Apologies for the delay in getting you a blog update. As the last term of Fuqua took over in March and April, I wanted to make sure I took advantage of every last opportunity as a student! As my studenthood ended on May 11 (Graduation!), I have had some time to reflect and put together a list of my top memories of the Fuqua experience. I share these with you because I believe they are representative of the memories you can create at Fuqua. These past 2 years have been transformational. The unique Fuqua experiences, amazing Fuqua academics, and spectacular Fuqua culture have given me a new perspective on people, work, leadership, and the world.
I thank you for following my story over the past few years, and I hope you continue to stay connected to Fuqua and possibly choose the MBA program as your home for a period of time. I am confident that your memories will be as good as mine of your time at Fuqua.
Memory # 1 – Blue Devil Weekend (BDW) Sets the Stage
It is nuts how well I still remember BDW from over 2 years ago. I still remember how much fun I had meeting amazing classmates — many who I am still close with. Heck, I might even figure out a way to come back for a BDW in future years to enjoy the fun!
Memory # 2 – Campout!
I am not the camping type. I like warm beds and running water. However, you do what you have to for the opportunity to win Duke basketball tickets. Looking back, I am so happy I camped out during both years. It was a great way to bond with my classmates, under not-so-perfect conditions. I was 50% in terms of getting tickets, but I would still go back and do it again if I could!
Memory # 3 – Section 3 (We will … we will … three you!)
As you may be aware, each Daytime student is placed in a section, and I had the unique honor of being chosen for Section 3. I am not sure how the sorting hat (awesome Harry Potter reference in case anyone caught it) got it SO right, but I absolutely loved my section. I am not sure I would have wanted to spend ALL that time with any other set of 70 people. I also like to think that we were the smartest of the bunch at Fuqua.
Memory # 4 – Social Life at Fuqua
As I re-join the real world, I miss my active social calendar. Mid-week theme parties, Wednesday Happy Hours, and Station Nine will all be missed. I had an amazing experience socializing with classmates, getting to know their families, and enjoying being a student again. From rocking Campout to ending with a hilarious beach week, I shall miss the Fuqua social life.
Memory # 5 – Travel
Many of my classmates did EXTENSIVE travel while in business school. Given my management consulting background, I was OK not being on a plane as much, but I did participate in the GATE program to Latin America. We visited Argentina and Brazil, and it was incredible. I got a very good view of business in Latin America and also got to do a great deal of sightseeing in those countries.
Memory # 6 – FACEBOOK
I had the unique opportunity to intern with Facebook during the 2012 summer. This is an opportunity I only would have gotten through Fuqua, and it was EXACTLY what I was searching for. I wanted to identify an industry I could see myself working in sometime in the future. I definitely found it within the high tech space. It also didn’t hurt that Facebook is probably one of the best places to work, and I had an awesome boss and team. It was an amazing experience that I wouldn’t have had without Fuqua.
Memory # 7 — #team8awesomegonuts
As you are well aware, each Fuquan is placed on a study team that we stay in for all of our core classes. I was on Section 3, Team 8, or as we like to call ourselves: #team8awesomegonuts.
My experience on my team was an incredible learning opportunity. I was surrounded by people totally different from me who taught me so much! We created a safe space where we could give tough feedback, be honest, and get along. As Fuqua likes to say, I think we got along and got it right! I will miss my team as we are spread all over the country (Chicago, Seattle, and Atlanta). However, we have our group text that keeps us informed and entertained during the day!
Memory # 8 – COLE Leadership Fellowship
I was fortunate enough to be chosen as a COLE Leadership Fellow and actually served on the leadership team for the Fellowship. It was such an enriching experience to be surrounded by 40 peers who each loved to talk about leadership. Our monthly meetings, first-year coaching responsibilities, and coffee chats will always be remembered as foundational tools that built my leadership style.
Memory # 9 – Duke Basketball
I came to Duke with no college basketball affiliation. Thank goodness, because how can you NOT love the Duke basketball team? After attending over 30 games in 2 years, I am a Duke basketball fan for life. I will continue to be a Cameron Crazy from the comforts of my living room for the rest of my life!
Memory # 10 – Graduation!
All good things come to an end, right? I guess so. I would have loved to make the case for a 3-year MBA program! However, May 11th arrived with sadness and optimism. Sadness that I would be leaving such an incredible group of people, and optimism that I would take what I learned out into the world and be a leader of consequence. It was a bittersweet moment moving from student to alumnus, andI look forward to staying a part of the Fuqua community for years to come.