Class of 2010
Fuqua is about 40 percent international. There's lots of diversity. I had plenty of opportunities to practice my language skills in Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, and French.
Growing up, I had little exposure to the international community. I didn't study a foreign language and I never experienced life abroad—that all changed when I was 17 and I took part in a summer program at Harvard. About 60 percent of the participants were international students, which I didn't know going in.
I became close friends with some kids from Spain. They seemed very worldly, they were bilingual and I thought that was fascinating. They taught me about their culture and their language. I started learning Spanish and eventually studied in Spain during college. I loved living in another country—not just visiting, but really being immersed. I also spent a summer in Taipei, Taiwan, in a Chinese study program.
Part of the reason I decided to go to Tufts and then to Duke was because of their international focus and recognition. Fuqua is about 40 percent international. There's lots of diversity. I had plenty of opportunities to practice my language skills in Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, and French. I got involved with the Duke Chinese Students Association and attended some events at the Duke International House. At Fuqua, I was co-president of the MMS International Business Club—we became the first point of contact for all things international and we were very career-focused.
I believe that my international background and my language skills have prepared me well for the position I'm taking as Project Manager of Fuqua's regional office in China. I really look forward to living and working in Shanghai, and I'm excited about remaining a part of Team Fuqua! (Read more: Scott blogs about working in China.)
A huge reason for coming to the MMS program was for the network and to be engaged in a networking culture. While at Fuqua, I met PhD and MBA students, entrepreneurs, recruiters, tons of international students, and faculty. It's a very congenial and friendly atmosphere and there are a lot of social activities, the biggest is probably Fuqua Friday—everyone comes out for it. It's a great way to meet people. And it's a great way to end the week and start the weekend.
When you're in an environment like this, where you are constantly networking, you also help your peers to make connections, and then that comes back around and helps you, too. In business, in many ways, it really is about who you know. And when you leave Fuqua, you have a huge network of really talented people to turn to if you ever need advice.
The Bull City
Coming to Fuqua, I was a little concerned that I wouldn't be in the heart of a major city, like Madrid or Taipei, but I really had nothing to worry about. Durham has a lot to offer, more than I expected. There's a really nice café scene, including Amelia at Brightleaf, Francesca's on Ninth Street, and Mad Hatter on Broad Street. The American Tobacco warehouse district that has been converted into shops and restaurants is really cool. It includes the Durham Bulls stadium and the new performing arts center. The Brightleaf area is a great place for lunch or a dinner date.
You can take advantage of a lot on campus as well. There are tons of undergraduate events that you can attend and always some entertainment at the Bryan Center—plays, the American Dance Festival. There are concerts and a great art museum [Nasher Museum of Art]. There's no shortage of activities and dining—the challenge is in finding time to do it all!