Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business: Interview with Regional Director (India)

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Duke University’s MBA program at the Fuqua School of Business is consistently ranked among the best in the world, recently coming in the 6th position in Business Week Rankings. Boasting of famous alumni including Apple CEO Tim Cook, it is a fiercely competitive school with average GMAT scores touching 700. We got in touch with Fuqua’s India Director, Mr.Dan McCleary to answer some pertinent questions for aspirants to Duke. Here are the key takeaways from our interaction:

 

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How is your MBA program unique or different from others, in terms of the school’s focus, curriculum, pedagogy etc.?

 

Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business is a pioneer in global education, designing and running the world’s first truly global executive MBA program. We bring that global perspective and experience to everything we do, and it has had the effect of attracting globally-minded students.

 

What are the most important parameters considered by the Admissions team to evaluate applicant profiles?

 

As with all top schools, we expect strong academics, good scores, and valuable work experience. One of the most important factors is the story our applicants tell: who they are, what they have done, and what they hope to accomplish at Fuqua, in their work, and in their life. Nothing is more powerful or memorable than a good true story.

 

What are the typical mistakes you see applicants – especially Indian applicants – making?

 

Many applicants have not done the work to determine which schools are the best fit for them. You can get a great education at many schools, and many of the features of business schools (team-based culture, student clubs, and international opportunities) are similar. We recognize that visiting target schools is not always an option, but phone and Skype extend the opportunity for prospective students to learn from current students or alumni about multiple schools. duke-quote1

 

How does a student who belongs to an over-represented demographic profile fit in? For instance, an Indian male applicant from the IT sector.

 

As India’s own economy has grown and diversified, Fuqua has seen a widening spectrum of backgrounds of MBA applicants. Along with the United States and China, India remains one of the top three sources of MBA applications (and MBA students) for most US business schools. We certainly have Indian males from the IT sector applying to Fuqua. A typical successful applicant is the one who convinces us that he  or she possesses the transferable skills and business knowledge that will be valuable to employers in the next stage of his career.

 

How do students typically fund their studies at your program? What are the deciding factors for a student to win a scholarship?

Fuqua has been very fortunate to have a loan program available to non-US citizens without a US co-signer that will cover the majority of tuition. Many students take advantage of this loan to help pay for the program. Merit scholarships, ranging from partial to full, are also available. As with admissions decisions, Fuqua looks at each candidate holistically to determine merit scholarship awards.

What career services does the school offer to help students obtain internships and jobs? How has the hiring scenario been for Indian students, given the visa regulations and the economic climate?

Fuqua’s Career Management Center starts working with incoming students even before academic classes begin. Among the services are career consulting and advising, resume and interview preparation, recruiting and hosting companies on campus, organizing “Week in Cities” trips, and much more. Last year, 82% of international students without permanent US work authorization received offers by 15 May, and 89% by 15 August. In the United States talented Indian students with top-tier MBAs remain in high demand.

If you have any other questions about MBA applications in general or Duke in particular, do comment below or simply drop a mail to [email protected].

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