Class of 2010
In my first 6 weeks on the job, I used skills from my MMS managerial accounting, decision modeling, supply chain management, marketing intelligence, and financial accounting courses.
Before joining the MMS program, I had never been to the South. I like the community feeling there, and the weather is great (even with the heat and humidity of July!). Coming from San Diego and Chicago, I was also really surprised by the forests around Durham. There are a lot of outdoor activities available in the Duke Forest, and I took every opportunity to be outside, often biking around campus and kayaking on Jordan Lake.
I also took advantage of the fact that Duke attracts a lot of musical acts. I saw some of the Chapel orchestra concerts, Roseanne Cash, and Bruce Springsteen. I really enjoy music—I played violin for 15 years and am interested in Irish and American fiddle music.
Broadening Tech Skills with Business
I always wanted to use technology for business applications. Before I decided to come to Fuqua, I got an interview at Google in product management, during which they asked questions about marketing, launching products, attracting users, etc. It was then that I realized I didn't know much about the business side of technology. And, frankly, I didn't think business was that complicated. (Now, I realize the error of my thinking.)
The MMS program was an opportunity for me to understand how to apply business to technology, and in turn, technology to business. It opened my eyes to other fascinating areas like entrepreneurship and microfinance. Now, I'm interested in how technology drives business innovation, as well as the social possibilities, like how to utilize and develop new information technologies to address some of the world's most complex problems for not only businesses and consumers, but also non-profits and emerging economies.
The MMS program also gave me a leg up in my job search and was a great training ground for my new position as a Senior Associate in the IT Leadership Develop Program at BNY Mellon. For 20 months, I will be a member of 4 different teams, in 4 different businesses, in 4 different roles (technical/development, business analyst, systems architect, and project manager) in potentially 4 different locations around the world.
In my first 6 weeks on the job, I used skills from my MMS managerial accounting, decision modeling, supply chain management, marketing intelligence, and financial accounting courses. What I learned at Fuqua has been instrumental to my work at BNY Mellon. The rigor and pace of the MMS program prepared me to ramp up quickly on new projects, like those that I now face on the job. I have also put the Team Fuqua philosophy to practice at BNY Mellon, where teamwork is paramount to getting anything done on any given day.
While in the program, I was both the Communications Chair and Technology Chair on the MMS Association's (MMSA) executive board. I created a blog for the MMSA and set up a listserv for the class. I helped to consolidate gargantuan amounts of information and distribute it to students through the blog and a weekly newsletter. I was also able to interact with my MBA Association counterparts and learned a lot from them. I joined the Fuqua IT Advisory Council and helped to provide thought-leadership on how technology could and should be used to support Fuqua's mission to sustain excellence in management education and produce students who are leaders of consequence.
For me, one of the most beneficial aspects of the MMS experience was the very clear expectation that students should drive the program. I had both the opportunities to realize my ideas and the challenges of obtaining the necessary resources. I was involved with and managed more projects and committees than ever before in my life. This allowed me to tangibly demonstrate how you can develop something out of literally nothing—a great skill set to have and one that is aptly sought after by employers.