Last November, I was still unsure of where I would end up for my MBA. I remember trying to find the best program for me. I remember sorting through pages upon pages of information on the web. I recall reading testimonials from current and past students and speaking with friends, in hopes of seeking insights not found electronically. I also remember a few facts standing out more than others, and I remember Fuqua beginning to stand out for one simple reason: 6-week academic terms.
Six-Week Term Experience
I am now one term down and more than halfway through term two at Fuqua. The pace and academic rigor serve as a constant reminder that in choosing the Duke MBA, I made the right choice. Over the past three months, I already took 7 of Fuqua’s 8 core classes: Financial Accounting, Global Financial Management, Marketing Management, Managerial Economics, Foundations of Strategy, Probability and Statistics, and Management Communication. That list may seem long and it is. At Fuqua, students experience dramatic curricular breadth in a rapid period of time. There are few other schools on 6-week terms that allow students to build business acumen so quickly.
The pace is matched by heightened academic rigor. Team based and individual assignments move quickly in order to capitalize on the condensed schedule. Professors’ expectations are exceptionally high; they demand the highest quality of work and we must be prepared for in-class discussions. Professors in turn share the workload, constantly providing feedback to us and providing a dynamic classroom environment where learning is paramount. It is true that every class requires reading and preparation — students can fall behind quite easily. The pace, however, benefits the students who put in the time. The reward: a rapidly developed analytical skill set that sets the foundation for the rest of the MBA program.
Accelerated Learning Curve
I came to Fuqua from a public sector background, specifically I was a teacher. To say my business acumen was limited may be an understatement. However, I am an incredibly curious individual, driven by environments of high academic rigor and expectations. I knew that I needed a school where I would be pushed outside of my comfort zone. After all, my experience as a teacher taught me that students rarely learn when they are comfortable, learning happens when students are forced to take risks and then push themselves to achieve new academic heights. Fuqua’s 6-week terms force me to work rapidly and with purpose. The pace brings new academic challenges on a daily basis. Professors reward hard work by providing an environment where risk taking is rewarded and effort results in academic achievement. If you, as a prospective student, are looking for a school where you will be pushed and challenged and an environment of swift learning, Fuqua may be right for you, too.