Sunday, November 25, 2007

Who is a Fuqua Graduate?

Last week, I was invited for a lunch table discussion with COLE Leadership Fellows and faculty. The conversation centered around Dean Sheppard’s desire for an MBA program that produces leaders of consequence as an outcome of Fuqua.

We sought to understand what constitutes the 'Special Kind of Student' that Dean Sheppard envisions. The discussion that ensued made it clear what brings us students together at Fuqua.

Fuqua strives to nurture students who are great colleagues and great leaders, individuals who are functionally deep and globally sophisticated. A Fuqua graduate is someone who represents a community accountable to make a difference to this world. In general, the way Fuqua looks at the 'Fit' in prospective students is homogeneity of desire and heterogeneity of styles. We want people to stick out to their own aspirations. However, difference in degree of aspirations is not desirable. A Fuqua student is someone who knows how to choose and what to choose (homogeneous) but achieves his goal in his own unique style (heterogeneous).

Opportunities such as club leadership positions provide good exposure, but Fuqua is striving for the next level. Fuqua lets students lead the way in shaping the school's present and future. The synergy between student leadership and faculty mentorship leads to an effective governance and leadership model. It is the students who come up with ideas and feedback, but it is the authorities that mould the thoughts into implementable actions. Based on student feedback, the need for a stronger emphasis on global business environment was identified. This has led to the introduction of Global Institute Program for incoming daytime students before the start of Fall Term. Right from day 1, involvement of first year students was sought and implemented in order to achieve the desired outcome from the program.

An immense involvement of the Fuqua student
is sought in shaping the B-school experience. It is this commitment and desire to utilize the two years in the best possible manner that creates a unique leader and a Fuqua Brand Ambassador. It is discussions such as the one I was part of that mark the essence of my B-school journey.