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Duke Fuqua Community Connections – INDUS (South Asian Business Club)

Duke Fuqua Community Connections – INDUS (South Asian Business Club)


– Hi everyone, first of all thanks to everyone for joining us today. We are all a part of the INDUS cabinet here at Fuqua, and today we’re here to
talk everything Fuqua and how INDUS is involved
with this Fuqua community. We’re here to answer
any of your questions, so feel free to send us your questions as and when you have them. In the meantime we can quickly start off with the introductions. So I’m Abhijit Sehgal, I am
originally from Lucknow, UP, but my father was in the army, so I’ve moved around a lot in India across eight or nine different states. Before come, I did my
engineering in Bangalore and started off working
with ZS Associates, which is into healthcare consulting. Worked with them in their India
offices for about two years, post which I permanently transferred to the Philly office here
in the United States. At Fuqua I’ve been involved
with obviously INDUS, the Consulting Club, the Tech Club, and over the summer I
interned with Deloitte in their strategy and
operations consulting arm, and had a great summer. Hi all now, my name is Kedar, and I’m a co-president of the
INDUS club along with Ayush. So quick background about myself. I grew up in Goa and moved
to Mumbai for my undergrad. I’m a chartered accountant by education. Post-graduation I worked with
PwC in the due diligence team, then I moved to KPMG and
their S&O consulting team, and this summer I
interned at a tech startup based out of Florida. And yeah, after Fuqua
I’m just still thinking about multiple options or what job takes. – Hi everyone my name is Aditi. I was born and brought up in Haryana, but after that moved to Ahmedabad. I did engineering from IIT Kharagpur, and post that I work with Deutsche Bank as an investment banker, then moved to a private equity firm called Madison India Capital in Delhi. Work there and yeah, here at Fuqua I am a COLE fellow, and I’m also involved with the Tech Club. And this summer I interned
with Dell Technologies as a product manager. This is a complete transition
from where I was working but it was a very nice experience for me. – And lastly, hi guys, my name is Ayush. I’m also the co-president
of the INDUS club. Before coming to Fuqua, I worked in two different companies, first in financial services
followed by consulting. I interned also at Dell
in product management. Again, a great experience. And otherwise I’m from Jaipur in India, and have worked across cities in India, and I’ve also sort of lived
here in the United States for a brief period in my childhood. With that we can get started. – Yeah.
– Cool. So guys again, please don’t
hesitate to reach out to us with any questions that you have. We will take them as we see them, but in the meantime we can start off talking a bit about the club. So what’s the purpose of our club? When I think of it, I think
of it as two broad buckets. So like career focus as
well as the social focus, but maybe you guys can kick us off with– – Yeah, let me talk about
the career part first. So firstly INDUS is a club which represents South
Asian countries at Fuqua. And from the career perspective, like the Second Year
students who have gone through the recruitment
process in the first year, our main objective is to
assist the First Year students through their career process. So what we do is we have
like a INDUS buddy program where we match each First Year student with a Second Year student depending on their prior experience and what they want to do post-Fuqua. And it’s basically just helping
out the First Year students throughout the recruitment process, which might include resume reviews, or cover letter reviewing, conducting mock interviews,
casing practices. Yeah, that’s pretty much
about the career side of it, and maybe Ayush can tell you a bit more about the social part as well. – Sure, so social is also a big part of the community here. We give a lot of focus on not only a lot of mingling between First Year and
Second Year students. as part of the two-year MBA program, but also making sure that
the cultural transition of people coming from outside the U.S. to a new cultural environment, you know, that’s what
that transition smooth. We going to make sure that
everybody feels at home, not only within say people
from the same country, but also people just
making fresh relationships, value relationships outside of people from their home country. So we want to make sure that people have a good holistic personal as well as professional
experience here at Fuqua based on their previous experience. And yeah, we want to make sure that people can call this place a
new home away from home. – Yeah I think that’s a good point, Ayush, especially around the part where how there are so many international
students who’ve come here and were transitioning to life at Fuqua, and just life in the United States, and it’s I think very important for us to have these sessions early
on as soon as they move here to make them feel at home, give them a cultural background
of how this place runs, and just how to bring their best self to the Fuqua community in general. Maybe we can talk about some of the club engagement
activities with INDUS, some of the initiatives
that we’ve taken on how, again, we inculcate all the
Fuqua INDUS First Year folks into the Fuqua community, so. – Sure. I can start off with that. So we have we have a bunch of
activities and broader events that we do to not only represent our home cultures here at Fuqua, but also for us to experience
that here away from home. For example, we recently
had the Diwali party. People all over the
world love Indian food, like of course we do as well, and then we had our people
from all over kind of the world all representing their their own countries at the Diwali party, having a good time. We talked about our cultures. We shared what Diwali is all about. So that was a good
experience, not only for them, but also for us. Quick tip if you’re coming to Fuqua soon, or if you plan to, don’t
forget your traditional clothes because don’t feel that you have to leave all your traditional
clothes back at home. Because they might come
in handy here as well. – Probably get one more pair, so that your classmates
who are not from India can borrow them and wear
that to the Diwali party. So that’s another pro tip. – So the Diwali party is
actually an INDUS initiative with not just integrates
people within INDUS, but also the entire Fuqua community. So we hosted a party
for around 300 students, and everyone, not just
Indians, but entire, I think all the student, first-year, second-years people showed up, and it was a big pain planning the party. I remember the one week
before that was really having, but the party was really great, and yeah we had a lot of fun. Apart from that I think
we also host like mixers with the First Year students. So initially in September
when the First Year students just came on campus, we
had like an informal mixer just to help them get to
know the Second Year students and build that comfort
level with the second-years. We’re also having a party this Saturday. I think we’re talking about parties a lot. – Yeah, yeah.
(laughing) – So yeah, we’re having
a party this Saturday, Second Year only party because our class hasn’t partied since it’s a really long time. – We also do barside
chat with INDUS alumni who has recently graduated so that INDUS people can get
an idea of what to expect, how to prepare what they are looking for. So that’s also helps you in
career, making career decisions. – And I think another initiative
that we recently started in terms of helping first-years ramp up to their career recruiting stuff was just assigning a few first-years to a few, a cohort of first-years
to each second-year so they can help them out, not just with this resume
and cover letter review, but also help them out with
their behavioral component of the interview that happens. So that’s another thing
apart from just the parties that we do have here. So I do see that we have
a few questions coming in, but we can first just
quickly give our reasons on why we chose to attend Fuqua. So Kedar why don’t you
kick us off and then just go through.
– Yeah. So I’ve read a lot about team Fuqua through Poets&Quants and other blogs, but when I actually reached out
to students or through alums of different business schools, I found the response from
Fuqua alums to be really great, and that’s when I thought like, “If this is the response “when I’m just a prospective student, “what would the response be “when I’m actually a part
of the Fuqua Network?” And that’s something which got me here and Durham was a big sell for me as well. I wanted to be in a college town. I didn’t want to be in a big city. And you can actually feel that in Durham. I think it’s just about,
like, everywhere you go, you see people wearing Duke sweatshirts, and Durham is a great place
to live for two years, not after business school.
(laughing) – Yeah, I totally agree with Kedar. Those were two main reason, but one more reason why I
attended Fuqua was its leadership. So they have this COLE fellow thing and I was really, really
keen on getting into that, because I really wanted to
develop my leadership skills. And I saw how COLE is helping Fuqua and as well as students to do all of those leadership skills. So I’m glad that I
could become part of it, and now can see it by myself how it is helping me shape
my leadership qualities. – Yeah, all the above. Again, I had personal
and professional reasons to come to Fuqua, including
Duke has been around basketball. I’m a huge basketball fan. I wanted to get involved
there as well at Fuqua. And other than that, I
also went to an undergrad, I went to BITS in India, and that was also a
very small college town. I wanted a similar
experience from my post there because after that, again, it’s
going to be living in cities for the rest of our lives. So I wanted to make sure that I have that sort of close-knit community during my experience during my MBA, and that’s something I found at Fuqua to be not only rewarding professionally, but also personally, right? It’s not a place you want to call, you might have read on the website that the experience is transformational. I wanted to make sure that my experience here
is not transactional, and that it’s actually transformational from a personal as well that’s
professional perspective. – Yeah for me I think having
a healthcare background and wanting to continue
that path post-Fuqua, I was very attracted to the HWM. That’s the Health Sector
Management program. And that’s one of the best in the country with professors like David
Ridley and Peter Ubel, who have a huge say in
this industry in general, and being taught by these
professors has been amazing. I think personally I think it
talks about team Fuqua a lot, and it’s hard to put that into words, but when I did come here for an interview, I felt that like the whole school was, I felt was being run by students. Like my interview was being
conducted by a second-year. I think that whole experience was, it’s just tangible on the
campus once you’re here what team Fuqua is all about. Do you want to, yeah, let’s just start–
– Yeah, let’s move on to the questions. We’ve got a few. So first one is, “Is it required to seek help “from consultants for
application writing?” – Short answer, no, it’s not required. – Yeah. – I did not hire a consultant. I did contemplate on it though. There are a lot of different reasons why people may or may
not hire a consultant, but I don’t know if you guys– – I would say it’s not required, but it is important to get the perspective of someone who has been
through a business school, who has been through this process, because if you show it to
someone who’s just been in India, they don’t really like
know the entire process a student goes through. So I would advise if you have a friend or anyone who’s actually
done their MBA in the U.S., get your essays reviewed by them. But that would be of utmost importance. Yeah like I made my
consultants the Fuqua people. So I had a lot of people from undergrad as well as people I could, you
know, they connected me to. So it was like free
consulting services that way. Also Fuqua’s really great in
just helping out there so… – Yeah.
– Cool. – Yeah, I do agree with
that Ayush and Kedar. It’s not important hiring a consultant and who can actually help you out, but this is is getting
your applications proofread by people who you trust
or who are your mentors. It might be within your firm. It might be within your family. And just make sure that
your application is crisp and is genuine more than anything where you’re expressing
your interest for Fuqua, and why you want to come here. – I did hire a consultant, but I felt like more than that, my friends really helped
me with the review because they knew my story better. They knew how I should be portraying it, so I felt like consultant
was there just for the sake, but my friends were the best resources. – So next question is, “How is the academic experience at Fuqua different from that of other B schools?” I don’t know I haven’t
been to other B schools. But we can talk about how’s the
academy experience at Fuqua. – Yeah. – Maybe gives them a perspective on that. – I think it’s a great balance of the, So first of all, full disclosure, this was the first time I was
exposed to an academic setting within the United States. So I loved it because it
was more practical-based as opposed to what we’re
used to studying in India, where it’s very theoretical. But having said that, it’s a
really good balance of cases, actual real-life cases that have happened in
the past with companies, along with the professor
bringing his research material into class where he’s talking about, like we had this one class
called Consumer Behavior, where the professor was giving us snippets from his ongoing research
which was not even published. So I think for me it’s been great so far. – Yeah it’s been really great and plus I really like the
how they focus on team. So in first year you are
assigned a random team which has domestic as well
as international students, and all are from different backgrounds. So working together with them was really a very different experience, and this is something I
learned a lot from my team. Like hearing from their opinion, and how to deal with different situation. So not just like academic setting, but within team Fuqua setting
that I saw within my team. – Yeah, maybe another lighter note can be, like, acads are intense and
you have to balance that along with other things at Fuqua. What I’ve heard from some people
from other business schools is that like some other
top business schools are even more, I would say,
like more academic-driven, but at the same time, they might not give so much
importance to say your GPA and that’s something which Fuqua I think has a good balance of. We do have great disclosure at Fuqua, but it’s not like it’s going to interfere with some of your other
priorities that you may have, lead recruiting and some other– – And I think that’s where the whole team
Fuqua aspects comes in. There were so many times last year when I had other commitments where I was prioritizing
maybe recruiting activities more than the academics, but then my C-lead, or my
First Year team that we, we’re assigned like teams
of five to six folks from different parts of the world who work together throughout
their life at Fuqua, and so they stepped in, and they really took
ownership of those tasks. And I did the same once they were prioritizing other stuff, so. – I think even the professors
are pretty understanding. If you’re going through
a recruiting process, they understand what it’s like. They understand that you
want to focus on recruiting, so they are considerate of the fact that you would be spending a
lot of your time on recruiting. – Yeah, sorry. Just
another point before that. Yeah a lot of, in terms
of academic experience is also a lot of experiential
learning programs here at Fuqua, which try
and brdige the the gap between academics and the real world. More information can be
able to on the website. We’re happy to answer more
questions if you have it there, but stuff like something called the Fuqua Client
Consulting Practicum program for entrepreneurs, a lot of mentored study… – Fuqua on Board. – Fuqua on Board. There’s a bunch of stuff out there which you can actually work with, say a company or a private research firm along with your academics, and that would connect the
bridge between schools. – So I think that brings
me to my next question. I would like to combine two
questions that I would hear. And our first one is, “What are the other clubs that really help “enhance your Fuqua MBA experience, “and can each one of you
talk about your contribution “to Fuqua outside the class?” So let me quickly start by
just giving one example, not about clubs, but about some
initiative which I’m doing. Ayush just mentioned there
is a mentored study program over here at Fuqua which
essentially lets you work, it’s like a second internship. So it pays you with a company, and it lets you work with
them for whatever role that you might want to work in. So I realized that I wanted to get some experience in marketing because I come traditionally
from a finance background, so I’m currently working
with a tech startup which is based out of the Bay Area. It deals in AI softwares for, artificial intelligence softwares for cameras, and drones, and I’m working in the
product marketing function. So it’s been a great experience because I’m getting to work
actually with a company, and in a different role than
what I have my experience in. So that’s been a really
great experience for me. It’s not really related to clubs, but that’s something which
I want to talk about. – Yeah so for me since
I was changing industry, it was very important
to get myself involved and show my passion towards
the industry I wanted to go. So I really wanted to enter
into the tech industry, so there are like tech club, which really helps you
prepare for the tech industry, like product casing, or
strategy casing, finance casing, no matter which rule you
are applying in tech. Also as Ayush mentioned about FCCP, Fuqua Client Consulting Practicum, I did a digital transformation
strategy project for a company in Columbia which really helped me
get exposure in the tech, and could portray that
to prospective companies, like how and why I’m
interested in this field. Apart from that, there are
so many different clubs. It really depends on what you want to do. We have consulting, tech club, general management, marketing, – FinTech.
– FinTech, there’s so many. It really depends on what you want to make out of your experience at Fuqua. – Yeah and these were some
of the professional clubs. There’s a lot of not
professional clubs as well. INDUS is one of the
non-professional diversity clubs that we have here at Fuqua. And other than that, you
can even be a part of clubs outside of Fuqua and
part of Duke University. Like for example I was a part of the Duke Basketball
Operations team last year, so that was also something that people take up here at Fuqua. – Yeah, I think apart from all the things that have already been mentioned, I was a part of the, I am a
part of the Arts Club here ’cause I like playing the
guitar in my free time, so we meet once a week and
we just jam here in school which is not just a good stress reliever, but I think it’s just
good overall development, meeting your classmates
and just catching up. – Just one point which is
not related to this question, but the previous questions, you can also take classes
at the bigger Duke. I’m taking classes in
Pratt Engineering School for Product Management, so there are many different classes. So depending on your
interests you can choose. Even there are music classes which you can take in different schools. – So let’s move on to
some serious stuff now. I’d like to combine two questions. “What according to you
is the main limitation “or challenge that Indians face
in getting their dream job, “or pursue their goals in U.S. post-MBA?” And a related question to this is, “What industries and companies “are truly open to hiring “and sponsoring visas for internationals, “especially Indian students?” So one is a challenge and the companies which
are open for hiring. – First of all I don’t
think there’s a distinction between international
students and Indians. I think it’s very binary. They’re either sponsoring a
visa for any international, or they’re not. So there’s no distinction there, but yeah I’ll get let
you guys get started. – Yeah, I think the biggest
challenge is sponsor check– – What do you read in the newspapers? What’s happening with U.S.? So I would say, yes, the
companies are shying away from hiring international students. That is a concern. Like thing at Fuqua, a lot of
general management companies have closed, not just at Fuqua, but I think must be happening across the U.S.
– Yes. it is. – Yeah, it is happening across the U.S. A lot of general management companies are, FMCG companies are closing doors
for international students. They are not really willing to sponsor, so that is biggest challenge. In western banking is also another area where they’re slowly closing down doors for international students. Given that or said that,
the two main industries which are really opening their arms for international students, one is consulting, and second one is tech. Tech is like the biggest savior out here. Maybe you guys could talk more about– – Yeah just to give you some examples, last year at Dell we were
eight people, and of those– – All internationals.
– All internationals. – Amazon is big big on
hiring internationals. Last year and this year as
well from what I know so– – Yeah, so and one thing apart from it, we’re trying to be as as
transparent as possible, but having said what we’re saying, I believe that especially when you think about your dream companies, more often than not your dream
company would be sponsoring, at least in these two industries
consulting and technology. If you have a very specific
niche that you want to go into, I would wear a more practical hat before saying that, “Hey
I want to do a very niche, “take on a very niche career
in a very small company.” I’d want to wear a more
practical head there. So it depends on what
your dream company is, and what your dream industry is. – And if I look at the
class, like our class, of INDUS students, we’ve
got really good placements with really good companies. Like in consulting, we got
McKinsey, BCG, PwC, Deloitte, in tech we got Dell,
Google, Amazon, Microsoft, so it’s been hard, it’s been tough, it’s been a struggle,
but it’s not something which is not achievable, at least given the current circumstances. – And I think one thing I want to add here is the definition of a dream
company is constantly evolving so I know a lot of people
who’ve come into Fuqua, they were like, “Hey I
want to do consulting, “I want to work for
MBBS or Deloitte or PwC” and then they come in and they go through the process, they learn more about consulting as an industry
and they immediately wanted to switch over to a tech firm. So I think that keeps changing as well and most of the big firms if not all, I think sponsor international,
so I don’t think that’s a really big issue. – Do you guys want to talk about MSTeM as well before we do that? – Oh yes that’s a big one. – Yeah, there are questions about that. I’d be great if you can
talk about MSTeM at Fuqua and the career prospects,
and there was one more. How does one get the MSTeM
track is it a bidding system? – So it’s not a bidding system
it’s like a concentration or certification that you
apply so at Fuqua you can apply for two concentration or one
concentration one certification so MSTem is just one certification, you have to meet certain requirements, you are supposed to do eight courses, you can get the details on the website. If you have done those courses
and met those requirements you get that instant certification. with MSTeM you get like
three year OPT extensions, so that’s a great benefit
like if you don’t get selected in the first or second
round of h-1b lottery, you can still stay here
for three years on that. But the caveat is you have to
make sure that your company job description matches
with the stem requirement If that’s not there even though
you have stem certification, it will not be valid. – But I think it’s it’s huge
because there are firms that generally don’t hire internationals all across the United States who are only hiring at
a few courses like PwC, would generally not hire internationals because of this MSTeM certification which I think Fuqua is one of the only few schools who has this
certified with the USCIS. PwC agreed to hire and
they hired, I think that two or three internationals
went to PwC overall so that I think that it’s a huge deal for some of the firms who
are not hiring before. – Yeah even for some of the startups which do not hire internationals, if you tell them you
have stem certification, they are willing to look at you and explore that option with you. – Can you also talk about
how you all leverage the Career Services Center
during your first year? – Yeah so CMC has a– – CMC’s Career Management – Career Management Center, sorry. – Lot of acronyms. – Lot of acronyms, get used
to them (laugh) later on. Yes so they have a
defined curriculum for us, like they prepare us how to
reach out to Fuqua alumnis, or any other alumni,
how to send them email even on resumes, how to
create your Lamp List, Lamp List is a list where
you list on the companies you are interested in to and want to apply so how to create that
how to prioritize that they also teach you how to make your cover letter and resumes. Not only that but also prepare
you for mock interviews. So every post you’d
get a career fellow and those career fellow are your go to buddy for all your career related issues and they’ll help you, they’re the one will check your resumes, will review your cover letter, will do
mock interviews with you and can also help you with any other resources that you might
need so that’s in there. Apart from that we have CMC directors sitting in the office and you can go and talk to them as and when you need. Just to clarify by career fellow, Fuqua is a student-led school, so career fellow is usually
a Second Year student who is paired with a First Year student you have career fellow
as one resource to go to who will be matched
relating to the industry which you want to work in. Then you also have like
with INDUS, you have an INDUS buddy which also is kind of your INDUS career buddy who you can reach out to for different types of like any queries, doubts, or again reviews that you want to do about your documents. – I just want to talk a
little bit more about the CMC. So the CMC is divided into various sectors by each industry, so you have finance, you have tech, you have consulting, and then you have directors sitting in each one of them and a lot of CMC folks who are there to help you out on call you can just walk
in, you have walk-in hours. Second thing is how
CMC works, is they have these- everything that Aditi mentioned, and so they keep you on a tight schedule just to make sure that
you’re able to catch up with all the deadlines, the recruiting deadlines that are there. But then CMC also works with
the various clubs at Fuqua like the tech club, the consulting club, and which is which happens every Wednesday which is a holiday here
but the most busy day and there they take you through literally how to start a case, how
to prepare for behaviorals, how to go about choosing your location and all that stuff, so CMC I think plays a vital role and was literally
like my walking stick through this recruiting process last year. – I utilize CMC a lot for they have this practice the interview sessions. I utilize them in the second year for the second year recruiting, and that was really helpful. So they have like a
small group session with one CMC person where they ask you interview questions and each one of them, each one of those, like
say students, in the room they go on answering the questions and you get individual feedback not just from the CMC people but
also from the students in the room, so that was a really good experience for me and had a really steep learning curve in
my interview preparation. Other than that as I think
I mentioned CMC people are always available for
your first go-to resource would be the Second Year students, but if you still not happy with that, CMC personnel always there, you can always reach out to them they walk-in
hours or with appointment. “How does one get into
a leadership role in “one of the clubs including INDUS?” – Ayush, why don’t you take this one, being the co-president of our INDUS club? – So, one, there’s no secret form, its being involved and being as involved as you would want to. I would say something that’s different from being at business school versus you know some prior academic experiences, do what you really, you know something that you’re really passionate
about and what you love. You only have two years and it flies by really fast. And you want to make the most of it so something where you can learn the most or where you can sort of derive the most value as well as give some value is where you would want
to invest your time. Leadership, I think it
comes automatically. All of us were involved
you know with INDUS and other clubs and
activities in our first year and like leadership
opportunities just come up if you’re involved and
show that enthusiasm. – Or to be more specific on this, I think, so what happened
with INDUS or with any of the clubs is in February or March of your first year you would
submit your applications for that leadership of
being the co-president of that club and then whoever is a member of that club will actually vote for the various applications that come in and whoever gets the maximum vote will actually end up
becoming the co-president that’s how we became
co-presidents of INDUS club and then after that it’s upon us to select our cabinet, so we sent
out application forms for people who are interested
in joining the INDUS cabinet and we had interviews with our first-year batch mates and then selected
an entire cabinet accordingly so that’s pretty much what the process which is followed across
all the clubs at Fuqua. – So basically in first year, every club will be releasing their application form so if you are interested
in particular club, be on look out for that
and just fill that form and then you interview with them and then you get selected. – Yeah and to be fair
it’s not like a process where you’re filling in these applications for the first time, you’ve already had a lot of interaction with that club before like you would have volunteered on certain initiatives with the
second-years at that time who know you by now and so it’s all about showing that interest from the beginning, I think is important. – “What courses clubs
plus hands-on experience “one can leverage to move to consulting “from operations and
supply chain backgrounds.” I think let’s talk about
moving into consulting from a non consulting background, not just keep it restricted to operations and supply
chain, so consulting books. – Okay so I think the first thing is just going to all
these recruiting events so there’s tons of consulting companies that come on campus so just
attending their sessions getting to learn more
about the kind of work they do a lot of them
are driven by industry specializations from the beginning and some of them follow a generalist role so you need to realize or understand what suits you better or if there’s an industry that you are already
interested in and you know you want to specialize versus someone who wants to try out different industries before specializing in
one so I think that’s one and two, once you’ve identified that this is the right industry for you, you go through the CMC, the
resources that we talked about, the CMC or career fellow,
the consulting club, who literally walk you through each step in the process by like,
“All right your resumes are “due now, get your
resumes reviewed by your “second-years or the CMC folks “the cover letters are due,” the informationals, how to conduct them with the various practitioners in these consulting companies.
– Casing roadmap. – Yeah the casing roadmap is a big one I think, thanks Kedar, yeah, in the consulting club where they literally take you in through this one and a half month journey of how to actually go through a case and what best resources that you can use to kind of hone your casing skills for the final D-day during the interviews, but yeah I think you have enough resources but it’s just about identifying whether it’s the right industry for you or not. – Yeah and I think that is the question that you want to answer for yourself. Either you can do that after you’re here or you can even do that before. Other than that I don’t think there’s like a huge this- I don’t
think you need to do anything else before you come to Fuqua to actually pursue those tracks. In fact I think we would
probably recommend not to, like enjoy your time if you’ve already you know been admitted or if you’re considering Fuqua like you know put in your best applications and then when you get here, you can trust the process and then just follow that and you don’t need to worry about too much about your background if you want to get into consulting, and I
believe consulting firms are probably even more than welcome you know they more than
welcome people from diverse backgrounds as opposed to people who’ve already seen this area. – There are some admitted students here as well, so how how do
you recommend spending the next few months in
order to be ready for the MBA program and the internship? – So first of all, a big congratulations from all of us, welcome to team Fuqua, and over the next few months I think it’s just making
sure you’re tracking the to-do lists that
Fuqua keeps sending you and they will, they will make sure that you know that these are the things that you need to check off your list, but apart from that, as
Ayush mentioned earlier, just spend this time with your friends and family, enjoy, take a break, and bring your best self to Fuqua once you come in here next year. – I would say watch a lot of Netflix. (laughs) No, honestly, like people, everyone even in recruiting sessions, people talk about Netflix shows a lot and people talk about Game of Thrones, Chernobyl, and Stranger Things and whatnot so be on top of all of that, because it really helps you in joining
in that conversation and contributing something meaningful, and I know it sounds
stupid but it is true, that’s what I experienced at least. – Basically just chill because first year is going to be so hectic. If you exhaust yourself
before coming to Fuqua I don’t think you will be able to survive, so just enjoy and then put your best shoes when you are at Fuqua. – I’m going to be that
bad guy and actually tell you stuff that you can do, not like you need to you know go around and reaching out to
people, you don’t need to reach out to companies or people, please actually don’t do that that, that actually might go against you. I would say two things that you can do is just read about the culture here, read about you know
sports, so that you know what’s going on in the news, just so you’re more up-to-date and of the environment and the culture not only professionally but personally. You know like if you’re
interested in a sport or you’re interested in
traveling to the U.S., you might want to read about that so you can talk to it as well when you come over here. Second is as you mentioned,
do some soul-searching. Take some time to really
get to know yourself. Now that you’ve been admitted to Fuqua, you already have a lot of good things working for you so you can really take this time to
really get to know yourself and spend time thinking about
what you really want to do. – I think what a lot of
people don’t realize is that the recruiting process we heard is very different in the U.S. is very different from what it is in India, it’s not just on your resume so you have a lot of networking sessions with if you want to, say work with BCG, BCG is here, I think
almost every other week. – I mean we have we have a dedicated person from BCG who sits– – Who sits on campus. They have a lot of dinners and networking sessions where you are expected to talk and contribute about not about consulting but about general stuff and that’s where your knowledge about Fuqua about the culture around Fuqua all about
like Game of Thrones or the Netflix shows or
even just reading about The Wall Street Journal and knowing what’s happening in the U.S. that really helps and helps you stand out in front of the others where you
look like an informed person contributing to a conversation. – Yeah, and to Kedar’s
point about the differences between recruiting here like especially if you’re doing consulting and I’m talking through my experience
here firms over index more on your networking
skills than your GPA or what’s on your resume
of course that’s important but like I felt that
networking and how you talk to these practitioners and the first impression that you make on them is more important than the other stuff which is paid more attention to when you’re in India recruiting for firms. – Yeah another just one
last point on that would be like I came here and
I found out that a big part of interviewing is
is behavioral questions and sometimes it just
got hard for me to recall everything that I did in my previous jobs. If you guys have time, you
might want to note down some initiatives or projects
or some of the details of the project that you’re doing right now or you have done in the past. Don’t over dwell on them,
but if you just have them noted down, you bring them to Fuqua they will definitely help you when you’re talking to your prior experience during your interviews. – “What plan of action would you recommend “to convert a wait list
to an interview decision?” – So I was on wait list but I was wait listed after my interview. But I could tell what are
the things that I did, so I tried to look into my application and try and figure out what could be the weakest point why I didn’t make it. So for me weakest point was my GMAT, so I tried and give the GMAT again and wrote to the admissions and gave them an update and reiterated how and why I am interested, also I developed a very good relationship with my interviewer so I was in constant touch with him and he actually wrote a recommendation to the school on my behalf seeing my progress and my interview experience with him, so I don’t know what
worked for me but I would say just look into your
application and try and understand what you
think is the weakest link and try and work on that
and then send out an update to Fuqua and also let
them know like why you are still interested and
what does that keeps you motivated to apply to
Fuqua and wait for your wait list to be converted. – Also if you are in U.S. anytime, doesn’t hurt to visit Fuqua and meet the admissions committee. I know it’s it’s easier said than done, but you could think about that as well. – No I think one of my partners, of one of my C-lead
members was wait-listed and I think what helped
her was she was based in the U.S. obviously
it was easier but she would visit Fuqua a lot
especially during these diversity events that kept
happening here and this meeting with the admissions
team reiterating how much she wanted to be at Fuqua
and come here so I think that worked in her favor and she did join in the class of 2021. – So one question about Durham, “Durham being away from
a major city like Chicago “or NYC, is there any
advantage or disadvantage “associated with that fact with “respect to networking events?” – I think with networking events, I’ll just speak for
consulting you guys can speak to tech and Kedar can even talk about IB. So with consulting, I
don’t think there’s any disadvantage of being
in Durham, because Fuqua being like one of the top schools here, most of the firms come here on campus and they have at least what,
eight to ten different practitioners, they have events, they have happy hours where you can
network with the folks and get to know more about
the culture of the firm, we also do something called beacon cities, which is basically during the fall, one break First Year
students go visit the city of their choice where they
see themselves working in the future and visiting again all these consulting firms in
their offices and again networking, building more
points of contacts there. So I don’t think there’s
a disadvantage to being in Durham, from a consulting standpoint. – Yes, same for tech as
well, all the big tech companies come down on
campus to the presentation hall there, office hour,
where you can meet with them one-on-one or one on two, and just like consulting, we also have beacon cities for tech companies where you go to Bay Area and
Seattle and spend time with different companies over there. So I don’t see any sort of
disadvantage in that respect and plus, like tech companies
are not so big on networking as much as consulting. – And about IB, to be brutally honest, I would say yes there is
a disadvantage because Investment Banking is
everything is in New York and they expect you to
travel to New York to build up a rapport with them, so you’re expected to travel to New York
at least two or three times in, sometimes in
November which is very costly and it is very
stressful because you have to plan your trip in such a
way that you talk to three or four people and then
sometimes people do not respond and then it happens with either I planned a trip to New
York and just ended up meeting one person in
that day and I had to spend $400 round-trip
flight cost just to meet that one person, so from
IB perspective I think location is a disadvantage. – But I think that would be the case for any- but I’m not sure, but would that be the case for any school that’s not in New York? – Yeah.
– Right – I would say more than
location it’s more of companies. A lot of big companies
have their target schools. You can get more
information about different employment reports but I
don’t think the location per se is ever a problem,
even if a company doesn’t want to come down say you know from a far-off office down to Capitals, they can always recruit
like offline as well over virtual interviews or use
a virtual session as well all of that is very very,
I would say developed, in the U.S. as opposed to
like, or compared to India, where a company would only come on campus to hire engineering schools. Like it did happen, I
was in a remote location in Pilani in Rajasthan
in India and there were companies who wouldn’t come all the way from to a remote location,
it doesn’t work like that in the U.S. cities are relatively well connected to technology or just
through transportation means and Durham actually is
is pretty well connected you know given this entire
Research Triangle Park here that were in, there’s a
very high sort of attraction rate of companies in this
area, along with companies that are looking to open up new offices in this Raleigh-Durham area. – Yeah, another thing,
tech is one industry which doesn’t require networking. It requires very minimal
amount of networking which can be done or
phone calls, so for tech definitely and even
for consulting, I think definitely location is not a problem. “So should we go ahead with applying in “round two or three or wait “for a year and target round one?” – It depends I guess, like any answer. I think it depends on your application, how good you’re feeling
about your application at the time, if you really think that you have checked off all
the boxes and you have credentials to show for
why you deserve to be here I think it’s okay to apply in round two and three but given
this just know you also have to be smart about
it you know the stats how many students get in
through round one versus two versus three so I’m
going to leave that up to you but again it’s all about how you feel so it’s about you would
rather submit your best application next year if that’s better, versus now or but if you do
feel that this is the best that you can do in terms
of your application, go ahead and submit now. – I think you, as an international, we can all apply in round three because of visa, but I’m not sure. But I think round two is our last round. – And I’m sure the admissions
team here at Fuqua, might be able to add more
– Answer. – Yeah, provide more value there. We can share our personal experience. – “What international
student would you recommend “submitting an application
with a pragmatic “short-term goal like consulting or tech, “versus something niche
like luxury retail?” – It’s interesting. – I would say your short-term
goal in your essays has to be something
specific it doesn’t have to be something niche, but if you just say that you want to work
in consulting, I mean, that’s like 90% of the
Indian engineer crowd. Which one do you want
to come to? Come to U.S. so it has to be something
if you say consulting, I think it has to be
something very specific in consulting as well,
you only need to really think about it like what you want to do, which industry you want to target, – Or how it ties back
to your long term goal like how will the short term goal lead you to achieving your long term goal. – Yeah I guess you have
to think about your storyline also, from where you’re working, why you want to move to
this next and how this will help you to move
to your long-term goals. So think about that storyline
and then put that into the application, actually
think about what you really want and put that into the
application I would say. – Yeah I agree with
Aditi, I would say just like really follow your
heart and plant seeds, right and the admissions
company knows that, you know that, everybody knows that, the plans can change,
they probably will change you know once you’re here at Fuqua, but just for the
application I think I truly believe that the best
application comes forth when you are your true self
so it’s not about putting something which is pragmatic and does not align with who you are. Being yourself is an important part of getting in because getting in is not a destination right? Actually what you want to
do and having those goals being fulfilled and you
seeing yourself in those shoes after a few years is the ultimate goal. So keep that in mind. – I think it also shows
in your in the interview if you’re not passionate
about or if you’ve just written a story just
to try and get your foot in the door through this in the school. I think it shows in the
interviews if you’re not being genuine so I think
stick to your story you know your stuff, you research this stuff a lot, like where you actually want to be. Just try to tie back your short-term goal into your long-term goal
in terms of how you’re going to achieve that or how this is going to pave the path for that. – Just a related question
to that is, “how do “you show that, how do you stand out “in your applications?” – These are all tough questions (laughs) – I have an answer for that actually. the way to stand out in
your applications is do a lot of research, talk to
people who are currently in Fuqua, who graduated
out of Fuqua recently, learn about Fuqua,
learn about what exactly happens in the school and
that is what will help you differentiate your
application and not make it a very generic application
like, “Hey I want to be a “part of the consulting
club. I want to be a part “of the tech club.” like everybody knows
that, but you need to dive deeper and give out specifics that what you want to do at Fuqua. I think there’s an essay
which we had at least, like how do you want to
spend your time at Fuqua, and giving out those
specifics, learning more about the school will actually help you stand out and differentiate. – Yeah I think I can
confidently speak for everyone here that we knew the
Fuqua website inside out by the time we were done
with the applications because we had just
researched about everything that goes on at Fuqua,
which also shows that you’re interested and you
really want to go here. – And also everyone has
their own story to share so that itself makes it
different and stand out, so focus on like what’s
your story, what you want to achieve out of it. – “Do GRE applicants face any
disadvantage with these GMAT, “also are GMAT scores needed
for consulting interviews?” – I’m not sure about GRE. – Yeah, even I’m not. Maybe you can reach out to the admissions for better guidance on
this but for consulting I can take the second one. They do ask you for your GMAT scores in the application process but I
don’t think it matters a lot. Well having said that
you obviously want to maintain a respectable
GMAT score but I think what they pay more attention to
is your overall personality, how you bring yourself to the table, your networking skills, your
resume, what you did before this, I think GMAT
is just one small component in the application process for consulting. – I would say it doesn’t really matter because from McKinsey
like they just asked it in the application but
then I don’t think so they ever looked at it
because my GMAT was not that great as compared to
other Indian students, I’m just comparing to Indian students, so I don’t think so they looked at it. – “Looking back, is
there one thing you wish “you knew or would have done
when starting in Fuqua?” – Taken a longer vacation maybe. (laughs) – I would have lost a lot of weight before coming to Fucqua, because
you will end up putting on a lot of weight in your first year, because the amount of
junk you end up eating over here, but on a
serious note, yeah, what? – I would say two things, one I slightly touched upon slightly in one of the previous questions is that
just noting down stories. I tended to forget a lot of some of the nice projects I did. I think I realized like
later on in my first year, “I also took this initiative at work.” I’m like that would
have been a great study for this interview so
that’s noting those down. It might, again don’t over stress on it, but having those bullet points jotted down maybe would’ve helped more. Second would be, here
everyone is competitive. Everyone is super smart
and sometimes it gets tough to break out of the MBA bubble or the Fuqua bubble just
from a career standpoint, from what you really want to do. So I would say I really mean it when when we say take some time off to really get to know yourself and what you want to do,
because once you get here there’s no looking back, and if you don’t have a plan, you’re just going to be a follower,
be it recruiting be it you know, other stuff as
opposed to doing something that will truly give you
happiness in the long run. – Yeah I don’t think I have anything to add to that, very well said. – Something, “do we need
permission from Fuqua “to get involved in other
clubs like the art clubs “that is outside of
Fuqua?” I don’t think so. – No I don’t think you
need permission to be involved in any clubs, so I think Fuqua is just like Ayush mentioned earlier, Fuqua is a student-run school, you can be a part of as many clubs as you want there is no max cap
there, whether it’s with Fuqua, whether it’s with
the bigger Duke community, so I don’t think you need any additional or outside permission for that. – Yeah joining a club is as easy as– – Just clicking a button. – Unlike many school, Fuqua doesn’t ask for membership
fee to join a club. That’s a big point.
– Do schools ask for fees? – Yeah, a lot of schools do this. – I didn’t know this.
– Yeah, I don’t know that. – “Could you talk about
your interaction with “professors, do you
interact them even outside “the academic responsibilities?” – Yeah I did all the time
and professors actually take a lot of pride in that. They actually, one of
our professors actually sent out an email asking us to reach out, or just to talk, or a coffee, about anything going on in their life, and that’s something
that they really enjoy. Again, tying it back to
my undergrad experience, it’s very different here, your professors are like incredibly
well-connected awesome people and just great human beings to talk to outside of the academics problems. – And it’s bound to
happen that like in one of your classes or courses
there’s a certain topic that the professor is talking about that strikes a chord with you based on your past experience or
something personal that’s happened with you, you can just walk up to him during the break or even after hours and talk to him about his research on that and they’re
more than happy I think they in fact, they enjoy
speaking to students and getting their perspectives on it, on those topics so yeah
I think it’s very very different from the
academic setting in India. – Let’s take maybe one more
question because I think we’re– – Yeah so there were
some specific questions about admissions and scholarships we would advise you to reach out to Morgan for that because we would
not be the best people to comment on scholarships
or even some specific admission questions which are over here. – Last question is “is
learning a foreign language “like Spanish advantageous
at Fuqua and beyond?” – I mean I don’t know
if I want to look at it from that perspective,
I think that’s just, do you want to learn Spanish I think is the first question, don’t look at it from is it going to be advantageous at Fuqua, I don’t think so. – Learning English is very
advantageous. (laughs) – But yeah, I mean the
more languages you know, it’s probably good yeah
personally, I’m not sure if– – We haven’t faced any
disadvantage of not knowing – Spanish or French, yeah. – All right, and any
last- okay “what nonprofit “activities opportunities are
organized in a team setting?” This Fuqua board? – This Fuqua board, we even had the whole community building thing– – Durham Habitat, Habitat for Durham with our C-Lead – Rise Against Hunger – Rise Against Hunger– – There are opportunities,
like a few opportunities which are organized by
Fuqua, and if you want to get more involved in those opportunities it’s up to you, I know a classmate of mine who used to volunteer at Durham Habitat, he did that for the entire year last year and that’s because he wanted to
contribute to the community. – So we have impact investing club, which collaborate with
lot of these nonprofit things and work with them, a couple of our friends are also doing that so that’s a great area and Fuqua is also known for its impact investing so something to check out, sorry, we are not
so involved in that club. – And broadly, as we said, Fuqua is big on community it could be community of students at Fuqua, at Duke, in Durham, all of that there’s plenty of stuff to do you know from a non profit standpoint here professionally and personally and overall even if you want to start something new, that’s also super easy at Fuqua. If there’s any initiative or idea that you want to bring onto our table that would be more than appreciated. – Right I think so we’ll
wrap things up here, I think first of all again
a big congratulations to all the folks who’ve been admitted, welcome to team Fuqua,
all the perspectives we hope you’re going to
send in your applications, your best applications, and we wish you all the best with the application process and just overall I hope we’ve been able to answer most of your questions and just give you a flavor of what being at Fuqua is like. – I think yeah one for
prospective applicants one important thing is just reach out to people on LinkedIn, you can just search by Duke University and see the new students if you want to talk to people from INDUS, people always happy to help out, so keep reaching out and
keep doing a research. – Thanks for joining.
– Thank you! – Thanks so much!

1 comment found

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