Duke - The Fuqua School of Business
MMS student

Wenjia Wu

Class of 2013

As an international student, I applied for the Round 1 admissions deadline, and was fortunate to be accepted pretty quickly. I had plenty of time to prepare to come to Fuqua, which was great because I had never been to the U.S. before.

Communication is Key

As an only child growing up in China, I had a wide variety of interests that held my attention—I ran track, was on a dance team, and played piano, but my favorite activity became writing. I love writing, and it's a big part of who I am. I was a reporter and editor in undergrad for my school's news agency. I wrote two research papers—one was published in an academic journal and one in a magazine—and I was a MMS student blogger for Fuqua. Strong writing skills were very helpful in my academic studies and also in my career. I also believe that writing clearly is very important in business communications, so you can get your message across to teammates, other colleagues, and clients. I really improved my English writing skills during the MMS: FOB program because of the full immersion in the language inside and outside of class, and also from being a blogger, and I think this was a great benefit of being at Fuqua.

Dream Come True

Since I was in high school, I dreamed about coming to the United States to attend a top business school because I was interested in finance, especially investment banking. I thought I would get the best education in this at a top American B-School. When I was a senior in college, I attended an information session in Hong Kong about Fuqua that was hosted by an MBA alumnus. I was already aware of Duke, and during the session, I became intrigued by the MMS: FOB program. When I started applying for master's programs, MMS was my first choice. As an international student, I applied for the Round 1 admissions deadline, and was fortunate to be accepted pretty quickly. I had plenty of time to prepare to come to Fuqua, which was great because I had never been to the U.S. before.

I loved my year in the states! I learned a lot, and coming to Duke was a dream come true. I had never really been away from home before, and it was overwhelming in the beginning. I was used to a very cozy life in China and had a lot of help from my family there. But in Durham, I learned to rely on the kindness of new friends, classmates, and even strangers. I was grateful for all the help and support I received during my year in the U.S.

Applying What I've Learned

Unlike many other MMS: FOB students, I actually worked full-time for about 8 months, gaining some finance experience in China, before coming to Fuqua. Entering the program, I had a strong quantitative background and some understanding of professional standards. I always knew that I would go back to China after school because of my family and my husband. I didn't plan to stay in the U.S. so I leveraged my network in China and I learned about an internship opportunity in my hometown. Shortly after graduation, I returned home and started an internship in the investment banking division of a local securities firm, and it led to a full-time position. I work on different teams with 4 - 5 colleagues, and I feel very comfortable in this type of environment because of my experience at Fuqua. One of the biggest benefits of MMS was learning how to work on a small team since almost every assignment involved teamwork.

Investment banking has been my dream job for many years. There are a lot of challenges involved, and I think it may be one of the more difficult roles in finance. I like a challenge, and I like project-based work. Now that I'm actually doing it, I feel very confident in my job because of what I learned in MMS about teamwork, reading reports, and doing financial analysis, which includes a lot of writing and editing. I learned so much more about finance, and it was different from what I learned in undergrad. MMS courses presented theoretical knowledge in more practical terms and scenarios, and the ways professors delivered the material was very systematic. I am applying all of my economics background from undergrad and my business knowledge from MMS in my job, and I'm really happy with how everything worked out.