Pedro A. Curry, '11
Vice President, Operations USA, Capital One Financial
"It was not only the global nature of the program that had a lasting effect on me, but how the program was put together -- from the professors who are the best in their fields to the multiculturalism, which made me a more effective and sensitive leader."
Going through Fuqua's Global Executive MBA program was a transformative experience. I chose an executive program to accommodate my work and family. I considered other programs, but Duke's format was the best. It focused on general management, but with a very comprehensive approach. That's what really caught my eye.
Visiting Fuqua's campus helped me make up my mind to attend the program. I saw an energy and passion from the students and administration that I didn't see anywhere else. I could sense that the administration cared about the students' success, and after going through the Global Executive MBA program, I have found this to be more than true.
During the program, I was on two teams that I loved. They were balanced in age, experience, and knowledge. We figured out how to work well together and came up with pre-defined rules—one being that we would speak, on a one on one basis, with those who brought down the group's productivity. And when challenging situations came up, we talked openly and honestly to each other about how to get back on track. A business is made up of people and a business' success rests on its talent.
Because we were all on similar intellectual and managerial levels, I couldn't tell my teammates what to do. I found the best way to get my classmates on board with my ideas was through influence rather than authority. I am adept at using influence on a day-to-day basis outside of work and family, but to connect with my diverse classmates who were from different cultures, I had a little work to do. I came to see that we are all humans and share the most basic instincts and emotions, thus the same influences can motivate. This realization also helped as I moved into a new assignment with my previous employer, Cargill, in Vietnam—there I faced a completely different set of cultural values from the ones I had confronted before.
The program refined my skills in both finance and leadership and gave me the knowledge to be bolder and better. To put an agricultural spin on things, I feel like with the right fertilizer you can become great at anything you do and Fuqua's Global Executive MBA program was the right fertilizer for me. I came to school to learn more than the basics and that's exactly what I got.