It’s hard to believe that the first installment of ‘Ask a Fuqua Student’ was written last September, both from a time perspective and that I felt I could speak intelligently about the program after one month! Now that we’re 2/3rds of the way through, I’m pretty sure I’ve got a handle on what’s what (although I’m sure at least one fellow classmate will be along shortly to disagree…)
Of course, these are all just my opinions, I don’t speak for anyone at Fuqua, and if any of my answers conflict with official statements from the business school, the Fuqua staff answer is correct. Here are the questions I’ve received via email in the last month, both from prospective students and enrolled CCMBA’ers from the incoming 2011 class:
- Can I use a Mac for the program?
Yes. About 1/4 of the the CCMBA class uses a Mac; they also seem to be standard issue to the professors. However, there are some software programs/Excel plugins that are Windows-only. Thus, you’ll probably need a copy of Fusion or Parallels installed on your Mac (or Bootcamp).
- Do I need to buy Windows/Microsoft Office?
No, Duke has a site license with Microsoft where you can download Windows 7 and MS Office.
- Does Fuqua support the use of iPhone/Blackberry/Android?
Fuqua email is done through Outlook Web Access/Microsoft Exchange. Any phone that can access Exchange servers directly should work, although you may have to set it up yourself.
- Are there any CCMBA spouse support groups?
The class of 2010d has a Facebook group where spouses have met and coordinated activities, though I wouldn’t necessarily call it a “support group”. For the Class of 2011 and beyond, a similar group can be found here.
- Considering the price, do you feel that it has been worth it and the ROI will be worth it?
If you are trying to greatly switch industries, then the program might be more valuable than someone who isn’t looking to switch. I’m already in financial services, so my motivation for the program was to further my career; thus the ROI isn’t easily calculated. I might have gotten promoted without an MBA; maybe I’ll get promoted sooner. Of course, there is always the option of using career services to help you find something else to do.
My employer is paying a significant amount of money towards tuition, so my ROI hurdle is much lower than someone who pays full price. However, when I was put to the choice of having to pay full price I decided I would. My work reimbursement was negotiated after I sent my initial deposit in.
I don’t regret the experience one bit. You’ll become close with an amazing and successful 100+ people from across many industries and backgrounds, travel around the world, learn about the academics of business, as well as learning a lot about yourself. Any one of those pieces is worth it to me….that you get all of them makes the value proposition that much greater.
- How much time do you put into the CCMBA program per week? Do you feel the work/school balance has been manageable?
I probably spend 10-15 hours per week into the program, although I could definitely study harder. The work/school balance has been manageable, the biggest change for me was learning to delineate my time. When I’m spending time with friends and family, that’s the focus. When it’s time to do schoolwork, it’s time to do schoolwork. I had to learn this concept, as I tried to blend all of them together at the beginning (like watching TV and reading a case study) and it’s not particularly effective.
- How would you rate the career placement services for the CC program should I choose to go into management or strategy consulting after graduation?
I can’t really comment on specific industries, as I’m in financial services and will be staying at my job after my MBA, so I’m not a heavy user of career services. However, the Career Services people I’ve spoken with at residencies, as well as the Executive coach that travels around with us are fantastic resources. However as a Top-10 school, Duke is well recognized so I would suspect that job placement isn’t an issue.