It’s the feeling of never being alone. It’s the comfort of knowing that every slip is met with solace. It’s the fuel that sparks the fire of compassion and unity.
That’s Team Fuqua.
Team Fuqua is a phrase that captures the spirit and community of the student body at the Fuqua School of Business. We embrace a culture and mindset of inclusivity, trust, and respectfully challenging one another to push our own boundaries. In a “together we go far” mindset, we unite to battle the many phases of business school: interviews and job searches, long-distance relationships, new and confusing curricula, and being away from the places we each call home. With a strong mentality of care and commitment, we bond to create a new home — one that embraces and celebrates our differences, expands our perspectives, broadens our reach, and develops a new understanding of unity and community.
Woven into the basic fabric of our brand and culture is sincerity and strength that creates a positive, energetic, and determined community. When adversity hits, we band together for the various phases of exploring the problem, seeking answers, and discussing how our actions can positively influence a new outcome. As a second-year student, I’ve seen this take shape in many forms. While we thought the beginning of our first year was tough, we had no idea what was in store in 2020.
Follow me through my journey of Team Fuqua recruiting moments — the defining days that shaped my view of Team Fuqua and the strength of the community I am a part of.
TAKING THE EDGE OFF RECRUITING
Not a single person will tell you that recruiting is an easy experience. But there are people who found recruiting can be a fun experience. And those people are normally from Fuqua. We view recruiting as an exciting opportunity to hear our classmate’s stories, meet successful alumni who want to share their journeys with us, and shape our individual trajectory collectively.
In the days of traditional, in-person recruiting, the investment banking process spanned an impressive yet exhausting set of requirements. Employer presentations, networking sip-circles, New York trips to visit banks and meet future colleagues, and diversity days were followed by technical interviews and daunting decisions. It was one of the most rigorous processes I had signed up for. Despite the long nights, early mornings, and classes skipped, I approached each new event or task with a feeling of pride and excitement.
Employer presentations and dinners were an early and earnest showing of Team Fuqua. As aspiring bankers, we would gather outside of the room, eager to meet those who’d made it through the process and were currently thriving as Wall Street Bankers. Despite the lack of sleep, we’d straighten our formal attire, flash our bright smiles, and mentally pump each other up for another night of sharing our stories and striving to make a positive impression.
INBOUNDING FOR TEAMMATES
These impressions would have been less than successful if it wasn’t for our team mindset. With a typical 7:1 ratio of student to banker, it was challenging to insert yourself in conversations and assert your interest in banking — not to mention explain the relevance of your previous experience, and share something fun and relatable about yourself. With Team Fuqua, the challenges were met with compassion. Our instilled inclusivity ensured that no classmate ever felt boxed out. We did this by stepping aside, introducing our classmate to the banker and highlighting something unique or impressive about them. We made sure each person had equal access and equal chances to make their mark. We acknowledged that strength through harmony would take us further than individually attacking the complex world of investment banking recruiting.
As the process narrowed and intensified in the subsequent weeks, our Team Fuqua mentality grew. In addition to sharing insights about recruiters, bankers, and logistics, we attacked preparation for Super Days together. Just days after the winter holidays, we gathered in Fuqua’s team rooms with sharpened pencils, bright highlighters, and a willingness to share and prepare each other for the rigorous technical interviews that stood before us.
Hours of studying led to hours of mock interviews. These mock interviews were filled with simulated intensity, supportive laughter when things didn’t go right, and an abundance of constructive feedback and advice to shape our best effort. Rather than viewing each other as competition, we believed that preparing one another for excellence would strengthen our collective brand. We believed that our cohort success was just as important as our individual success.
Three-and-a-half months of preparation led us to the much-awaited Super Day. We gathered on campus with an abundance of nervous excitement as we saw our interviewers awaiting our arrival. Because we knew we were in it together, we had one room in the building reserved for us to relax, cram last minute technicals, and be together on a challenging day. In classic Team Fuqua fashion, this room represented so much more. It became our haven to share interview experiences and quickly prepare each other for the technical and behavioral questions that were coming our way. We huddled together between interviews to trade tips, discuss answers, and exchange knowledge. Despite being wrapped in nerves and filled with adrenaline, we didn’t miss a beat with our team mentality. We bonded together to push through a weeded path; we collectively engaged to propel through interviews and lock in internship offers.
I look back on recruiting fondly. I think about my classmates who had offers but still returned from holiday break early to help the others mock interview. I remember our laughter as we discussed the frustrations and complexities of the process; I felt supported and inspired at every step. Without Team Fuqua, investment banking recruiting would have looked very different for me. It was with the support of my classmates that I felt undefeatable. In the darkest moments where I had more tears and confusion than hope, I had friends that patiently listened and eloquently countered my fears. Whether it was a bottle of wine waiting at my door after a long day in New York, a pint of ice cream after my first rejection, or an encouraging text before walking into an interview, I always had people that believed in my power to succeed.
I don’t wish the self-doubt or frustration I sometimes experienced on anyone. That’s why I wish that everyone experiences an element of Team Fuqua in their business school journey or career experiences. It is safe to say that the time, gratitude, compassion, and fierce sense of loyalty that we share amongst each other goes beyond a marketing slogan. We are not Team Fuqua because it looks good on our brochures. We are Team Fuqua because we believe that our collective strength can offset any weaknesses. We wear our slogan with pride and bring unwavering strength to every new challenge and opportunity.
A California native, Kaveri was born and raised in San Diego, CA and attended Santa Clara University where she majored in Finance and International Business. She went on to work at Bloomberg LP in San Francisco for six years where she managed the sales and enterprise relationships for Bloomberg’s corporate clients in Western Canada, Colorado, and California. At Fuqua she is pursuing concentrations in Energy Finance and Financial Analysis and will be joining the Global Industrials Investment Banking Group at Bank of America in summer 2021. She currently serves as an Executive Fellow for Fuqua’s consulting practicum as well as an Investment Banking Fellow, Career Fellow, Admissions Fellow, and on the Cabinet of the Media, Entertainment, and Sports Club.