Duke - The Fuqua School of Business
Fontane Au

Fontane Au

Class of 2010

The environment here really fosters deep relationships - you can't help but know everyone. We were together so much - in class, for team projects, at club activities, and for fun.

Big Blue Skies

I've always lived in big metropolitan areas, including Beijing, Toronto, and Hong Kong, so coming to Durham was a big change for me. Compared to those places, Durham is small and quiet, but I came to really enjoy the homey nature of the community—it's not pretentious, and the quality of life is great.

I really love that Duke and Durham are in a forest—literally, there are trees everywhere. It's so green and beautiful. It looks amazing with the clear, blue sky above. Being from Beijing, I never take a blue sky for granted because it's so rare there. I went to the Duke Gardens all the time to soak in the sun or for study breaks to clear my mind.

And, the restaurants are one of the things I love the most about Durham—Guglhupf, Nosh, Chubby's Tacos. The fish tacos at Chubby's are great. Six Plates has wonderful lamb burgers. There's also Dain's Place, Foster's Market … so many good places to try.

A Close-Knit Community

One of the benefits to being at Fuqua is its close-knit community. The small class sizes gave me the opportunity to get to know my professors and classmates. I thought it was interesting to meet everyone—they came from such diverse backgrounds. I entered the program thinking that I already had a strong network of friends, and I wasn't expecting to make many strong relationships because the program is pretty short. The environment here really fosters deep relationships—you can't help but know everyone. We were together so much—in class, for team projects, at club activities, and for fun.

Leveraging Career Resources

My job search advice for incoming students: Fuqua's Career Management Center (CMC) offers a lot of resources to help with your job search, but you have to be proactive. No one is going to network and prepare for interviews for you! And, remember that the program is only 10 months long—and that's exactly how much time you have for the job search, it can be daunting, so start early and take it slow.

My process actually started the summer before the program. When I got to Fuqua, I was already targeting some companies and making contacts. Then I met with the MMS career coaches and they were great—they taught me how to thoroughly research companies, so I'd be prepared when I landed an interview.

An unexpected opportunity came up with Apple, which was not one of my target companies. I had to quickly do my homework on the company and because of what the career coaches taught me, I knew what to look for and where to look. Before my interview, one of the counselors, Helen, took the time to do a mock interview with me over Skype—on a Saturday! I have to admit that, at the time, it seemed silly to do a practice interview. But, it really paid off because I had solid, prepared answers and I think that made me stand out from other candidates. I landed the job in Apple's new Management Training Program, which lasts for two years. After that, I'll be able to apply to be a manager at any of their stores. I'm really excited about this—I'm going to learn everything about Apple, from the bottom up.