Thinking back on some of my best memories as a student at Fuqua, I recall the sheer thrill of presenting months’ worth of research in our Business Communications class. I recall the excitement of receiving my first offer to interview after months of sending out application after application. And I recall the sounds of laughter as my friends and I huddled together in front of Duke Chapel to take graduation photos. Here is a glimpse into the bits and pieces of my everyday life as a Master of Quantitative Management (MQM) student.

Friday, October 18th, 2019

7:30 a.m. I get up and ready before heading out to Fuqua. My traveling time takes around 30 to 40 minutes from the Raleigh area. But the rush hour traffic on I–40 and the long line outside of the parking garage accounts for most of my commute.  

8:20 a.m. Once arriving at school, I start my day by ordering breakfast at the Fox Center Cafe and grabbing a cup of tea to pair with a news article from the Wall Street Journal.

9:00 a.m. After breakfast, I settle down in the library to begin my job search. I briefly look up from my computer as students begin to pile in and the sound of footsteps becomes louder. While checking LinkedIn for new job listings, I also update my Excel spreadsheet with the latest applications and networking progress. Afterwards, I send out cold emails to alumni and hunt for information sessions offered by finance companies. The process of applying to jobs as a student is both tedious and nerve wracking for many of my peers and myself. 

11:30 a.m. Lunch break. I would typically eat lunch with my friends, but today I am scheduled to meet with a Fuqua Daytime MBA student. We meet at the high table near the entrance to the building and he proceeds to share his experience and insight on working in the financial services industry. Students and alumni at Duke are generally willing to help and chat with those who reach out to them. 

12:30 p.m. I attend a data infrastructure lecture – definitely one of my favorite courses in the MQM program. Professor Ryan Burk is an expert in SQL and he always manages to come up with interesting data sets for us to analyze. Today, the data set is about the Simpsons TV show. The goal is to count how many “D’oh’s” were used by Homer Simpson. 

3:00 p.m. As a member of the MQM Admissions Ambassadors program, my job is to assist with panel information sessions and Fuqua tours for prospective students. Today, we are arranging the upcoming Fuqua tours for round two applicants. 

5:00 p.m. I meet up with my teammates in the west wing of Fuqua. We start to work on an assignment related to the optimization of the investment portfolio. In Intermediate Finance, we learn about investment theories, including the CAPM model and efficient market hypotheses. 

6:00 p.m. We decide to take a break and drop by Fuqua Friday – a weekly catch up with the Fuqua community. Today, they are serving chicken tenders with mac & cheese. I grab a drink and discuss weekend plans with my friends before heading back to the team room. 

9:00 p.m. My teammates and I reconvene our meeting to complete a different weekly assignment. This week is a challenging one. We use R software for statistical computing and Excel to complete the task and wrap up our final conclusions. Afterwards, we walk to the garage together and set up a time for our weekend meeting. 

9:30 p.m. I finally arrive back home and end my long day with snacks and a basketball game – you’ve got to be a basketball fan if you’re studying at Duke!