Upon enrolling in the MMS program at Fuqua, I was uncertain of what to expect from the curriculum. Given my background in finance and accounting, I assumed it would not be too unfamiliar. However, I quickly discovered that while some of the course content was similar, the teaching style was refreshingly distinct.
I noticed that Fuqua professors prioritize practical application over rote memorization and encourage collaboration over independent work. This approach fostered what I saw as an open and engaging classroom environment that values the exchange of diverse perspectives.
Thanks to Fuqua’s unique teaching style, I have been able to not only apply what I learned in the classroom to my job but also leverage the diversity of thought that I acquired through immersive learning experiences.
Here’s how I managed the academically challenging curriculum.
Try Not to Fall Behind
Managing time and priorities during the fast-paced 6-week terms can be challenging, particularly when job applications and interviews come into play. To ensure I stayed on top of my schoolwork, I made it a top priority to work ahead to leave buffer room in my schedule.
When facing a particularly demanding week, I knew I could turn to my teammates to help relieve my workload, and vice versa. I focused on long-term retention over last-minute cramming, and as a result, I am now able to confidently apply what I learned in the classroom to my current role.
Collaborate on Teamwork
From my experience, collaborating on case studies as a team was the best approach, but at times, splitting the work was necessary. When dividing work, it was important to not only understand the part I was responsible for but also the parts completed by my teammates.
My teammates and I found it helpful to hop on a quick call following the completion of our assigned sections to walk through each section. Furthermore, I learned that it was also important to adjust how we split up the case studies. Dividing cases solely by strengths limits exposure and prevents the development of weaknesses, so it was important to rotate roles.
Take Advantage of Wednesdays
Given that there are no scheduled classes on Wednesdays, I utilized this day as an opportunity to review coursework and tackle case studies. As it is right in the middle of the week, it was a great day to review class material covered on Monday and Tuesday and to prepare for upcoming material that would be covered on Thursday and Friday. This strategy helped me keep up with my classes and gave me the flexibility to enjoy my weekends.
Attend Office Hours
I quickly recognized that my professors were as invested in my success as I was, and they were always open to help. Whenever I came across a topic I found challenging, I took advantage of teaching assistants and office hours to get a better understanding of the subject.
I was aware that dedicating all of my time to academic work without spending time socializing would not be sustainable and would likely lead to burnout. Thus, I made it a point to prioritize destressing and connecting with my classmates by attending social events the MMS fellows put on, such as the spring formal and the annual ski trip. The memories I formed outside of the classroom are something I now cherish, and some of my closest friends to this day were made during my time in the program.