August 2020, orientation day at Fuqua, we were handed a plastic egg that came with a piece of paper in it, and we were asked to write down our goals for the program. After a moment of thought, I wrote what I could, sent back the egg, and erased all memory of it.
About a week before graduation, we were handed the very egg that we had securely locked our goals in. Mine had three things.
- Build relationships and not just a network
- Discover myself and find my path in life
- Develop clarity of thought and see life’s bigger picture
By the end of the MMS program, I had a great feeling about points one and two. In hindsight, I know that Fuqua gave me everything I needed for point three. As I understand it, life’s “bigger picture” can never be crystallized to a point where it’s unchanging; it can only be pursued.
My Marketing Passion
As a devotee of Steve Jobs and his disruptive approach to marketing, I always knew I’d wind up a marketing guy somewhere down the line. It was during one of the marketing courses (we were talking about Apple’s “Think Different” campaign) when I reached my tipping point, and I knew what I wanted to do after Fuqua.
As fate would have it, I found myself taking on the role of senior media buyer at Bully Pulpit Interactive in Washington, D.C. right after graduation. This position was at the intersection of media and politics. Being in media was by design, the politics were a bonus. For the next two years (and counting), I was fortunate to be a part of numerous advocacy campaigns, for which I used a ton of skills that Fuqua equipped me with.
These concepts were particularly impactful:
- Market Research – I learned the difference between “good to know” and “actionable.” When I started work, I was taken aback by the exorbitant amount of time and resources companies often spend to generate insights that are good to know but not actionable; I tried to change this.
- Data Analytics – Understanding A/B testing comes in handy every time we’re strategizing for campaigns at work. I also learned the importance of diving deep and understanding the source of the data before starting with the analysis. By knowing how the data was created, I can eliminate all biases and possible anomalies that may have crept into the data.
- Management and Organization – I learned to combat blind spots and subconscious biases to be a better leader in Foundations of Management and Organization, one of my personal favorite courses.
Finding the Right Fit
My two cents to anyone who’s still searching for their path: surround yourself with the right set of people who bring out the best in you and everything else will fall into place, and as Jobs would say, “Keep looking, don’t settle.” Fuqua had that effect on me and my hope is that it has the same on you.
In this recent interview with Fuqua’s Admissions team, catch me talking more about the marketing world I call home and how Fuqua helped me get there.