MQM: Business Analytics
My Program Track:
Why I Chose Fuqua
The opportunity to be surrounded by such impressive peers and faculty at such a prestigious institution was really what drove my decision to attend Fuqua. When you step on campus, from the impressive neo-Gothic architecture to the beautiful nature spanning from the massive trees to Duke Gardens, you just know it’s a special place. I was also blown away by how approachable everyone was throughout my exploration and application process. From current students, to alumni, to the admissions team, everyone was more than happy to answer my questions, and it always felt like I was talking to a friend.
I worked as a Business Intelligence and Data Analyst at Pineapple Payments, a payments startup in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Being largely self-taught prior to coming to Fuqua, the MQM program offered exactly what I was looking for: more formal training in the skills that are essential in today’s world for a data professional.
My plan is to continue progressing in the field as a senior data/business intelligence analyst or data scientist. With the formal education in the tools essential for a data professional, as well as more exposure to the math behind these tools and the managerial skills to lead data teams, the MQM program has given me the tools to be successful in the next chapter of my career.
5 Tips for Maximizing Your Time at Fuqua
- Say yes to things. Working for a few years prior to attending Fuqua really opened my eyes to the importance of this, but you’ll have opportunities to do some really cool things and meet amazing people. Don’t spread yourself too thin, but make the most of your time; it’s a unique situation.
- Get to know your classmates. I can say that in my short time here thus far, I’ve already made lifelong friends from all over the world. It’ll be uncomfortable at first being in a new place around complete strangers, but everyone is in the same boat, and you’ll be surprised how easy it is to make new friends.
- Get to know the faculty. Everyone that I’ve interacted with, from the program administration to the professors, have all been fantastic, and an especially great thing about them is that they’re approachable to get to know as people. Take the extra time to chat with them where appropriate. It’ll make your time in the classroom much more fruitful.
- Don’t stress too much about the job search while you’re still getting used to the new surroundings. A 10-month graduate program goes quickly; take the time to partake in what Fuqua has to offer. As long as you’re keeping up with the advice of the career center and getting your application materials in order as you go, you’ll be in good shape.
- Have fun! Classes can get stressful, and you obviously want to succeed academically, but you’re surrounded by fantastic people in a very cool place. Go take that weekend trip to Asheville or bar crawl with your new friends in Chapel Hill on a Friday night. You got into Fuqua, so you have what it takes to succeed academically. Don’t forget to enjoy yourself along the way.
The Strategy Track
My MQM program track is Strategy. Coming in with a background in finance, I felt combining that fundamental piece of business with the management-focused strategy track would best set me up for success in a higher-level role post-graduation. The coursework in this track has given me the opportunity to explore how operational decisions can be made using data as a driver, as well as allowed me to dive deeper into modeling from a business perspective. In future courses, we’ll be examining how to approach issues that we may face as managers, as well as how to better manage our future teams and the organization of our future firms.