Posts Tagged ‘Fuqua’

My (Last?) Interview

I got the chance to interview w/ Duke Fuqua two weekends ago.  Because of my schedule, Friday the 18th was the only day I was free to interview out of the four possible dates.  Unfortunately I couldn’t stay for Fuqua Friday and MBA Games was having an event as well as I had to catch a flight back to Austin for the TEDx event the next day.  This might be my last interview since I haven’t heard from UCLA Anderson by now.

Durham is becoming pretty familiar to me now.  Especially w/ my car rental membership I practically just get off the plane, get in the car and zip off.

Fuqua’s interview is pretty standard, so I won’t bother with a detailed break down of all the interview questions.  If you really REALLY want to know you can Google it.  There are plenty of other resources like Clear Admit, Accepted, and SBC that contain information.  It does have more behavioral questions than other schools I’ve interviewed with, which makes sense b/c the Team Fuqua concept is so important, they want to see how you would fit in and how you would handle different situations, often conflict oriented.

I got to sit in on the CEI info session which was really beneficial for me.  Sat in on a different class, which the professor used the term “epic fail” (properly I might add) in class that scored major brownie points with me.  The CMC presentation wasn’t that useful… just as a former business major and someone who actually got paid checks from the career services office before as well.  I had visited the campus before as well so the build tour was still neat, although probably could’ve utilized my time for something else.  They had tons of 1st Years coming in and out of the Admissions Lounge all day.  Probably after lunch I was completely out of questions.  It was neat to meet all the people who I could potentially see again though, whether it’s the 1st Year’s who will be 2nd Year or prospective students interviewing who will be in my graduating class.

My original impression was that I’d be interviewing w/ a 2nd Year.  The info contained in the interview invitation indicated somewhat differently but my interviewer turned out to be a 2nd Year.  I actually recognized her at the end from one of the Fuqua Vision videos.

I didn’t FEEL nervous but I could tell my voice tightening or throat feels dry a bit from time to time.  I didn’t get to expand more on my entrepreneurial endeavors as much as I’d like and I can’t believe I forgot to mention my involvement w/ Dale Carnegie Training in the heat of the moment.  I had originally mentioned about EVCC in an earlier question on “Why Fuqua?” and later there was another question on what organizations I’d like to get involved in but the interviewer qualified it to exclude professional clubs so although I had planned to talk more about entrepreneurial stuff and EVCC here I felt like I had to follow instructions.  Looking back, it probably would’ve been ok if I did talk a little more about the professional clubs but just keep it real short and acknowledge that I was listening.

My favorite few questions were: “Describe a time when received constructive criticism.”  This is so much better than the typical “tell me about a weakness” questions.  You do have to address a weakness, but it also shows how you respond in a human interaction.  Also, if you use the Situation-Task-Action-Result method so many people teaches it’s easy to remember you’re suppose to come full circle back and show what you’ve done to improve or overcome that weakness.

There was one about failure to manage a team and leadership outside of work.  The first I used a QC problem at work and the latter I used volleyball leagues but I did ramble just a little…  There’s also one about what would you do if you have a team member not contributing.  All my answers and what I would do are all things I learned from the Dale Carnegie  Training.  DC himself would be proud.

I know I said I wouldn’t give you a detailed breakdown of the interview questions but I did share some… which I think is what you’re here for anywhere 😛



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My Accepted

Well, I got into Foster!  At least we know that in the fall I have at least A school to attend.  I was out with a friend when the Admissions Director called me otherwise I would’ve answered.  Funny enough we were talking about formulating a plan for him to go back to school and switch jobs.

It’s a huge weight off my shoulders now that I have been accepted at least somewhere and the applications for other schools have been turned in.  I also got invited to interview w/ UNC Kenan-Flagler, so at least everything is going smoothly so far.  Hopefully I get invited to interview at Fuqua, Anderson and Kellogg as well.  Now I can focus more on the family business and maybe take some time off before summer.

Our Q1 is pretty booked right now.  Our family business can be an indicator for general economy sometimes.  I think most people are upbeat about 2011 and our orders reflect that.  I have a lot I want to get done before I return to school.  We have couple of accounts we’re working on and I’m optimistic we can make some good progress.

Look for a some change in direction and focus for the blog.  I’d like refine what I write about and provide resources for like-minded others.

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My Fuqua

Are you interested in visiting Duke Fuqua but can’t find the time in your schedule to visit? Don’t worry b/c I’m going to share w/ you my first hand experience.

I was here visiting a client in Charlotte and I had visited the area when I was a maybe 8. I’m also fortunate enough to have two former McCombs classmates here (one’s a first year, the other a second).

First impression: I came in from the one end of the building where they hang flags from countries all over the world and other representations like Catholicism or the GLBT rainbow flag. It was a little intimidating. I’ve never been to the UN building all the time I spent in New York but I imagine it to be like that.  New, sleek and modern building.  Lots of natural light and open space.

Environment: B
If it was just me, I give it an A, but understandably, Durham is not for everybody.  It is smaller.  Pretty quaint.  Very affordable.  Lots of trees.  A little colder and chillier than I expected.  It’s silly but in Texas the leaves don’t turn that beautiful Fall color so I really appreciate that in NC.  Brightleaf Square is  pretty cool, filled w/ lots of local restaurants.

Job prospect: B
I think this depends on the field.  If you’re into consulting and i-banking, Fuqua is not the best option.  Sure, there’s Bank of America in Charlotte, but that’s about it.  Fuqua has a strong presence in health care.  I did talk to a few people that were in hospital management or interested in bio-tech.

School: A
Fuqua’s building is awesome.  There’s a new section that was added on.  The open design lets in abundant natural light and makes spending 12+ hours in this building not as depressing.

Natural Light

This is a shot from the library.  You can find more from that Flickr account.  Imagine you’ve been studying for hours.  You’re tired.  You look outside and the red, orange and yellow leaves splattered around the green canvas.  Pretty nice eh?

The Fox Center is where students hang out.  I remember the Atrium at McCombs we would have a hard time finding open seats when it’s busy since the MBA’s have to share that space w/ the undergrad.  The food is the cafeteria has a good variety of food and they’re pretty good as well as reasonably priced.  There was a salad bar, Asian, Indian, a more homey or soul food station, along w/ a deli/sandwich and a pizza station.

Every student has a locker, which is handy b/c you are not allowed to have laptops in the classroom so you can store them in your locker.  Lots of meeting spaces unlike a certain school on the west coast I visited.

Curriculum: A
I sat in on a second year class.  It was in management and strategy… forgot the exact title of the class.  It was about 50 students, give or take.  They had a guest speaker in that day from Bain.  Classes meet for 2:30 w/ a 15 min break.

Fuqua’s curriculum is set up where you are not required to declare a concentration and you can just take whatever courses you want after you are finished w/ your core courses.  I really like that b/c I had a world of difficulty picking a major as an undergrad.  You can also choose up to two if you so desire.  From what I hear most students do declare a concentration.

Fuqua has four 6-week terms.  They move a lot faster.  Many students commented that they feel all of a sudden Thanksgiving is right around the corner.  Because of this, if you take a full load every term you literally end up taking twice as many courses compared to a standard semester or trimester format.  Most people don’t take a full load though as to be more forgiving in terms where they have to be out of town a lot for interviews and company visits, etc.  W/ the 6-week structure you have longer breaks as well that frees you up to do like the GATE courses (GATE is kind of like study abroad but shorter… more like a visit)

Students: A
They have students volunteer to come into the admissions office all the time.  It was really nice to just talking to them.  All the students I talked to had a different background and pursuing something different.  Back in undergrad at McCombs it was basically all consulting or finance.  ***Side note: I really hate group think and herd mentally.  I became quite disillusioned my last couple of years.  Apparently Pat Garrity, who used to play for Orlando Magic is a 2nd-year at Fuqua.  Sadly, I did not see a 6’9″ dude walking around.

Everybody I talked to was super friendly and helpful.  It does help that I already have two friends attending there and I really feel right at home.

Duke is very student driven.  In fact I was surprised to find that students do the admissions interviews and they even get to run the GATE trips.

I have to say there are some sentimental value in Durham.  My dad’s first customer 21 years ago is right here.  In fact, we ate in a restaurant right underneath that office in Brightleaf Square (that company has since been bought out by Pennzoil though).  It does feel like the stars are aligning and giving me signs.  I really like Duke and Durham; I almost felt like I was cheating on Austin.

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