Fuqua has been the best journey I have ever made.
During my undergraduate studies in Germany, my courses were very theory-based, which is not uncommon for the prevailing education system there. I realized early on that I wanted to supplement my text book knowledge with additional skills before entering the workforce.
During a semester abroad at Columbia University in New York, I realized the U.S .school system may be able to offer me that unique experience. As a result, I decided to pursue a master’s degree in the States. Frankly, I hadn’t really heard of Duke before my time in New York, but once I started my research for master’s degrees that would be a good fit, Fuqua became an obvious target.
The principles the school stands for were not new to me, but I was surprised how they could exist so dominantly in an academic setting. So I had to see for myself and visit. Once there, It didn’t take long to be full of faith that Fuqua embodies not only diversity, engagement, and integrity, but most importantly team spirit within a great community that can be seen as a big family. This was something that I had never experienced before in a school.
Today, I can firmly say that to become part of this family has been the best thing that could have happened to me. This place is magic. I never really struggled too much with the academics given my business background, but I learned so many things that go beyond that: to unlock value in diversity, to become a leader, to get out of my comfort zone, and to be part of a group from 30-plus countries that mostly have stayed close friends afterwards. No other place could have taught me these things while helping me realize my dream to work on Wall Street. Fuqua truly has been the best journey I have ever made.
And as any friend would do, I shared these important parts of my life with those closest to me…
At the time when my best friend Julian commenced his Fuqua journey, I was still engaged in completing my undergraduate studies.
Beginning during my childhood, I had taken numerous vacations to the U.S. to visit family members. Generally, it had always been a huge dream of mine to live there one day. Sharing the same views on the European system of higher education as Julian, and hearing about the great opportunity at Fuqua he was aiming for, I was inspired and became eager to learn more. During a summer vacation in Florida, I took the initiative and planned my trip to Durham for a campus visit.
At that point, I fell in love with Fuqua and its unique spirit. The warm atmosphere, pride, and inclusive community will leave you enchanted too, once you visit campus for the first time. The strong commitment of the entire Fuqua community to growth through diversity, inclusion, as well as respect for the Honor Code, are among the main factors why I believe it’s one of the best, if not the best business school in the world.
It took me another two years with a pit stop in New York until I could fulfill my dream and join the MMS Class of 2018. However, now I can say after almost four years of planning that dream has come true. With sincere belief, I can tell you that if you wish to grow into a leader, embrace the greatness of diversity, dare to move out of your comfort zone, and to learn in a community where everyone is part of one family, the Fuqua family, then the Master of Management Studies and the Fuqua School of Business will be the most influential experience of your lifetime. And once you are part of the family, you will always be a part of it for the rest of your life.
Even though Julian and I have been best friends for about 15 years now, the fact that we both are now related within the Fuqua family and that we can share this story makes our journey of life even more unique. Go Duke!