Duke - The Fuqua School of Business

Matt Grichnik

Class of 2013

This structure not only opened up my world to a multitude of different experiences, it was the best way to accelerate my learning so that I could succeed in the MMS program and my career.

Carolina Raised

We live and breathe college basketball in the triangle. I have been a lifelong Duke fan but grew up in our archrival's town of Chapel Hill so I've been involved in every one of the most exciting sports rivalries in college basketball. I love North Carolina and am always delighted to show people what makes the area so special: the amazing food & music scene, the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Outer Banks, and local events like the Carolina Cup.

I graduated from Vanderbilt University in Nashville majoring in Political Science and History with a minor in Economics. By my senior year, I knew I wanted to pursue consulting, but also knew I needed more preparation. One of my professors at Vanderbilt introduced me to Arie Lewin, who at that time was Professor of Strategy and International Business and he was the Director of the Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) here at Fuqua. I worked with him over the summer and built models to help governments gain revenue from global sourcing. The internship was a great experience. It led me to the MMS program and set me on a course to study the economics of human capital.

An International & Collaborative Experience in Durham

Being part of a student body that was approximately 40% international by citizenship, I was able to learn a lot about other cultures and how they do business around the world. This was dramatically different than my Vanderbilt experience and central to why the MMS experience was so valuable.

The MMS program uses a case-based methodology in a team setting. From day one, I was placed in a group that was intentionally diverse, both culturally and professionally, and asked to provide solutions to problems in real time. This structure not only opened up my world to a multitude of different experiences, it was the best way to accelerate my learning so that I could succeed in the MMS program and my career.

Set for Consulting

The MMS program fully prepared me to start my career. I developed the finance, accounting, and industry knowledge I need at work and I studied with some of the best business professors in the US, particularly Corporate Finance with Professor Robinson and Strategy with Professor Roach. Moreover, I was able to gain these skills while having a ridiculously fun time in the MMS program.

I now work at Navigant health care and life sciences consulting and, every day, I apply what I learned at Fuqua. For example, my first day on the job, I was asked to build a financial model to assess whether our client should purchase a specific hospital and present the case for how this would benefit their long-term strategy. This assignment pulled from my finance, accounting, and strategy learnings. It was my MMS degree that gave me the confidence, and the professors I studied under that gave me the skills to complete this project.

When I look back, I notice it isn't just my knowledge that's helped me achieve my goals. I now have a higher level of professionalism and know how to interact with clients both of which I owe to the MMS program.

My Lasting Impression of MMS

Although a challenging and rigorous experience, the part I loved most about the MMS program was that it offered me a chance to come home and study for one more year. I had the opportunity to show my international friends where I lived and to take them to the mountains, the beach, and around Durham. It was quite rewarding to create new experiences in my hometown and gain a new global perspective while retaining the familiarity of home.