Duke University, Fuqua School of Business
Describe yourself in 15 words or less: A Wahoo learning to root for Blue Devil basketball. Passionate about entrepreneurship and impact investing.
Hometown: Fairfax Station, VA
Fun Fact About Yourself: I climbed three volcanoes (one active) during the two years that I worked in Guatemala.
Undergraduate School and Major: University of Virginia; Economics, Spanish
Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation: Cambridge Associates – Investment Performance Associate; Strategic Financial Associates – Director of Investments; Pomona Impact – Investment Officer
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Being the lead investment officer on three direct investments, including the largest deal to date, at Pomona Impact, a Central America-focused impact investment fund.
Looking back on your experience, what advice would you give to future business school applicants? For the GMAT, plan smartly and start studying early and often. Invest some solid time in sitting down and planning out how you are going to study efficiently for the test over the coming months instead of just diving into things. Also, realize early on that the format of the test is pretty diabolical. I had done well on standardized tests like the SAT and CFA, but the GMAT, although testing only high school level concepts, was more stressful given the adaptive format and time constraints. I also recommend taking as many practice tests as you can, but make sure you’re actually reviewing the results of each test to learn from your mistakes and reinforce your understanding of the material. Finally, make sure you take a break every once in a while – you don’t want to burn out before the test. It’s okay to recharge for a few days.
What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? There were many factors (and spreadsheets) that led to my decision to choose Fuqua. Deep down, I just kind of knew that it was my top choice throughout the MBA application process. One thing that I can confirm in going through the process is that this idea of fit that you always hear about is real and is important. When I visited campus for the first time and again for Blue Devil Weekend (for admitted students), I experienced firsthand the Team Fuqua spirit that I had heard so much about. The students who greeted me were so enthusiastic about their experiences at Fuqua; they seemed like they genuinely wanted to get to know me and share what an awesome place Fuqua is. As a current student, although I am constantly in awe of the varied and impressive experience of my classmates, everyone here is so humble and down-to-earth.
One of the specific reasons that I chose Fuqua is the Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship (CASE). I have enjoyed working in impact investing for the past two years and Fuqua is doing great, meaningful work in this area. Some of the other business schools I looked at didn’t have much more than a website with a few high-level summaries about impact investing. Fuqua has classes, consulting and research opportunities, plus great industry connections that help students become actively involved in this space.
Tell us about your dream job or dream employer at this point in your life? I would like to continue to work in impact investing, for a well-established impact investment fund such as Acumen or Grassroots Business Fund. At the same time, I am very interested in expanding my skill set by gaining experience in strategy consulting at a well-established firm such as Bain, BCG, Deloitte, or McKinsey, or at a newer, social impact-focused consulting firm such as Enclude or Tideline.
What would you like your business school peers to say about you after you graduate from this program? With so much going on in the next two years, I realize that my time at Fuqua will go by insanely fast. I want to make sure that I get to know as many of my classmates as well as I can during that time. Hopefully even with all the people to meet, classes, and activities to partake in (not to mention recruiting!), my business school peers will be able to say that I was always there for them – to lend a hand, give advice, or just generally be helpful.