected. And for those of you who will follow after me, I hope you will enjoy the MMS experience and make the best memories of your lives.