The MMS program can be a challenging balancing act between academics and career development. After investing plenty of hours into both, I was thrilled to accept an offer to join The Lafayette Group in Washington, D.C., as a management consultant. Now, I want to share the lessons I learned during my job hunt to help future generations of MMS students.
Prepare for the interview.
Given consulting’s competitive nature, I had to prepare for interviews before I had any interviews. Fuqua offered me plenty of training partners. My career advisor Helen helped me master my answers to common questions that came up in almost all my interviews. I always channeled her when I described MMS as a “case-based, fast-paced curriculum that revolves around teamwork.” I also practiced case interviews twice a week with friends from the program for technical rounds.
Conduct informational interviews.
I sent a personalized connection request on LinkedIn to a senior associate at Lafayette. We had an informational interview where I asked about her experience. The conversation helped me tailor my cover letter and resume to the position and verify that the company’s culture lines up with what I’m looking for. She also checked in with HR about my candidacy after I applied. In general, I found I usually had more success applying when I networked with a company than when I just dropped my resume online cold.
Ace the actual interview.
I had two interviews with Lafayette, one over the phone then an in-person, two-on-one. I suspect my competitive advantage when interviewing was my obvious enthusiasm for and familiarity with their line of work. The MMS curriculum, without me even noticing, improved the way I speak about business topics. Thanks to MMS, I usually sound like I know what I’m doing.
My degree helped me in every phase. I’m thankful every day for my advisor Helen, the friends I went through recruiting with here, and the classwork that improved my business sense. This program helped me earn an interview, land the job, and negotiate my contract.
Advice for Future MMS Job Hunters
Take advantage of Fuqua’s resources.
Our Career Management Center has seen it all. My advisor personally connected me with MMS alumni, and that led to referrals. Speaking of alumni, MMS has 10 years-worth of graduates to reach out to. I had some amazing calls with Class of 2019 alumni who framed my strategy for the program.
Find like-minded peers.
MMS draws students at different phases in their career search. Finding peers to help you navigate whichever stage you’re in helps keep you accountable and your morale high. For me, this looked like practicing case interviews with my friends every Wednesday morning. For others, it could be researching different industries together to discover which ones resonate with your interests.
Use the degree with the rest of your toolbox.
I see MMS as a tool that works best when used with other tools. For example, I found my job through my undergraduate network, where my Duke master’s degree stood out. Leveraging the degree and Fuqua’s brand equity in your other networks helps you distinguish yourself as a candidate.