One week into the program, I asked myself whether I made the right choice by coming to Fuqua and joining the new MQM program. A couple of months earlier, I had rejected four offers from other universities, two of which were from Ivy League schools and one was from a top-five engineering school. Why did I choose Fuqua? Why did I decide to come to a nascent program without any record of success or employment statistics?
Fuqua people—that was the explanation floating inside my mind. The people with whom I’d talked before making my choice—students and admissions councilors—made the difference. We connected on a multitude of levels, and I always had fun, even during my interviews. That was something missing from my other experiences. It was all about the people since day one.
Here’s what makes Fuqua people special, and how they inadvertently transmute me into a finer Amr:
What is common among an MQM student who flew military airplanes, our program dean, an Accounting Hall of Fame professor, and our associate director of career services?
Sheer modesty. Everyone in class is extremely humble in day-to-day conversations and interactions, no matter what company they used to work for or what 750+ GMAT score they might have achieved. This puts things into perspective—who do I want to be, and what do I want to be remembered for after I’m long gone from Fuqua?
Everyone wants to help you out. I reached out to more than 20 Fuquans from different programs, both current students and alumni, and the diversity and quality of support I received helped me secure a junior associate position at McKinsey & Company that I will begin after graduation. You can feel the genuineness and eagerness to lend a hand shining through people’s advice all the time.
Appreciation and Gratitude for Small Things Before Big Ones
At Fuqua, you get to treasure all sorts of things. You value all-nighters and how unfathomable conversations about the Great Pyramids of Giza, snakes in India, random psychological tests while circling a lake, and the effect of mixing Red Bull with coffee could bring people closer together. You also appreciate rare moments—such as running into the Procter & Gamble CEO while playing table tennis or having a drink with the former CIO of the White House, Microsoft, and VMWare. You appreciate 3:00 AM accidental walks to diners. Almost everything you come across is associated with a memory of a person or situation that you will cherish for the rest of your days.
Not only is Fuqua augmenting one’s professional skills, but it is also laying the groundwork to becoming a better, jollier, more empathetic, and more respectful person.