Level Up Your Career With A Duke Degree While Continuing To Work

David: Yeah, that’s exactly right. So Ryan was actually a huge component of that and one of my mentors. And it really helped coach me through the interview process, looking at different corporations, and kind of the experience that I wanted in the job I wanted to go into with brand management, product management, and the MBA program and the resources. And the Alumni Center did just that. So I can’t think, obviously Ryan I know is on the call thank him enough, but the Fuqua, both the education at the business school, but also more importantly just the people around you and the resources to help you get where you want to be.

John Byrne: Now just out of curiosity, what brands are you managing?

David: Sure. Yeah. So a few of them. One is called Braces Care. You can see the Crest behind me, Braces Care lineup. Another called Aligner Care. And then also Fixodent which is an adhesive for dentures. So a little bit different, but all pretty meaningful for their own reasons.

John Byrne: That’s really cool. And obviously you are at the World Academy for marketing. There’s no company in the world better at marketing than P&G by far. So you’re learning a ton as well, I’m sure.

David: Yeah, it’s a schoolhouse for sure. It’s another MBA program. I know that went from one to another. So yeah.

John Byrne: True. Now we’ve discovered that a lot of doctors are going back to business school. Not back, going to business school for graduate degrees. Obviously Dr. Patel, you among them. You chose a Master of Science in Quantitative Management, which actually scares me to some extent, because I’m a total poet, no quant, and in health analytics. Tell me what led you back to school, and why in fact you decided to go to Fuqua?

Mital: Sure. Well thanks. Thank you for having me and you. By all means, please call me Mit, and it scared me too a little bit. I’m not a data analyst, I’m not a programmer by any means. But taking it a little bit back after I graduated medical school, I took a little bit of a non-traditional path early on. I did not go into training after I got my degree. I went straight into industry after doing a year of research.

To preface that I did get my biomedical engineering degree as my undergrad. And so I always wanted to integrate that into whatever I did after medical school and So this kind of helped me accelerate the path into that.

So I worked at Boston Scientific, it’s been about eight years now, but for the first two years it was heavily in medical devices, particularly the pacemaker and defibrillator technology space. And so as I was going into this, the clinical information that I had, the skillset I had was there, but then there was a whole nother realm of that marketing strategy growth and the business acumen that I really wanted to tap into. And so that’s where my search began for business schools, and also MBA programs as well.

And with it, after doing some research, I really found out that FUQUA had a strong healthcare sector representation. And then on top of that, they had recently launched their healthcare analytics program. deciding between applying for MBA or the healthcare analytics program, I did opt for the healthcare analytics program and I think it was more so with the work that I was doing at the time that kind of heavily influenced it.

Pacemakers and defibrillators are wearable technologies, and we all know Apple watches. They have a health app that’s really making waves of integrating into the system. So a lot of the cardiac hardware that are active implants have a lot of data. And healthcare as we all know is really slow adapters, but private industry is really fast adapters. So bridging that disconnect is where key challenges are. And so this program was a really good choice for me, because it was like a three pillar approach. It gave me the fundamental business acumen, overarching data, all with the healthcare focus. And so it kind of blended everything together really nicely.

Like Laura, there were a lot of folks in my cohort that were essential workers. I was sort of an essential worker, but not by any means practicing taking direct care for patients, but more so supporting cases when patients needed devices. And so never throughout the program did I feel like I was struggling even with all the changes that were happening during Covid. Actually our professors really incorporated really well into their case studies on what’s happening real time. And we had, I think, six other physicians and a couple of nurses, pharmacists in our group. One person that was in Africa that worked for UNICEF, and then a coder from Ukraine that worked for CVS health. And so folks were bringing in real time experiences throughout the program and it was a really robust Saturday morning. It was never a dull moment.

And then with that, again, why Fuqua? The name definitely carries weight and also the networking power. The alumni really help seek opportunities. So I went from working into a clinically heavy role in cardiac rhythm management within Boston Scientific and networking with other alumni, I found that there were quite a few that did work for Boston Scientific that helped me get into my current role in global value and outcomes, which we focus on a lot of data analytics and not being coding heavy directly, but being able to have more conversations with our data analyst team to see what we’re looking for and strategize on our upstream and downstream products, all with the value based focus of healthcare. So that’s where my decision came in for Fuqua. And so that’s how I was able to get interview for an opening position that I didn’t even know that existed. So my foot was already in the door with the company, but it just tells you the networking power, because you can also still get lost in a large company. And alumni outside of Duke were help helping me bridge connections with and the company I already worked for.

John Byrne: I love that story, because already you’re using the network to better your career and to shift gears in exactly the same way that you wanted. I’m assuming you got this degree to move out of more of a narrow specialty into a broader job in management.

Mital: That’s correct. And then this new opportunity, it’s fortunate to be a part of a global role and I’ve never dealt with healthcare systems outside the US, so now I work with different counterparts across our globe in our different marketing teams to discuss different nuances. We are a fee for service heavy country here and other countries are different. And so it’s like how we market some things in the states is totally different. And that global approach of Fuqua, again really helped prepare preparing for that role as well. That’s something that you don’t get with a lot of business goals is that the global collaboration is really strong. And someone could fact check me, but I was in Durham two weekends ago, just joined the healthcare alumni board, and they had said that for the first time one of the MBA programs, the global representation was over 50%, which was really, really interesting. And it’s a really great experience for all the students.

John Byrne: Fantastic. Now Ryan, you already got an endorsement from David, but let’s talk a little bit more about your work in the career management center, which obviously is the arm that helps students find and get jobs throughout their careers. In my experience covering business education, where I find that schools sometimes fail to deliver, particularly for working professionals, is in career management. So I’m wondering what kind of resources and help do you offer to help your students who are already working? In many cases, career management centers are great for full-time MBAs, but less so for working professionals. How do you make that not true at Fuqua?

Ryan: Well, first of all, it starts with a team. And while you’re seeing me today, there’s a team of professionals that work behind and with me and with our students and alumni. And it also starts with a philosophy. Our philosophy at Fuqua is career services for life. And so we don’t just work with our students from any of our populations, but especially our working professionals while they’re in school. We also work with them throughout their alumni experience.

And a big part of this is recognizing that working professionals come with maybe some of the same challenges as anyone else who might pursue an MBA but also some other complications. They have families, not that other students don’t, but they have other travels and things that… And they’re at different levels and experiences. So they don’t come in like a residential MBA student all within four or five years of each other. They come in at very different levels, very different places. And some of that even means that they’re going to transition at different times.

One of the trends we’ve seen in recent years, like David described, is more students transitioning while they’re in the program. Other students like Mit described that are looking at advancement opportunities. Even now a big trend is entrepreneurship, seeing more and more interest in starting your own business or pursuing franchises or other things in entrepreneurship. And so it’s recognizing that we can’t just meet the students at one place. We have to meet them at different levels, different times, and through different experiences.

And so one of those things that I describe, and I’ll get back to your question, is the services we provide. It’s really a suite of services that begins with career coaching, both individual group but also career programming. This is all both in residencies also in distance. And we then also have digital resources that are available 24/7.

And then we also work with engagement activities. I think about some of the global and even weekend things that we’ve done where Mit talked about the great benefit alumni. Bringing in our alums from different sectors, from different experiences, utilizing our connections when we go globally. For instance, meeting with entrepreneurs in Vietnam when we had residencies in Vietnam, having panels with executive recruiters in residency in Europe, when we’ve gone to residencies in Europe. Having alumni leaders in Asia come and speak to and have networking with our executives. Because that’s a big part of it is building that connection. Even cross-program networking events when it’s feasible to do so across different schools in different areas of the world.

But it really starts understanding individually what a student is facing, what’s their family like, what’s their situation like. Even David described, and I know in Laura’s case, thinking about what their scenario is, what their timeline is, and then coming up with an individual strategic plan. I mean a big part of what we do is be a strategic guide with the student. They own the career, but we’re one of their board of advisors, if you will. And so it’s really looking across all of the resources we provide, whether it’s databases, whether it’s networking connections or it’s individual coaching that helps to tailor and customize the experience for the individual student. There isn’t a one size fits all.

What I’ve found in the 20 years in this business is there isn’t a one size fits all for every student. In fact, I’ve worked with global executives who didn’t make their first transition to a year or two after the program simply because of life, simply because they couldn’t make that transition while working and trying to keep up a family and keep their jobs and perform well in the MBA. However, others will look to graduate with a new job. And so we work with them while they’re in the program. Some of our students will pursue more common traditional type of routes through campus recruiting. That’s not relevant for everyone. If you come in with a certain level: director, VP or above, you’re probably not going to find the kind of thing you’re looking for by going through campus recruiting unless you’re looking to make a complete switch of industry and function. And then that’s something we would talk with you about, and again, individually tailor.

John Byrne: Right. Actually since we mentioned David’s transition to P&G, I wonder if the two of you might speak about the role of the career management center in helping David make that pivot.

Ryan: Well, I’ll let David begin with his own words before I try to bring anything in from his experience.

John Byrne: I love that. Sure, go for it David.

David: Yeah, Ryan pointed it out, I was not only switching industry from whether what I was currently doing as a stay-at-home dad or OshKosh corporation or what I did in the military, but also function. So I was going into a whole new industry that I’ve never done before as well as a function that I’ve never done before. But I knew that’s what I wanted to do in using Ryan and his team in getting prepared for that pivot was huge in just terms of the repetition in practicing and understanding kind of what they were looking for in a specific role in a specific job.

It was interesting for me, Ryan pointed out, I also was kind of an unusual situation where I didn’t go through the traditional kind of on-campus career recruiting. I actually did use Fuqua’s, the career management center would send out an MBA veteran email. Its a very niche place to meet other MBAs that are also veterans. And I only knew of this because of Fuqua and the Human Resources center that sends us out. So I actually got connected through P&G’s MBA Veteran Pipeline because of Fuqua. So again, not your typical route. And then once I got connected there, it was a matter of, hey, here’s a line of sight and an opportunity for me. Ryan, how can you help me and leverage how to do? And that is to get teed up for the interviews. So I’ll pause there and let Ryan chime in here.

Ryan: Well, I’ll just add in that David came to us early and said, “This is what I’m looking to do, don’t necessarily have a route to do it.” And we just started talking and we set up regular meetings and really started to carve out a plan and develop a strategic route for him. We didn’t always have the answer. It included discussing what are some next steps. And so that’s how we worked. We would work on a very regular basis and set up, “Hey, did you follow up with that contact or did you work on your value proposition? Let’s talk it through.” Mock interviews was a part of our discussion, but it was really over a long period of time. He really approached the process like another course. And that’s what I would recommend to anyone coming into a program is you have to look at your career on a regular basis and approach it like you’re doing the same vigor with your MBA and that’s regular attention to it. And that’s really what allowed David to start making the connections and start getting a better sense of the language as well. Especially if you’re transitioning industry, it’s understanding what language are they speaking, because sometimes it is very much a foreign language that you’re not familiar with.

John Byrne: True. And David, did you change location as well?

David: I did. So I mentioned earlier prior to this recording that I did just about everything you’re not supposed to do during an MBA program. I had a second child, I moved, I switched careers in a different function. But it’s all possible. And as Ryan said, if you’re intentional about getting the help, help will be reciprocated. So being intentional and being disciplined in what you want to do and what you’re striving for, people like Ryan and the team will see that and they’ll give it just right back to you. So as much as you get in, you’ll get out of it. And as Ryan said, the only thing I would build off of even little things like recording me pitching him my proposition and who I am and my story, just doing recordings and getting that critical feedback and taking it, practicing it, and then the next time we meet, getting a little bit better at it. So it is what you make of it.

John Byrne: So you did what we call the triple jump. You changed geography, you changed discipline, and you changed industry in one fell swoop.

David: That’s right. Yeah, that’s exactly right. Yeah. And I know I don’t want to get too far ahead, but like anything, it takes a tribe, it takes a village, it takes a huge support system and in order to do all that, and so I’ll stop there and we can get to that later maybe.

John Byrne: All right. That’s cool. Laura, I’m going to come to you about something that I think everyone may realize but may not fully realize. But when you’re working full-time and you’re going to graduate school in business, one of the great benefits is that you can apply what you learn immediately. And I wonder if you found that to be true in your program?

Laura: Yeah, absolutely. I appreciated that everything moved really quickly, so it felt like we were getting a lot of classes really quickly, and I think it absolutely made me more agile at work. The Global Executive MBAs start with financial accounting with one of Fuqua’s famous professors, Catherine Shipper, who is, I believe the first woman in the accounting hall of fame is her tagline I would say. She’s fantastic, and I think really set us on a good path for getting back into the mindset of school. But I think one of the best ways for me to be able to connect and really learn was bring it back to work. And I really appreciated that. And the balance of classes each term helped us along that way.
So for example, in the first term we were in a management course, but we were also in financial accounting, so a nice balance of kind a more qualitative and a quantitative class. I worked in communications like I was a writer and now I’m a quant. I have a completely quant-based job. So that was a nice balance along the way and I think helped me transition to that job and be more prepared for that job while simultaneously helping at work.

John Byrne: Yeah, that’s great. Nick, can you think of an example where the program itself taught you something that you could immediately apply at work?

Mital: I think it was more so the teams that we were a part of. In my current role, we deal with a lot of cross-functional teams to do value proposition work for our product lines. And the scheduling was funny, because we had two different sub teams within our cohorts. The first two semesters we were a part of a team, and then the second half we were part of a different team. So the first team, we do these personality profiles early on, which is really cool that Fuqua goes into that link that really understand you as an individual and pair you accordingly into your teams. And so the first team was fine, we were a well well-oiled machine.

And then the second team was chaos, and I believe it was on purpose. One of the comments one of the students made was how do you deal with time zones? And the professor was like, “Well, in the real world, if you’re in a global role, you’ll have to figure it out, so just figure it out.” And so we had to make do with any project and I think it came together well. It was a lot of people leadership skills that we learned, compromise, having some calls that were during non-traditional hours. But it really helped me in my current role just to understand the other perspective, to meet other folks in the middle on things. We’re accustomed to the US holidays. There’s holidays that I’ve not known of now that I’m now more aware of when it comes to scheduling more value proposition work and things like that. So that really, really helped prepare me for my current role.

The other thing is the programming stuff that’s unique to the healthcare analytics program. A lot of us were really scared about learning program, because I think 80% of us did not have any programming background. However, I think Fuqua gave us just enough leeway to dive into it. And to be fair, the program is not designed to make you become a programmer at the end of it. After you finish the healthcare analytics program, the aim is to help make you be more informed of the space, help lead a team of programmers if necessary, and take actionable insights and convert them into strategic initiatives from all the data. Because virtually every organization I’m sure, whether it’s for David Proctor & Gamble, Laura’s company, any company within their capabilities, they’re investing heavily in data. And I know Boston Scientific spends so much in data, where the bridge is now, what are you going to do with the data? And that’s where the money is.

And so the program really helps you ask some of these tough questions. And I’ll leave that one example without going to too much detail. One thing that we were looking at for one of our products is how does it reduce OR time? And we had all this data, we got really excited and we go into this meeting with our data analyst and one of the questions I ask was, “Well, what are the metrics? Is every hospital measuring or time the same?” And we found out that some hospitals were starting the clock once the anesthesia was given, others were as soon as the wheels were fully in the door. And so that’s where there’s a lot of challenges that need to be hashed out, and it drives a lot of awareness to not just take data for what it is and asking these questions, make sure you’re getting good quality data and everything is at a level playing field when you’re comparing. We want to make sure you’re comparing apples to apples. So the program really brought awareness to us asking the right type of questions for this data.

John Byrne: And for anyone out there wondering what OR means, it’s operating room. Now Mit, going to school while you have a full-time job worries a lot of people because they think, “Oh my god, how am I going to balance my responsibilities to family, friends, relatives, and full-time work?” Many people are in really demanding jobs, particularly these days, with the kind of rigor that’s demanded from an academic institution like Fuqua, which is first rate and world class. It’s not like any of these programs are graduate light. They require a good amount of work and you got to put in the work to get the result. So how did you manage your time while in the program, Mit?

Mital: Sure. And this is where [inaudible 00:36:30] really helped. We had a team building event on campus right before we kick-started the remote part of it. And the previous cohort actually came in and talked about some of their best practices. But I think the main thing was keeping a steady pace. If you wait till the last minute, and that’s just if you’re working or even a full-time student, anything last minute is never a good thing. But time management was keys key if you did really dedicated an hour and a half to two hours a day, which is pretty doable, if there were six other physicians in my program that were practicing physicians, I’m not a practicing physician and they were able to do it, I think anyone can do it. But they never felt overwhelmed with the work. But we all made sure we were giving attention on a daily basis, and I was able to still take my Sundays off because of that.

Saturdays we had class and then afterwards I was just done with it. So enjoyed the afternoon, and then probably Sunday morning maybe did a little bit of work and still had a decent amount of weekend time left with my wife. But I think it’s just time management and the program is designed to make it successful. It’s not design for the working of individuals. And the professors were really understanding. I think there was once or twice where we had deadlines extended because it was just a little bit of a buildup, and that’s okay. And I think professors understand that, and they’re not out there to be get you, they’re out there to work with you. And Fuqua really worked with all of us. And that was during the peak of Covid as well.

John Byrne: Right. Laura, how did you juggle it all?

Laura: It was very hard, to be completely honest. I think really we were a team structure as well in the GEMBA program. And your team really helps you there. And I think in two ways. One, they hold you accountable. You’re working with teams on these assignments, and if you don’t do your portion, you’re not just letting yourself down, you’re letting your team down. And for me, that helped a lot with my accountability. This isn’t just about me, this is about the other five people on this team.

But second, they’re going to help carry you along. And I think setting good communication amongst our team members in both sets of teams was so key for us because we needed to feel open to be like, “Hey, I thought I was working till five today. Turns out I’m going to be here till eight. I literally cannot finish this before the next meeting. I want to communicate that now.” And somebody will come along and pick you up. But you need to be flexible to do that for others as well. And I mean truly wouldn’t have finished without my teams. So typically in the GEMBA program we’re like five or six people to a team. A series of circumstances, my second team ended up being four people and that was the communication story I would always go to in interviews. I did do the on-campus recruiting, so I did a lot of interviewing and practicing and all that kind of stuff. But the problem solving we were able to do as a team and the communication tone we set from the beginning that we had to be completely transparent about our time, about our strengths and weaknesses, and about what we were and weren’t able to do, I think is what got us through. But for me it was having the other people to hold me accountable, but also to help me along the way when I knew it wasn’t going to happen.

John Byrne: Now, David, be honest, did your wife ever return to you and say, “David, what did you get us into?”

David: Yeah, when you get into the Fuqua program, you decide to commit, you now have two families. And you have your family at home, the day-to-day, and then you have your Fuqua family, and Laura and Dr. Patel already mentioned this, but you have a team, and you will not get through this program if you can’t acquire those teamwork skills. At the beginning of the program, you actually create a charter and that charter kind of allows your team to set expectations for one another. Fuqua does a great job facilitating this in terms of one building trust amongst your team members and your teammates at the beginning of the program. And once you have that trust, it’s okay to have conflict. And once you have conflict with your team, you’re able to hold each other accountable. But it’s a balance.

To Laura’s point, there’s definitely some nights where I was like, “Both my kids are sick, and it’s not a good night. I need some help.” And other teammates will step up or another person is having some more work at their actual professional job and it’s time for me and some other people to step up. So it’s a balance.
It goes back to that teamwork and that kind of Fuqua mentality of being empathetic to each one of everyone’s personal situation. But you’re not going to get through the program if you don’t come in with that kind of open mindset understanding that hey it’s going to take each and every one of us to pull and push one another. And you got to be transparent with one another.

And the faculty and the staff, I think Laura, Dr. Patel mentioned this already, but if there really is a case, an emergency where you really need something, a deadline extended, because you can have multiple classes that have projects due at the exact same time, they’ll work with you. These are top-tier faculty and staff and they’re logical people. So they’ll work with you and make… They want you to succeed also. And so I would say when you join the program, set expectations for both your family and make sure you have time set aside with your support system and your network, whether that be your spouse, your partner, family members, babysitters, whatever it be, make sure you’re thinking about all of that prior to committing to your Fuqua family.

John Byrne: Yeah, that’s great advice. I also think you need buy-in. I’m sure your wife agreed this is a great idea for you and the family to advance your own career and was totally bought into the process. And I imagine that’s true of employers as well. I mean, it’s important to get that early so when there is a conflict, it doesn’t become a problem and a big challenge for people.

So let’s conclude with the advice that each of you might give someone considering a working professionals program at Duke. We covered a bunch of this, including how do you balance your time when you get one, why you go for graduate degree and what you can expect out of it, what kind of support the school can give you. But what advice, David, would you give someone considering a working professional’s degree from Fuqua?

David: Yeah, everyone’s personal situation is different and everyone is at a completely different point of their lives, whether that’s professionally or personally. My advice would be get very clear on why an MBA? Why now in the time of your life you want to get an MBA? And why Fuqua? And if you can answer those three questions pretty certainly, go for it. Get in there. But it’s a commitment. It’s expensive. It’s a time commitment. But make sure you really do some self-reflection and really understand, is this the point in my life I want to do this? Why the MBA and why Fuqua? If you can answer those three questions, I say go get it.

John Byrne: Yeah, those are three great questions to ask yourself. Laura, your advice?

Laura: I think David said it really well. I like the questions. I would say think long and hard, maybe not the three to four years that took me to think long and hard. And take the leap and make sure that you’re ready to put your full self into it. You’re going to get out of it what you put into it and make sure you’re ready to not, excuse my words, but half-ass it. You need to be ready to go in and put your whole self in.

John Byrne: Yeah, to that point, I mean, you do need to realize that this is not, like I said before, a graduate light program. It’s a serious academic endeavor, requires rigor, time, devotion. Generally these programs require at least 20 hours of work outside the class time. That’s typical. In some cases it can be more or it may be a little less, but 15, 20 hour commitment a week, that’s pretty much what you should be expecting. Mit what’s your take on this question? What advice do you have?

Mital: Gosh, I think David and Laura hit the nail on the head, but from another perspective, I think one is be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to it, because that would make your life a lot easier since you have a lot going on. And also really look, if you’re on the fence whether you want to do a full-time or while you’re working, look at your employer and see what support you have from your employer. My employer was very supportive. They embraced it, they found the value in this, so that could make or break your experience as well. And I think those are the two big ones.

But also that you’ll bring unique experiences, which the Fuqua faculty can kind of weave in real-time work experience as well. So you’ll get a lot of learning out of that with other cohorts that are working and going through real world problems on the spot.

I think Laura mentioned is what you put into it is what you’ll get out of that. I was part of a second cohort team, not MBA program, but I was still proactive in some of the networking events that were virtual or in-person. Granted, I do live in Richmond, Virginia, so it’s like a two hour drive to Durham, but I was able to go to the healthcare club meeting and meet a lot of interesting people. Just the career center services, if you knock on their door, they’ll open and help you in many facets. They’ve done a lot of work in virtually every industry, and they’ll help you.

But the main thing is make sure you put in the time and be proactive. If you’re proactive, you’ll be able to get your work done and still have a little bit of life and embrace it and enjoy the moment, because it should be fun. It shouldn’t be work if you’re really learning and working. And one quote that I would end on is if you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room. And that’s the approach I had every day. And I tell you, there’s a lot of learning that will happen that will make you even stronger and in your career path.

John Byrne: That’s great advice. And I love what you said about being the smartest person in the room. You’re in the wrong room. I totally agree with that. Okay, Ryan, your advice. But I also want you to address another issue that was brought up by David, which is the expense of the programs. Because some people might look at the price tag and think, “Oh my god, how can I afford this?” Do you have scholarship aid available? How many people might have employer assistance of one kind or another? Give us a sense of that.

Ryan: Sure. There’s certainly aid available in scholarships. There’s also opportunities at companies for different sponsorship. What used to be across EMBA about a decade ago, you’d go all to all of our top school competitors and 95% of students were sponsored. Now we’re seeing a trend where [inaudible 00:48:20] more turning that away and finding other ways to fund. And so there are other ways. We have folks coming in that have their own business while working, and there’s funding it that way. Some pursue scholarships. There’s other competitions. We’ve had people win case competitions and earn money. So there’s other scholarships and opportunities to build that like in any other program. Some have saved up to fund. There’s companies that will sponsor on the back end specific programs. It’s not across the board, but that is an opportunity as well.

The piece that I would say is advice is to add on to the family piece is they’re part of this journey with you. And so it’s really important to make sure you’ve got their buy-in and that they understand what you’re getting into. And David and others have addressed this, but I would ask that you really think about what you want to achieve and how you want to achieve it, because that can help you even pick the program specifically. I think about the global experience versus the weekend experience. Very similar but delivered in different ways.

If you want more of a campus environment where you’re coming to campus more often, but you want shorter burst residencies, that’s more of the weekend format. If you’re really looking for that global immersion and kind of getting back to a point Laura made. We had a few years where we weren’t able to travel ,and that wasn’t something that Fuqua decided. It was more a broader environment. We are back to residencies now. In fact, we’ve went to several, We were in Berlin earlier this summer. We were in Peru recently, and we’ll be going to Dubai. Global travel is back in that front, and we’re having that global experience again, which you have to think about what you want and how you want to achieve it.

The other thing I would say is you have to be realistic with you and also have this discussion with your family about what you can give and what you can give up. And especially as you’re thinking about career transitions, you’ve heard some of it here. Typically to make a transition, especially the three part you talked about, you’ll have to be willing to give something. It’s got to give somewhere, whether it’s time with family, whether it’s salary, if you’re making a transition out of an industry you know, whether it’s level. And so those are some of the things you need to think about as well regardless of the program that you’re choosing in terms of the value that it provides.

And that’s the piece that I think is critical. You can’t find, especially for one of the youngest business schools, a school with the kind of network and the team Fuqua approach to this and the alumni community that’s built into this that really is an invaluable addition to what you get on the degree. And I think all of our panelists here today have highlighted in different forms how that’s benefited them, whether it’s advancement, whether it’s transition, or even starting a new opportunity in entrepreneurship or some other avenue in non-profit or social venue.

John Byrne: Yeah, couldn’t agree more. And I will add this. I think the most generous gift you can give yourself is the gift of a friend. The second most generous gift you can give yourself is to give yourself to invest in yourself through higher education. And there is a long-term play on this. So no matter what it does to your income or your job satisfaction or your ability to be promoted or to move from one industry to another, or one discipline to another, or one geography from another, long-term, the self confidence and the skills that you gain in a graduate business program are going to serve you for the rest of your life.

Hey, I want to thank all of you for joining me today. It’s been a fantastic session. Ryan, Laura, David, and Mit, thank you for joining us. And for all of you out there, if you feel like Fuqua can help build your career too, you can certainly go to fuqua.duke.edu to get more information on the website, which has a lot of information on all of these programs, and also arrange to speak with a counselor and learn more. The application for all of these working professionals programs are open now, so check it out fuqua.duke.edu. Ryan, Laura, David, and Mit, it’s been a pleasure. Thank you so much.

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