I remember when I was applying to Fuqua, I had a hard time finding current student's Fuqua blogs, and not being able to visit the school as I was international (and the ticket was steep!), really left me wishing I could get a glimpse of a current student's life :) So, if any of you are in the same situation, here's a collection of my random thoughts on Fuqua, what makes it stand out amongst other B-schools, and what I've enjoyed about it so far.
Some common topics that you always wonder about:
1) School culture.
"Team Fuqua", yea baby, that's what its all about!
For me, Fuqua's greatest strengths are its focus on Team Fuqua (collaborative, team culture) and diversity. Roughly 40% of our incoming batch is international - and quite diverse - from nationalities, backgrounds, work experiences - everything. We get quite a few people from "non-traditional" backgrounds as well e.g. some of my batchmates are professional sports players, some have done non profit work in Latin America and Africa, some have had their own businesses, some have been school teachers. My favorite so far? Our batch is quite sporty- a professional (ex) NFL player, NBA player, and a tennis player too.
So, what really is Team Fuqua? Well, it basically means that you think as "we", not " I", to put it very simply. It means you should think globally, you cannot succeed individually - have to be able to benefit from and help others along your career and personal growth. The school prizes itself on its team-oriented approach - it's a close knit school. Probably this also has to do with the location - Durham's a small(er) city, sort of like a college town (but not quite), it's very different from the big city life you would get in NYC for example - as a result, you get to socialise with and see more of your classmates much more than I would expect for a larger city.
My favorite? Almost always see a classmate at Super Target when I do my quick 10 minute sprint of picking up some basic groceries or buying folders for the heavy course packs :P
2) What is student life like?
Student life is fast, crazy hectic, diverse, social, stress, fun, food, corporate presentations, friends, cultural activities, blur. It's all that, and much more. Why I find this question tough to answer, is because you really can't put down on paper (oops, blog), the whirlwind of activites that encompass a typical MBA student's day. But anyway, I'll try to be more specific.
One of the things I have enjoyed has been "Fuqua Friday" - basically every Friday, we have a 2 hour social event at school - with a theme. So a few weeks ago, as part of INDUS (South Asian MBA Club), we organised a Diwali Fuqua Friday; other Fuqua Fridays have also been done by other student clubs such as Chinese New Year, Jewish New year, Eid, Oktoberfest etc. It's a great chance to just socialise with your classmates and seniors (its open to 1st year and 2nd year MBAs, plus their families) who you may not have seen on regular weekdays due to the work load. It's also an amazing way of just learning so much about different cultures. The INDUS Fuqua Friday saw a lot of us teaching bhangra to our class mates :)
3) Some cool things?
Okay, so I find these things cool - its pretty subjective.
1) The GATE / GCP trips - I'm doing a GATE (Global Academic Travel Experience) trip to Latin America in March - other locations this year which you could choose from were S. Africa, Russia, China, S.E.Asia and Middle East.
2) Love Durham's greenery. Very pretty.
3) Mentored study opportunities.
4) Habitat for Humanity - any weekend, or whenever you feel like, you can help Fuqua build houses for H4H ( above) - it's pretty cool, plus such a good way of distracting your mind from the usual academic talk.
More later, I guess. Thought I'd throw this out in time for those of you eyeing the R1 deadline in case you had any queries on Fuqua!
Happy to help on any last minute queries, just leave a post.