So, let’s set the stage: it was late 2020, and I was navigating the pandemic with my wife and 15-month-old daughter. I recently survived a company re-org, and like everyone, we had no idea when the world would get back to “normal.” So, my life had a lot of question marks, and I decided to add to the equation by choosing to get my MBA after a conversation with some close friends.

This was a new wrinkle in our lives. While it was stressful to figure out how we would manage childcare when I was in class, my wife recently told friends and family at my graduation dinner, “Kyle, you getting your MBA was one of the best decisions because you have transformed into a new individual that you should be proud of.” This is something I wholeheartedly agree with. The 2020 version of Kyle would be proud of the individual who walked across the stage in 2023.

When I decided to apply to schools and ultimately pressed submit on my applications, plenty of doubts crept into my mind. Can I balance family, work, and school? Am I smart enough? Am I making the right decision? Can I even get into graduate school? These questions were racing through my mind, but I decided to throw caution to the wind and apply anyway.

One of those questions was answered when I received my acceptance to Fuqua. I still remember the day, and honestly, I teared up telling my wife because, like most people, I was battling imposter syndrome, going into a space I didn’t think I belonged. This was a continuous challenge that I had to overcome, but to my surprise, I wasn’t the only one. I later found out some senior executives experienced the same thing, and that bond allowed the Team Fuqua mindset to flourish.

Over the next 22 months, I learned more about the corporate world and, more importantly, myself, from my professors and classmates. To be successful professionally, you need to develop the enterprise thinking mindset from development to production to consumer and everything in between. Fuqua provided me with the tools to have more thoughtful conversations as I spoke with peers and senior leaders. Personally, Fuqua allowed me to make lifelong connections with people all across the country with diverse backgrounds. Our conversations provided me with unique perspectives I value and take to heart as I live.

Writing this blog post allowed me to reflect and celebrate what I had just accomplished. One of my biggest takeaways is you don’t need a particular professional title to belong in specific spaces as long as you have confidence in yourself and your abilities. This is a sense of confidence in myself that I didn’t have before, and I am forever grateful for my experience at the Fuqua. I would make the same decision over and over again.