I recently attended my third consecutive Fuqua Around the World networking event, but this one was different. It was my first as an MMS alumnus and my first without the two people who became my best friends during our time at Fuqua.
The friendship began in 2016, at Fuqua Around the World in New Delhi. Madhav and I had already connected and were considering becoming roommates. There we met Dilnaman, who like us, had been accepted to Fuqua’s MMS program in the Class of 2017.
We spent the evening talking about visa processes, potential places to live in Durham, and other things we would need to do to prepare for our upcoming year at Fuqua. The event also afforded us the opportunity to connect with alumni, who had suggestions and helpful tips about living in Durham.
This was my first interaction with Fuquans, and I met everyone from fellow admitted students to recent graduates to veteran alumni. In my conversations, I realized that every person in the room was a brilliant individual doing amazing work in the field of his or her choice. They also shared a strong sense of belonging and togetherness, and I felt grateful I had an invitation to be a part of that. Looking back, it was a preview of what was to come.
Once at Fuqua, Madhav and I did become roommates, while Dilnaman became our neighbor. During the program we were each other’s closest supporters—we celebrated our wins and successes with each other, and we were there for each other during the lows. We also decided to keep a tradition going and attended the 2017 Fuqua Around the World in Durham. This gave us the chance to see the event in a different city and to connect with Daytime MBA students and local alumni. Because we were all looking for jobs at that point, it was a valuable networking opportunity, and a few follow-up calls resulted from connections we made there.
After graduating, we all ended up in New York, where Dilnaman and I were working as investment banking analysts and Madhav as a finance consultant. Despite busy work schedules, we all made the time to meet up at least once a week. Often we’d go to the Uncommons, a board game café, to relive our times at Fuqua when we’d meet in the clubhouse of The Belmont Apartments to play board games.
Late last year, I took a consulting position with the same firm where Madhav works, and I was placed in Portland, Oregon. But because the friendship among the three of us had started in India and traveled all the way to Durham, I wasn’t worried. After graduating from Fuqua, I am privileged to have so many cherished friends, but these two continue to remain my strongest. Now that I’ve moved, our friendship continues with the same intensity, and we’ve both booked cross-country flights to see one another. We also have plans to attend the Fuqua alumni reunion in April.
While I was missing Madhav and Dilnaman at Fuqua Around the World this year, it was still a great experience and gave me the chance to meet Fuquans in an area that’s relatively new to me. I hope that newcomers to Fuqua Around the World in future years will also experience the warm, welcoming atmosphere of the Fuqua community that I have been so lucky to be a part of for several years now. And you never know—maybe some of the connections you make there will turn into friendships that last a lifetime.