Frequently Asked Questions

The Career Management Center is pleased to answer questions frequently asked by alumni. If you have a question you would like to see answered in a future Team Fuqua Flash e-newsletter, please send an email to alumni-careers@fuqua.duke.edu with "Ask the CMC" as the subject! We look forward to hearing from you!

For recent grads, continue to access GTS via FuquaWorld until January following graduation. You can find more information here: https://www.fuqua.duke.edu/alumni/connect/alumni-recent-graduates.

For experienced talent, go to www.fuqua.duke.edu/alumni/work then click on ‘find a job.’ We maintain an active alumni job postings database, allowing searches for available opportunities using criteria you have selected (location, industry, function, and more). These positions come directly from company contacts as well as fellow alumni. If you are unsure of your log-in information, go to: www.fuquaworld.duke.edu/alumni/entry/alInfoRecovery.jsp

-The Fuqua Career Management Center Team

Have a question for a future “Ask the CMC”? Send an email to alumni-careers@fuqua.duke.edu with “Ask the CMC” as the subject.

Returning to the workforce after a break might seem like a huge undertaking, but with the right resources and support from Fuqua’s Career Management Center, it does not have to be so daunting. Below are some resources you may find useful if you are considering such a move. In addition, if you would like help from a career coach, feel free to reach out to us at alumni-careers@fuqua.duke.edu.

Fuqua Webinars and Other Resources

Determining what you want and how you will talk about your experience is one of the most important steps. As a good starting point, Fuqua Alumni Webinars on the related topic can be found on our alumni website in the career workshops section:

  • Staying Persistent and Resilient Approaching Job Search Challenges
  • Trends in Hiring Processes
  • Returning to Work
  • And many other relevant career management sessions!

Speaking of discussing your time away, this article outlines a good strategy to approach if you are asked to explain long-term unemployment in discussions or an interview.

Organizations and Events

Another good option to explore are events like iRelaunch conferences happening throughout the country at various times. They have upcoming conferences in Stanford, CA (May 7), Evanston, IL (June 17), and New York, NY (October 3). You can find more information about iRelaunch here.

The Institute for Career Transitions is a nonprofit founded by MIT scholars who strive to support those attempting to make career changes while also increasing public understanding of the challenges facing professionals in career transitions.

Veterans looking to transition back into the workforce might consider resources like Recruit Military, a Veteran-owened and operated firm specializing in assisting employers with military to civilian recruiting. We also recommend connecting with other Veterans in alumni LinkedIn groups (Fuqua and Duke here) as well as regional Fuqua and Duke alumni clubs.

For those who have taken time off to be caregivers, some of our alumni have had success working with organizations like Apres and reacHIRE. There are also nonprofit organizations like Path Forward who help both men and women with career re-entry and other programs for women re-entering the workforce such as FlexProfessionals, Mom Corps, ReBoot Accel, and many others.

(Please note: Inclusion here does not mean Fuqua endorses the organizations. Our goal is to make you aware of resources that exist, yet it is essential to evaluate any organization for its fit with your situation and circumstance).

As you can see, there are a variety of resources available to those of you looking to re-enter the workforce after a period of unemployment. Please review these resources, and reach out to us if you would like to have a more in-depth conversation about your specific situation.

-The Fuqua Career Management Center Team

Have a question for a future “Ask the CMC”? Send an email to alumni-careers@fuqua.duke.edu with “Ask the CMC” as the subject.

Alumni events are a great opportunity to strengthen the Fuqua Community while broadening your network connections, all while having fun with a great group of people! Having a quick, solid pitch to use during events like these could help to break the ice and be the first step on your next career journey.

Below are three quick tips to help you make the most of the alumni events.

1) Have your pitch ready. Alumni events are a great excuse to brush up on your pitch! Make your response more compelling by giving it some thought ahead of the event. One question you’re almost guaranteed to be asked at any event is, “So, what do you do?” A quick 15-30 second pitch should answer the following questions:

  • What do you spend your time doing?
  • What are you passionate about?
  • What are you interested in learning?

2) Ask Good Questions. When you meet people at alumni events, make sure you are giving them ample time to share their stories. Use active listening skills to show interest. Ask open-ended questions (e.g., beginning with how or tell me about…) to learn more about their perspective. It’s possible this person might have a problem you can help them with which could open doors for a great new professional relationship!

3) Follow-Up. Remember to follow-up and stay in contact with those you meet during alumni events. Try to reach out within two days of the event expressing your gratitude for speaking with you. Bring up something you spoke about at the event so you can continue the conversation. You might even consider using the opportunity to demonstrate reciprocity by sharing a resource.

To work on your pitch, you can practice by using a site like InterviewStream. We also recommend this short video module we’ve developed for MBA students that also has salient points for you as alums. If you have additional questions, you can send us an email at alumni-careers@fuqua.duke.edu.

To learn more about Fuqua Around the World, click here.

To learn more about Fuqua Regional Alumni Clubs, click here.

To learn more about the upcoming Fuqua Alumni Reunion Weekend for classes ending in “0” and “5," click here.

To learn more about the upcoming Fuqua First Reunion for Fuqua alumni celebrating their one-year reunion, click here.

-The Fuqua Career Management Center Team

Have a question for a future “Ask the CMC”? Send an email to alumni-careers@fuqua.duke.edu with “Ask the CMC” as the subject.

In the latest installment of our alumni career webinars, “Pitching Your Value to Make Career Changes,” three Fuqua alums – Rob Brown MBA '16, Coralie Lannelongue MBA '15, and Megan Millard  MBA '15 – shared stories and examples of how they were able to successfully articulate their skillsets and values to make career transitions. Their transitions include military to digital marketing within the banking industry, railway to management consulting, and human resources to category manager within a technology company. So, why focus on leveraging your pitch to show your value? Because building relationships is critical for career change. Communication and conversations with others lead to connections and help develop the key relationships needed to transition into your chosen career.

For further insights on how to pitch your value, here are five key takeaways from the session:

1) Focus on your unique selling proposition (USP).

What will you bring in terms of abilities, fit, and motivation to this new role? Think about how your previous experiences have uniquely prepared you to make an impact. Know your audience and what to highlight in your story that fits with the job description, industry, and function.

2) “Bridge the gap” for employers.

Remember that hiring is about elimination, not selection, as recruiters and hiring managers seek to find the best fit applicants for roles as efficiently as possible. So, make it easy for them to connect the dots in your story about your background and your interest in this new role. 

3) Be honest when describing the areas of growth you will have in this new industry/function.

Talk with mentors about how to prepare for your move. Then, if you are stumped in an interview, share relevant stories and acknowledge your excitement to further your skills and learn in the new role.

4) Be flexible.

When making a career change, many people take lateral positions or even positions in a lower level as a way to enter a company/industry, gain exposure, and as a step towards the job you ultimately want to pursue. Most hiring managers want and seek experience, so be as flexible as possible in your job search criteria when trying to pivot.

5) Leverage your network.

As with all career moves and changes, having an advocate is key. Access to opportunities will be key to your success – so have conversations, share your interests, and work to design your new path. Reach out to your Fuqua colleagues and other Duke/Fuqua alumni for support.

Additionally, you can always reach out to us at alumni-careers@fuqua.duke.edu for more tailored services and to discuss ways to articulate the value you could add to any organization.

-The Fuqua Career Management Center Team

Have a question for a future “Ask the CMC”? Send an email to alumni-careers@fuqua.duke.edu with “Ask the CMC” as the subject.

One of the best ways to learn about anything is by speaking to those who have experience! Feel free to reach out to any of our panelists from our last Alumni Webinar Series session if you have a question about their journey and Entrepreneurship Through Acquisition. Additionally, Fuqua BOV Member Michael Elia has offered to be of service. You can contact him at melia@columbus.rr.com.

In addition to reaching out to our extremely helpful Fuqua Network, there are also other resources we recommend if you are interested in learning more about ETA.

To learn more about ETA you can visit this website to learn more about the model of buying businesses and find a link to follow a Search Fund group on LinkedIn. We also recommend this Learn, Educate, Discover Podcast episode discussing how ETA is a third option to consider in addition to going into a traditional job or starting your own company.  Additionally, for those contemplating ETA, this Search Fund Primer resource could be very useful in outlining the benefits and challenges of either pursuing a search fund or investing in one.

In addition, Search Fund Accelerator, Relay Investments, and Broadtree Partners are all companies who have recruited on Fuqua’s campus recently.

As always, please feel free to reach out to alumni-careers@fuqua.duke.edu if you have more specific questions or if you’d like a coach to work with you on exploring Entrepreneurship by Acquisition.

-The Fuqua Career Management Center Team

Have a question for a future “Ask the CMC”? Send an email to alumni-careers@fuqua.duke.edu with “Ask the CMC” as the subject.

If you are looking for resources to explore Entrepreneurship, make connections to entrepreneurs, or develop your next entrepreneurial venture, check out this recent Alumni webinar where Duke entrepreneurs discussed resources and how to get involved in the Duke Entrepreneurship Community.

Speaking of the Duke Entrepreneurship Community, join the DukeGen Network, check out Fuqua’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI), and look into Duke’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative which sponsors over 30 events each year, including competitions and networking events. The Duke Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative also has multiple resources for entrepreneurs from computer programming courses to manuals outlining business model development.

-The Fuqua Career Management Center Team

Have a question for a future “Ask the CMC”? Send an email to alumni-careers@fuqua.duke.edu with “Ask the CMC” as the subject.

Are you interested in using your experience to help students in their career journey? That’s great! We always love it when our alumni offer advice and guidance as professionals who have “been there” before.

Whether you live near or far from Fuqua, there are plenty of ways to get involved. Below is a list of some of the ways alumni have helped in the past, but if you have another idea feel free to reach out to us!

  • Championing the hiring of Fuqua talent in your organization
  • Providing full-time job and internship opportunities
  • Hosting student visitors at your company
  • Delivering a corporate presentation on campus or virtually
  • Serving as a panelist for in-person or virtual information sessions on specific sectors, careers, or career topics
  • Providing coaching or serving as a judge for case competitions
  • Supporting consulting case interview preparation
  • Reviewing resumes
  • Conducting mock interviews
  • Leading a job search support group in your city
  • Organizing a career-related event in your region

If you have additional questions about getting involved with current students, please send us an email at alumni-careers@fuqua.duke.edu. We would be glad to guide you to an appropriate resource or provide further assistance.

-The Fuqua Career Management Center Team

Have a question for a future “Ask the CMC”? Send an email to alumni-careers@fuqua.duke.edu with “Ask the CMC” as the subject.

Whether you were invited for an interview or just want to refresh your interview skills, we at the CMC have some tips that can help you perform at your best.

  1. Practice, practice, practice – It might have been a while since you last interviewed so you might be a bit rusty. The only way to get good is to practice and practice with anyone who will listen. The more comfortable you can get with articulating your answers the more natural and comfortable you’ll be in the interview. If you would like to get some interview help from a CMC coach, simply reach out to alumni-careers@fuqua.duke.edu and we'll be happy to get you set up.

  2. Be specific about your interest  in the company and the role – Dig deep when answering the question “why this job, company, industry?” Highlighting your interest in the role and the specific value you bring to the position/company can make all the difference. 

  3. Strong STAR stories – If you’ve ever heard an interview question start out with the words “Tell me about a time….” you’re dealing with a behavioral interview question. Effectively answering this type of question requires a specific example preferably in the STAR format. Situation, Task, Action, Result allows you to frame impactful answers in a way that’s easy to follow and keeps you on point.

  4. Be yourself – I know easier said than done especially when you’re being grilled by 1, 2 or more interviewers, but this point is incredibly important. They’re not just hiring you for your skills but for you as a person so let your personality shine through.

If you have additional questions about interview prep and practice, please send us an email. We would be glad to guide you to an appropriate resource or provide further assistance.

-The Fuqua Career Management Center Team

Have a question for a future “Ask the CMC”? Send an email to alumni-careers@fuqua.duke.edu with “Ask the CMC” as the subject.

Healthcare is an industry that we all have experience with and utilize.  A question our team receives from alumni in career transition, or current students is, “Would a company hire me if I don’t have experience in healthcare?”  We see from the incoming daytime MBA students a high number of students who are changing careers and are interested in healthcare.  For most these students the reason why they chose Fuqua is because of the Health Sector Management (HSM) certificate program.

There is significant demand for graduate business school talent in healthcare.  One aspect about many elements in the healthcare sector is that we are all consumers of healthcare. As graduate business school alumni, you have many skills that could be attractive to this sector. Additionally with the disruption that is happening in the healthcare sector, we see companies like Amazon, Google, 3M, and Samsung  entering the market, making the gap in industries not as wide, and the skills highly transferable. Lastly, if you find yourself in a healthcare role, and you were not in HSM at Fuqua, you can complete the HSM certificate as an alumnus.

If you have additional questions about entering in to the healthcare sector, please send us an email at alumni-careers@fuqua.duke.edu. We would be glad to guide you to an appropriate resource or provide further assistance.

-The Fuqua Career Management Center Team

When that great role opens up or you need an addition to your team, partner with the Fuqua Career Management Center to help source the best candidates. From Analysts to Senior Executive roles, connecting with Fuqua talent is a great way to impact a student or alumni’s career while bringing value to your organization.

Alumni at Fuqua play an important role in connecting our students and alumni to great career opportunities. Some of them return to campus to conduct company presentations, hold office hours, attend networking events, and interview students for internships and full time roles. Among other options for sourcing talent from our students and alumni are posting job openings in our database, or reaching out directly to the Career Management staff to help with a targeted search.

These alumni are our “recruiting champions”. They are leading their own enterprises or proactively involved with their organizations’ talent acquisition teams and recognize that bringing on more Fuqua talent is a way to have a positive impact on student and alumni careers, and bring value to the organization.

https://www.fuqua.duke.edu/recruit/recruit-now

Fuqua Breadth of Talent:

In addition to our traditional Daytime MBA population who, on average, have 5-7 years of experience, talent can be found along the entire continuum from entry level to experienced executive. 

For entry level roles students in The Master of Management Studies (MMS) program develop concrete business skills and capabilities and are well prepared for roles in finance, marketing, operations, consulting, and general management. Students in the Master of Science in Quantitative Management (MQM): Business Analytics program learn how to frame strategic questions, manipulate and understand data, use critical thinking to extract key insights, and present those findings in a way that’s compelling and actionable across all industries.

In our Working Professional Programs that include the Cross Continent MBA, the Weekend Executive MBA and the Global Executive MBA, most of our students have over 10 years of experience. Ready to take the next step in their careers they are advancing their business skills, leadership potential, broadening their perspective, and are prepared to fill Senior Management and Executive roles. 

In addition, our alumni can be found at every career stage, and similar to our students represent the globe and a diverse range of functions and industries.  On average, professionals will change careers 3 times and transition 5-7 times over the course of their work lives. Because of this, many of our alums should and do circle back to Fuqua and the Fuqua Network to explore possibilities. The Career Management Center can help alumni connect to other alumni with senior level and executive experience who offer leadership capability, a significant track record of success, and functional or industry depth

To learn more about Fuqua talent: https://www.fuqua.duke.edu/recruit/why-duke

Ways to Engage

Partnering with the Career Management Center to connect with students across all our programs plus our alumni can be accomplished in a variety of ways to suit different sized organizations, recruiting cycles and employment levels.

Post full-time and intern positions: http://www.fuqua.duke.edu/mba_recruiting/recruit_now/post_job/

  • Target specific candidates or access the resume database
  • Interview on campus
  • Network with and present to students & alumni

For more information watch for upcoming events and opportunities to connect in Team Fuqua Flash, email us at alumni-careers@fuqua.duke.edu or go to http://www.fuqua.duke.edu/recruit.

We often receive questions about different resume formats. The definition for a standard resume can vary by location. For guidance by region you can access the Country Guides through the GoinGlobal Database available to alums here: https://library.fuqua.duke.edu/databases/alumdbs.htm

Chronological Resume

Here in the US, the more common MBA business format typically refers to a Chronological Resume which lists Companies/Titles in reverse chronological order with succinct summary bullets that are action and results oriented.

Chronological resume example

Narrative Resume

A Narrative Resume by contrast is constructed more like a letter where experiences are structured in longer sentences and/or paragraphs and typically not grouped in any chronological order. While a narrative resume can be an option, it does not work for every industry. You will see it utilized more for specific situations where you may be the only candidate, or in situations where creativity and/or story telling are key aspects of a role.

Narrative resume example

Exceptional writing skills are required when using a narrative resume. It should focus on the value and impact of your story and should not appear as if the intent is to gloss over or hide gaps – which is a similar challenge with a functional resume. Another variant of the narrative resume is a 1-page Executive Bio. Use of this option would also need to be aligned with the right situation, for example when making a pitch as an entrepreneur or for a specific assignment.

Executive bio example

Combined Formats

There are also combined formats that can utilize aspects of both where experiences are listed chronologically yet detailed in more of a block paragraph format rather than with bullets. Ultimately, the effectiveness depends upon the target and goals of what you are hoping to accomplish or highlight.

Combined format example

This question can be extremely uncomfortable to field. Underestimate, and you risk getting underpaid for your work. Overestimate and you might take yourself out-of-the running. Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to answer this question without causing too much stress.

Do your research

If you are filling out a job application and are asked to provide a specific number for expected salary, base your response on market research triangulated by at least 3 sources. Keep these sources written down somewhere and bring them to the interview in case you are asked about it. If you are able to enter a numerical range, follow the same rule – research, then apply. The range you provide should also include what you believe your value is based on your experience, skills and the positive impact you know you can make.

If able to provide text, you could also put “Negotiable” or “To be discussed during interview.” You can also explore if there is an empty section on the application to add information such as ‘look forward to discussing more during an interview after further dialog of value and mutual fit.’ Be ready and prepared to address when that question is asked again in your interview!

Rules and Regulations

Along with being aware of average salary and doing your research, it is also important to take note of evolving laws and legislations regarding questions about salary history. Some argue that salary history questions might inadvertently perpetuate inequalities in pay, such as the gender wage gap or other wage discrimination. States that have outright banned questions into past salary as of this posting are: California, Delaware, and New York. Massachusetts, Oregon, and Puerto Rico have laws going into effect banning the question in the next year. There are even some cities like New Orleans and Pittsburgh that have banned this question with regards to certain jobs, so make sure to verify for your area!

Explaining Yourself

When you have finished your research and know what your market value is you can still have some flexibility with the wording, especially when explaining your stated range in an interview. If you are asked about salary requirements or expectations explain where in the range you believe you should be and provide justification based on what you believe your value to be for that specific role. If asked about salary history or current salary on an application share total compensation. Later in your conversations, or if they are going back to verify, you can explain the breakdown. If the same question is asked during a screening or early in the process you can still share total compensation. If your current compensation is lower than what you want and where it should be in the market explain why that is the case and why you are expecting closer to $X for the role you are interviewing for. There are a lot of factors that could create a difference between your salary history and what you should be earning in a new role. Remember, in just about any scenario when having to provide compensation information if you know what the market pays and what your own personal value is you’ll be ready to negotiate effectively after an offer is made.  

Overall, answering the dreaded “salary” question comes down to doing your research and making your case. Remember, the first step to a successful negotiation is starting the conversation. Need help with your particular negotiation, email us at alumni-careers@fuqua.duke.edu.

The New Year is a time when we often think about what we want to do differently in our lives - and our career is no exception. In fact, the New Year is a great time to start planning out your next career move since companies are thinking about their own human resource needs about that time as well.

One of the core tenets of any career change is effective networking. Not just networking for networking sake but a well thought out, purposeful effort in building relationships. Although the holidays are upon us and that generally means a lull in business activity, don't wait until the New Year to begin that career search process. A great place to start would be to revisit those in our professional and personal lives whom we haven't been in touch with for a while. Sending them a nice email following up on what you had last discussed is a simple way of staying on their mind. If you're looking to build new relationships, now's a good time too. Since business activity is slowing down and before people take off for the holidays, you might find people's schedules more flexible for a coffee chat or quick phone meeting; making sure to leave the option for connecting after the New Year open. For example, you could say, "Please let me know if you would be available to talk before the holidays. Otherwise, we can connect back in early January." This sets a tone of respect while establishing the next action item for follow-up in the New Year.

Exclusive alumni services through the Career Management Center include access to one-on-one sessions with career coaches, in-depth self-assessment tools, and many other valuable job search and overall career management resources. Click here to read more about how we can help you advance your career or help with any job transition!

As a Fuqua Alumnus, you have access to a number of career resources. If you have questions about what is offered or want to schedule an appointment with a career coach, please contact the Fuqua Career Management Center staff at alumni-careers@fuqua.duke.edu.

Alumni Career Website:

In addition to the alumni directory, other resources include recordings of our Alumni Career Workshops, discounted access to CareerLeader, a comprehensive career self-assessment, job search guidance and InterviewStream, for practicing interview skills. Visit the Fuqua Alumni website here:www.fuqua.duke.edu/alumni/work

Some of these resources will require your alumni log-in and password. If you are unsure of your log-in information, go to:www.fuquaworld.duke.edu/alumni/entry/alInfoRecovery.jsp

Alumni Job Board (Fuqua GTS):

To access job postings for experienced talent go to www.fuqua.duke.edu/alumni/work then click on ‘find a job’. We maintain an active alumni job postings database, allowing searches for available opportunities using criteria you have selected (location, industry, function, and more). These positions come directly from company contacts as well as fellow alumni. If you are unsure of your log-in information, go to:www.fuquaworld.duke.edu/alumni/entry/alInfoRecovery.jsp

Online Alumni Resume Database:

This exclusive online resume book for alumni can make you visible to leading global firms looking for talented Fuqua alumni. You can create a profile and upload your resume in just a few minutes by registering on Fuqua GTS.

Career Coaching:

Individual sessions are offered in person or virtually and will assist you in managing your post Fuqua career. Sessions are tailored to your specific needs and can include:

  • Self-assessment and re-evaluation of goals
  • Resume review and development
  • Search and transition strategy
  • Professional development planning
  • Mock interviews
  • Offer evaluation and salary negotiation
  • Social media content and strategy

Sessions are available tall Fuqua alumni over the course of their entire career. The length of each engagement will be determined on a case by case basis.

Alumni Library Databases:

Please send us an email if you have questions or would like to connect with a coach. We would be glad to guide you to an appropriate resource or provide further assistance.

-The Fuqua Career Management Center Team

Have a question for a future “Ask the CMC”? Send an email to alumni-careers@fuqua.duke.edu with “Ask the CMC” as the subject.

Ask the CMC

Have a question for a future “Ask the CMC”? Send an email to us with “Ask the CMC” as the subject.