Being Part of #TeamFuqua!

Recalling on my previous three months’ exchange life at Fuqua, what I have learnt and felt has far exceeded my expectations, and I heartedly enjoy being a part of Team Fuqua!

The administrative staff of Fuqua’s International Office, especially Annie, are caring and detail-oriented. From the first email about visa application till the most recent one about departure checklist, Annie has always been replying to me swiftly.

The orientation day organised by the International Office further exemplified Fuqua’s efficiency and hospitability. A variety of guest speakers not only meticulously introduced the academic, sporting, and recreational life at Fuqua and Duke, but also promptly facilitated the communication between the incoming exchange students, some of whom I have made friends with. I will even come to attend a wedding in Singapore next spring. Moreover, Fuqua’s facilities like its independent Ford Library, Fox Café or Team Rooms are well-functioned and modernly decorated. Whenever I got tired of complicated financing cases, I could stop and appreciate the pastoral scenes outside of the library directly from the glass wall, or go downstairs to Fox Café to grab a coffee and tasty snacks from Korea, Italy or America.

Fuqua is located in Durham, a peaceful village of North Carolina vastly covered with natural forests. The geographic contrast between Durham and Shanghai & London intrigued my curiosity of Durham in the beginning and spurred me to explore more facets of this place, especially its sporting culture. People in Durham are really fascinated with basketball and American football games, and luckily I have watched both of them. Two months ago, I watched the football game between Duke and Virgin Tech, while one month ago the basketball game between Duke and Indianan. Both of these two games were amazing! Surrounded by lots of exciting local guys whose emotions were highly impacted by the performance of game players, I would also join them to stand up, clap and sing the song for Duke. Apart from the sporting culture, I had been invited by my local friends and their family to spend traditional American events like Thanksgiving and Halloween with them. These two American events firstly entered into my life due to my elementary school’s English textbook, and from that time Turkey and Trick or Treat have left a deep impression on me. Because of invitations from my friends, my child’s dream to eat Turkey and play Trick or Treat was finally going to come true. When lots of kids around the neighbouring community came to knock the door and asked Trick or Treat in front of me, I still couldn’t believe it since what I learnt from the textbook was indeed happening now. These good memories altogether add vividness to my US exchange life.

The most inspirational element is undoubtedly Fuqua’s business courses. I aspire to become an academic specialising in the interdisciplinary research between law and business; therefore I concentrated on the accounting and financing in Fuqua. The four courses I’ve chosen are Detecting Earnings Management, Financial Statement Analysis, Valuation and Fundamental Analysis, and Corporate Finance. These four intermediate or advanced courses were a big challenge for me in the beginning due to my lack of financial knowledge. The first three weeks were the hardest time because the intensive course schedule required me to analyse and submit the write-up of four business cases with my team members each week. After spending four to six hours reading the first case and its required textbook, I had no idea about how to locate the useful data and notes and analyse the financial statements to tackle the case questions. However, my economics background, my thinking and logical ability established from my education of law, and cooperation with peer members helped me adapt to the studying of the new academic field in a short time. Three and a half month later, I have mastered enough financial and accounting skills to analyse the company’s 10-K report and make the evaluation of intrinsic value based on my projections of firms financial statements especially balance sheet, income statement and cash flow.

Generally speaking, my exchange in Fuqua will become the integrated part of my studying, and make contributions to my future career planning.