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Summary of My First Year At Duke

That’s right! My first year at Duke is over! It went so fast that I can barely believe I am almost ready to start my summer internship.

It’s been a much better, intense, fun, tough, rewarding, life-changing, incredible experience that I had imagined. My MBA at Fuqua has changed the way I see business, as well as life. I couldn’t be happier for taking the decision I took last year.

Friends

Friends are a key component of my life, and I have made many of them at Duke. Fuqua is much more than just networking: we build meaningful relationships. The best part is that every week I meet new people.

There are more than 40% internationals in Fuqua, therefore you can meet people from all over the world. You learn from their experiences and learn a different way of thinking about life and business. This will not only allow me to travel anywhere I want and have somebody to have a drink with, but also be prepared to deal with professionals from different cultures.

Just last week, some friends came to visit me in Madrid. We organized a Fuqua alumni reunion in Madrid and more than 15 people showed up.

Fuquans visiting Madrid

Class of 2015 in Madrid. As always, we don’t take ourselves too seriously

Professional Network

It’s obvious that an MBA is much more than just making friends. One of my goals for the MBA was to build a solid network in the US and Europe, as well as in different industries. I can say that I am doing a great job so far.

I have met a lot of people from the States and Europe, as well as from South Africa, China, Japan, South Korea, and all over Latin America, just to name a few.

I have also made connections at some of the best companies in the world, not only in consulting and high tech -my background- but also in marketing, general management, and finance related positions.

As an MBA, we get an education that would allow us to work in different roles within an organization. This is why it’s critical to build those relationships in different industries. You would have access to a wide variety of jobs, learn a lot from these people, and have access to experts in different fields of expertise.

Internship

In my opinion, the most important goal of every MBA should be to land a great job. Getting a good internship is critical. If you get a good internship, chances are that you will be successful recruiting for a full-time job in the fall of your second year of the MBA.

Personally, I always worked in great companies, but really small. They are not well-known firms, which made my internship recruiting really demanding. Luckily, I was able to get an internship with Deloitte in Atlanta. Not only I will be able to include the name of a worldwide known company in my resume, but also get professional experience in the US.Deloitte-logo

I believe that after my internship, I will have more companies interested on talking to me, as not only I have proved to be worthy after working in Deloitte, but also I have gained invaluable experience working in the United States.

 

Academics

In terms of academics, I’m also happy with my performance at school and all the classes I have token. Funny thing is that I’m enjoying classes that I would have never thought I’d have taken, such as finance classes.

The best students in each class are then asked to become Teacher Assistants (TA). TAs help professors grading assignments and tests, as well as to lead review sessions. I have already been selected to be TA for Core Marketing next year.

About the professors, they have a lot of interactions with students and are very approachable. They come to many of the social events that the school organizes and always talk with students, not only about class related topics. You can ask them for advice on any matter and they will assist you.

Personally, I believe that I have improved a lot over the last year. Not only I have improved my skills in general and learned new things, nut also I have improved in fields I believed myself to be good at before coming to Fuqua. I am a better public speaker, write better and clearer business documents, and learned lots of new Excel tricks.

This is one of the things I like most about Fuqua: there is always someone much better than you at something, so you can always learn and improve.

Leadership Roles

At Fuqua, students have many opportunities to take leadership positions and get involve with the school and the community. I have been very active this year, but will be way more the next one.

  • Admissions Fellow: This was my main goal for this year, and I made it! AFs are responsible for interviewing prospective students when they apply to Fuqua. They play a key role, as they represent the Fuqua brand and have to project a positive image of our school. They will also help prospective students answering questions, to make sure that they have a clear picture of our school.
  • Career Fellow: CFs help first years with recruiting. My job will be to review resumes, do mock interviews with first years, give them advice about recruiting, and answer any question they might have. Normally, a CF will be responsible for 5 first years.
  • External Relations Chair of the European Club: I am really excited about this club. We have decided to include more social activities next year to show everyone how cool Europe is. At the same time, we will continue to help students recruit in Europe. My role will be to continue improving our relationships with European companies, as well as to include new ones in our portfolio. I’m already working with two companies to include Fuqua in their agenda.
  • V.P. for Career Affairs of the International Business Club: As an international, recruiting in the US is more challenging. The IBC has launched many activities to help incoming international students recruit in the United States. Part of my role will be to provide statistics information about internationals, what companies recruit on campus or those that don’t come to campus but still recruit internationals. We are also preparing a one-day-long event in the fall to talk about recruiting and give as much advice as possible.
  • Exchange Student Integration Char of the MBA Association: Every year Fuqua receives many exchange students from all over the world. My role will be to keep making sure that their integration in Fuqua is a success.

As you can see, I’ll be all over the place during my second year. Not only I enjoy helping others, but also I want to make the most out of my MBA experience and don’t want to waste any second of my last year at Fuqua.

Let’s juts hope things work out as great as they did this year!

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4 thoughts on “Summary of My First Year At Duke

  1. Congratulations on finishing your first year strong! That’s a wonderful re-cap and I’m so glad Fuqua was the right program for you! Best of luck in the A this summer!!!
    -Gillian

  2. Hello! bumped into your blog while researching Fuqua’s MBA. I’m thinking of applying in the EA Round in the fall. If admitted, I’ll be 31 when classes start in 2015. Would you say age is a factor when recruiting for consulting? Moreover, how difficult was it to get an internship in the US being an international student?
    Congratulations on your blog!
    Best,
    bizwiz

    • Hi there!

      Thanks for reading my blog and for reaching out!

      First of all, age is not an important factor when recruiting to consulting. And 31 is a great age to be in business school, so don’t worry about it.

      About the internship in the US, is a very demanding challenge, but as you can see it can be done. Several of my international classmates will do consulting in the US.

      If you have more questions about anything at all, feel free to shoot me an email to reachingthethirties@gmail.com

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