Duke - The Fuqua School of Business

Michael "Miki" Rothschild

Class of 2013

Michael Rothschild

"Fuqua has a fantastic marketing curriculum with some of the best marketing professors in the country and a great reputation in the industry. As someone pursuing product management in high tech, I knew that would benefit my career development and would open great opportunities for me."

My Background

I was born and raised in Tel-Aviv, Israel. When I was 18, I joined the Israeli military for 3 years of mandatory service during which I was a combat soldier, a squad commander, and an operations officer. When I finished serving, I decided to pursue my passion for technology and got a BSc in electrical and electronics engineering. At the end of my second year, I joined IBM's R&D as a Verification Engineer in their Chip Development Group. Towards the end of my studies, I moved to Intel as a Design Engineer in their Mobile Microprocessor Group. I spent 5 years at Intel and worked on various core products including "Sandy-Bridge," which was Intel's main microprocessor for all laptops and desktops in 2012.

I experienced all parts of the product development life cycle and led teams and projects in R&D, but felt I was lacking the business perspective of this industry. Therefore, I thought that getting an MBA would give me the business acumen and opportunity to transition into the marketing and business side of the tech industry. So at Fuqua, I'm completing concentrations in marketing and strategy. Continuing my professional transition, I interned at Microsoft as a Product Marketing Manager, and I chose to take a full-time opportunity with Amazon as a Product Manager.

In my personal life, I am married and we have a pet pug. I love skiing, mountain biking, and running, when I have the chance.

Why I Chose Fuqua

I chose Fuqua for several reasons from professional, personal, and cultural perspectives.

From a professional perspective, I knew that Fuqua has a fantastic marketing curriculum with some of the best marketing professors in the country and a great reputation in the industry. As someone pursuing product management in high tech, I knew that would benefit my career development and would open great opportunities for me.

From a personal perspective, I thought the small, tight-knit community that Fuqua fosters and the high engagement of partners (significant others) in the school would make the MBA experience warm and pleasant for my wife and me. As a foreign couple moving to the U.S., I thought that would help my wife and me have a soft landing in this new environment. Indeed, when we got to Fuqua, my wife was able to connect with other partners during the Fuqua Partners' events and other social activities such as Fuqua Friday.

Finally, I felt that the team culture at Fuqua was a great fit for me. Having worked most of my professional life in teams, I wanted to continue in an environment where I would learn from my classmates just as much as I do from my professors. I knew that the structure of the program and the type of people Fuqua attracts would provide me with such an opportunity.

Leadership Attribute: Team

I think that the best illustration of this characteristic is my leadership team.

You are assigned to a leadership-focused team as soon as you start orientation. This is your team throughout the pre-term and core courses. Every course at Fuqua, especially the core courses, is built on teamwork. Therefore, you spend at least 50% of your day in a room with the people on your team. Quickly, these people become your colleagues, teachers, friends, and family for your time at Fuqua and for the rest of your life.

Luckily, I have the most fabulous team. First, we are a very diverse team, including someone from China, Israel (me), and England, as well as 4 Americans. Each team member came from an entirely different career background, including tech, non-profit, entrepreneurship, finance, and real estate. Second, our strengths are perfectly balanced across the team. Some of my teammates have stronger quantitative skills while others have stronger qualitative skills. Some are extremely good writers while others are brilliant presenters. Finally, and most importantly, we are all good collaborators and love learning from one another. This amazing team environment is what made my academic and social experience far more fun and enriching than I had ever imagined it would be.

Five Random Things About Me

  1. I am an avid skier. I even lived at a ski resort for 6 months during the winter season following my military service and skied almost every day. The best days of my life (beside my wedding) involve fresh powdery snow and un-groomed terrains. 
  2. Growing up, I never had a pet. When my wife (then girlfriend) brought my dog home, I tried to resist but soon fell in love with him. Today, I can't imagine a life without him. 
  3. My student visa approval was delayed for so long that I almost missed the first week of school and thought I would have to defer my admission. In the end, I managed to get it in at the very last minute and make it to school on time. 
  4. Growing up, I tried almost every sport and played basketball, soccer, and tennis until I realized my real passion is extreme sports. I love skateboarding, rollerblading, mountain biking, and skiing. I also tried surfing, but that didn't work out very well …
  5. I love coffee. I drink at least 2 cups of espresso on a good day (on bad ones it could go up to 5).

What I Love About Durham

My favorite thing about Durham is the comfortable and relaxing lifestyle, which I find perfect for an MBA. As someone who lived in a big city most of his life, I really like the peace and quiet I have here. It allows me to focus on my MBA experience and build relationships with my classmates. Many of the activities I take part in are within the Fuqua communityeven after school. Also, having a big apartment with very affordable rent is very refreshing. Driving anywhere with a car in 5 - 10 minutes without any parking problems is much more convenient than taking a subway or paying a fortune for parking. Don't get me wrongI am a big city guy and am planning to go back to the big city after B-school, but for these 2 years I think a small suburban town like Durham is great.