My Favorite Part of Fuqua: A Feeling of Belonging

flags in hallway

The hallway of flags are a comforting sight.

You step inside the doorway, and your heart tingles with excitement. The first thing you see is the hallway with the row of flags from every country represented at Fuqua. You spot the flag of your home country, and are immediately put at ease. “I am in the right place,” you tell yourself, and take the next step.

A cheer goes up in one of the classrooms, as the different MBA sections try to one-up each other. You keep walking. Someone, somewhere is walking the halls wearing Duke cowboy boots, and even though you can’t see him, you can feel his energy swelling through your own chest. You see the MMS crowd gathered around the ping-pong table, making casual conversation over lunch or huddled over an assignment. It’s been a few weeks since this routine first started, but still, over all the bustle, you have eyes for only one thing — the big Fuqua School of Business flag in the Fox Center. And every time you look at it, you are relieved. “I must have done something right. I am a part of Team Fuqua.”

This moment, this rush of emotion that I feel every day as I step into the school building, this feeling of being removed from the  “ordinary world,” and feeling like I belong at Fuqua — this is my favorite part of Fuqua so far.

fuqua flag

Fuqua’s flag binds us together.

Since our very first day, and even before that, the one term we heard from everyone we made eye contact with was “Team Fuqua.” Now that seems a bit of a stretch to an international student still trying to decode the “inscrutable Americans.” For me to understand the full meaning of “Team Fuqua,” I heard definitions, saw PowerPoint slides and heard many moving speeches about what it was like to be a part of Team Fuqua.

About 3 months into the program, and I now understand that Team Fuqua is not something you can express in words. The spirit of Team Fuqua is like a living, breathing thing that you feel as soon as you step through the doors of the school. It’s the adrenaline rush you get when you see a classmate do something well, the SOS mode you automatically enter when you spot someone who needs help, the collective responsibility you feel toward the school and each brick that went into making it. The spirit of Team Fuqua is what binds nations, cultures and languages together in one building. This sprit is what makes miracles happen at Fuqua.

Have you felt Team Fuqua yet?

Ashima Sehgal

More posts from Ashima Sehgal

MMS, Class of 2014. Find out more about me...

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