“What matters most and why?” That sure sounds like a business school essay prompt. And I guess those admissions people are onto something because that is what I asked myself as I started to think about an executive MBA program that would be the best fit for me.

My answer: personal relationships and building genuine connections. Someone’s story, where they came from, or what they are interested in has always been a true curiosity of mine. In my career, relationship building has been instrumental. It is natural for me to create bonds with others, with the hope that the benefit is mutual, creating a connection that lasts for both of us.

I knew I wanted an MBA program that would provide that opportunity for connection and would also attract others with the same desire, a program that draws people of diverse backgrounds and career experiences together, and who care about helping others succeed.

The opportunity to both contribute to and gain insight and perspective from my classmates was top of mind. The more I searched, the more clearly I saw that Fuqua had all that I was looking for.  Already in my first eight months of the Weekend Executive MBA program, and despite a global pandemic, I have found more opportunities for connection and teamwork than I ever could have anticipated!

Kellogg Healthcare Case Competition

When I saw the case competition posting from our awesome program managers Julie Craig and Sarah Evans, I immediately sent a message to our class to create a team to compete. Within minutes, we had formed a solid team. Did we know what we were getting ourselves into? Absolutely not! However, after submitting an application, we were one of 20 chosen for the competition (out of a total of 82 applications). Quite an accomplishment!

During the competition, what amazed me the most is how dedicated each of us were to developing the best possible presentation. The case competition topic was incredibly interesting: how to solve COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in the U.S. As a team, we were tasked with creating viable solutions targeting key populations that were experiencing vaccine hesitancy.  We developed three multi-faceted, but well-connected campaigns, utilizing various marketing mediums to address each key market/population.

It was a great opportunity to see that with complete buy-in from all team members, anything is conceivable. While in the end, the trophy was not handed to us, a memorable experience with other classmates was the true accomplishment.  

Fuqua Client Consulting Practicum (FCCP)

Even though I have management consulting experience, I knew the Fuqua Client Consulting Practicum opportunity was a must. I was anxious to work alongside four classmates to solve a problem for a client. Each of us come from very different career paths and recognized this was a chance to learn from each other.

It was up to us as a collective unit to produce project objectives, a timeline, and roles and responsibilities to achieve a common goal of delivering a marketing strategy for our client, a global non-profit organization operating in the health care space. Everyone’s unique career experience equally contributed to the success of the project. Were it not for diverse backgrounds, our connection as a team and the creativity of the solutions we presented to the client, we wouldn’t have been nearly as strong.

Reaching Out

Being a part of Fuqua’s Weekend Executive MBA Class of 2022 is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and there is a finite amount of time within the program. I have 212 classmates that I truly want to get to know and learn from. I am determined to make that happen.  Each week, I have made a habit of reaching out to a new classmate I have not connected with yet. Every time I contact someone, I’m immediately greeted with, “Yes, let’s chat!”. The connections have all been so natural and will build to a lifetime network of incredible classmates, colleagues, and friends.

Of course, I will receive a top-notch education at the Fuqua School of Business, but it is the experiences and the connections I make with my classmates that will forever impact me. I strive to add as much value to my classmates’ experiences as they do for me. It is certainly what matters most and is the true essence of Team Fuqua.