Rekindling My Political Interest

Everyone around me seemed to be breathless and frazzled. It was the end of the first fall term, and with our first real break and Halloween coming up, perhaps it was appropriate that we all looked like zombies.

But contrary to a zombie apocalypse, we had a line up of pretty tough finals including the infamous finance exam, and every spare moment I had was spent holed up in a study room trying to grasp the concept of unlevered free cash flows. It was during one of these grim study sessions that someone with a wandering eye on the Internet mentioned something about the second presidential debate, which was met with quizzical glances and frustrated grunts.

As a recent law school graduate, the political interest in me flickered just a bit. There was a time — it seems like ages ago — when I was fully emerged in current affairs and politics. Now instead of discussing the latest in political affairs, I’m lucky to catch the evening news to stay informed. As a law student,  we tended to say that we worked harder than business students, that business students just coast through an easy two years of school learning how to socialize and prioritize their partying rather than challenging themselves academically. Let me dispel that rumor now. While there are a choice few who find this material easily manageable, they are just that — the minority. Let the rest of our blood shot eyes and mangled nerves be a testament to this.

Sooner or later, a business student has got to come up for air to view the world around them. We have a unique perspective on current affairs, especially this country’s economy that should be represented in the upcoming election.What good is learning all about cash flows and marketing if we can’t apply it to the big picture?

The two major political campaigns have targeted the Duke Law School hard. Each party had voter registration tables prominently set up at least three days a week. Voter outreach had reached new heights all around campus, and yet Fuqua seemed like the exception.

I approached a campaigner while renewing my voter registration information and asked them why they didn’t show the business school any love. The campaign employee shrugged his shoulders while looking at his phone, saying simply that there wasn’t any interest so they decided not to pursue it. This didn’t make any sense — we’re interested people with interesting opinions. However, the main underlying reason was that they didn’t have a contact in the business school. After considerable pressing on my part they said they did not have a single person reach out to them from the business school, and that I was the first one.

By the next week I had become the campaign contact at Fuqua. Armed with clipboards and stacks of voter registration forms I encouraged my fellow classmates to vote, even approaching some random MBAs in the hallways a time or two. I got the professors to make announcements before their classes encouraging students to sign up. And for those people who already registered, I was there to offer insight and helpful information about the voting process because I believe that everybody deserves their chance to be heard, even in the midst of quantitative business analysis.

So, don’t miss your chance, if you didn’t take advantage of early voting, election day is Nov. 6.

Candace Buford

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MMS, Class of 2013. Find out more about me...

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One Response to Rekindling My Political Interest

  1. brian kristofic says:

    Great job candace! Always great to make sure fuqua is tied to our sister graduate schools and the university at large on such and important occasion.

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