Our Bloggers

Class of 2014

tim patronTim Patron

I am a local North Carolinian. I grew up in Raleigh, N.C., and I attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for undergrad (Go Heels!), and now I am a part of Team Fuqua at Duke University.

In undergrad, I double majored in Journalism and Mass Communication, and Exercise and Sport Science. To supplement my undergraduate coursework, I interned as a press aid for the Governor of North Carolina, and in the sports and entertainment properties division at an advertising agency. Upon graduation, I accepted a role at a public relations firm and was tasked with launching a new brand for a Forbes Global 2000 client. I chose to matriculate into the MMS: Foundations of Business program to fuse my undergraduate interests with applied business skills — a combination I plan to utilize to trigger a transition out of marketing communications and into management consulting.

I love playing and watching sports, and I am particularly interested in soccer. I am a published poet and an aspiring jet pilot. I’m excited to be a part of the MMS: FOB class of 2014, and am thankful to have the opportunity to share my story with future MMSers. There will be plenty to share this year and I invite you to join me on my journey. I promise to keep the Tar Heel love to a minimum!

Fuqua Activities: Consulting Club, Net Impact Club, Outdoor Adventure Club

twitter icon Follow me @Patron_Timothy.

Samantha Samantha Cibelli

I wasn’t born in North Carolina, but was proudly raised to call it home. Thanks in part to a James Taylor song, “Carolina on My Mind,” my parents moved my brother and me to the Winston-Salem area, which is about an hour and a half from Durham. I later moved to Raleigh to attend Meredith College, a women’s college, where I majored in psychology with minors in Italian and history. After doing a lot of research and studying abroad often, I landed a Fulbright grant and moved to Florence, Italy, to do research in ethnic identity development in the immigrant population.

Looking for something more than an academic life, I switched gears and decided to pursue the MMS: Foundations of Business degree to gain knowledge in business. I really value the opportunities to develop myself and my network at Fuqua through this degree. For fun, I spend time long distance running, frequenting local community theaters, and chasing the best local microbrews.

Fuqua Activities: I’m a member of the MMS Marketing, Consulting, and Net Impact clubs and am on the Career Ambassador and Class Gift teams. I also joined the new Duke Interdisciplinary Social Innovators (DISI) Club, through which I’ll work on consulting projects for non-profits along with other Duke grad students. And I’m sure I will find plenty of other ways to stay busy!

twitter icon Follow me @SamanthaCibelli.

mms studentBrandon Benzin

Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, and an Ohio State alumnus, I am very excited to finally venture outside of my home state. As a recent 2013 graduate, I chose Fuqua to expand my horizons and obtain foundational business skills that are so vital in today’s business world.

Outside of academics, I am a huge moviegoer and music lover, as well as an avid exerciser. With that, I am beyond excited to explore all that Durham has to offer as well as how this city fulfills my appetite for these interests.

Last but not least, I have so many great memories already and cannot wait to see what the remaining months of the MMS program have in store. I plan to provide detailed insights into my many experiences here at Fuqua and beyond. I am excited for y’all to travel on this journey with me.

Fuqua Activities: Healthcare Club, Net Impact, Running and Triathlon Club, and Sports Club.

mba studentPalak Bavishi

I am from San Francisco, California, and attended the University of California, Irvine. I majored in Business Economics, and found my passion in the field of digital marketing. Last year, I interned with a startup that was a part of 500 Startups, an incubator program. The experience was extraordinary, and I learned first-hand about growing a business from the ground up. This experience led me to the MMS program, where I will learn more about the foundations of business, and be well on my way to have my own startup one day.

Aside from being on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., I enjoy watching comedy sitcoms and romantic comedies. I also enjoying dancing to all types of music, and am trained in Indian classical dance. You will also find me downloading the latest apps, and playing the most popular games!

Fuqua Activities: I’m a member of the MMS Marketing Club and Consulting Club, and am also a Career Ambassador.

twitter icon Follow me @pkbavishi.

mms studentDanya Akbar

I’m a proud California native! As a second generation Pakistani-American, I consider myself as a world wanderer. I was raised with a global perspective at a very young age, and as a result, I love to travel and experience other cultures.

I completed my bachelor’s in psychology at UC Irvine in 2012. After completing a microfinance internship and volunteering abroad, I knew that I wanted to pursue a post-graduate degree in business to start work in the social entrepreneurship sector. Contributing to causes I care about, whether it be poverty, healthcare, or human rights, in a sustainable way, is my passion. After working for a non-profit, I knew that I wanted to make the world a better place in the best way possible. Making an impact in this world, by using sustainable business principles, is my goal, and I hope to gain the tools to do this while I am here at Fuqua.

Some of my hobbies include Polaroid photography, playing the ukulele, yoga, singing, and watching old musicals and Bollywood movies. I’m also a Disney freak — just so you know.

I’m excited to share my journey through Fuqua with you! This year will bring growth, excitement, and just a little bit of fear. So get ready — it’s going to be one crazy ride!

twitter icon Follow me @danyaakbar.

mms studentAshima Sehgal

A finance geek by training and traveler by choice, I came to Fuqua to invest in my most current passion and dream — social entrepreneurship. I was born in New Delhi, India, and have lived there all my life up to this point. Moving from a big, bustling city to a suburb surrounded by forests was somewhat of a relief at first, before it got harder. But being in this program, in this university, and in this city, I have discovered more things about myself than I thought would be possible.

I attended the University of Delhi, where I focused on finance. After graduating in 2011, I went on to work with McKinsey & Co. as a Corporate Finance Analyst for almost two years prior to coming to Fuqua. My interests range from dancing — I am trained in classical and Indian folk dance forms — to singing, reading fiction and travelling. Not to forget food, which is a big part of being Indian! I love meeting people from different cultures and backgrounds, and this was one of the key reasons I decided to come to the US for my masters’ program.

Fuqua Activities: Curriculum Chair of MMS Association; Vice President of Net Impact Club; Member of Consulting Club; Project Innovator with Duke Interdisciplinary Social Innovators.

mms studentKelvin Panitpichetvong

I was born and raised in Sydney, Australia, but my permanent home is in Hong Kong now. I graduated from the London School of Economics with a bachelor’s in economics before interning in Shanghai for a year. I am of Chinese-Thai descent and speak Cantonese and Mandarin.

Through internships, I sat on HSBC’s trading floor in London and helped advise investors at DBS Private Bank in Hong Kong. All these experiences have added to my professional skill set, andI believe that the MMS program will provide me with the extra edge to succeed in establishing a successful career. Join me as I embark on this exciting 10-month expedition of MMS!

Outside of career aspirations, I am a devoted Liverpool Football/Soccer Club fan, love traveling, and am passionate about environmental sustainability.

Fuqua Activities: Vice President of MMS Net Impact Club and member of Finance, Consulting, and Connoisseurs Clubs.

mms studentEkaterina “Kate” Kim

You may not be able to tell from my appearance and from my family name that I am from Russia, but yes, I am from Russia (I speak Russian and have a Russian passport). I lived almost all my life in Moscow, except for several years of my early childhood that I spent in Uzbekistan and then another 3 years in Japan. Ethnically, I am ¾ Korean and ¼ Russian, but how my Korean grandfather fell in love with my Russian grandmother is a totally different story. :-)

I love to travel and I have been to many different countries, but there are still more to go. Coming to the US was one of my dreams. And here I am. So I guess dreams really come true, right?

I did my undergrad in Moscow majoring in Economics and Finance and worked at one of the Big 4 companies — KPMG. I am really passionate about media, fashion, and finance. At this point in my life, I am trying to combine my economic background with my personal interests for my future career. And I hope that the MMS program will help me achieve my goals.

I am really interested in helping other people, especially the elderly. In Russia there are so many elderly people that are left all alone in care homes. Reaching out to them by writing letters and sending gifts was something I really enjoyed doing, and I hope to continue making an impact (even a tiny one) on other people’s lives.

The last thing I wanted to say is that I am really excited to be in this program and feel really lucky to have the opportunity to share my MMS experience with all of you awesome people!

Fuqua Activities: MMS Finance Club, Luxury Brand and Retail Club, Media, Entertainment and Sports Club, Net Impact.

twitter icon Follow me @vatrushka_katya.

mms studentZhi “Frank” Li

I’m a photographer, a writer, an optimist, and a huge fan of life. I’ve traveled around the world, and loved talking to different people from different cultures. I’ve been an honored student, a published academic researcher, a student government president, an event planner, a TV host, a TOEFL teacher, a public speaker and a international-championship-level debater. I’ve met President Obama in person, and I accompanied China’s former president in international diplomatic summits.

I love learning about random facts in life. I’m a huge enthusiast in volunteering and charity, and it’s been my dream to help as many people as possible. All of this makes me who I am today, and I appreciate that even the littlest things in life can make significant impacts. I’d like to share all the inspiring little things in life, and hope you will get a different perspective of Fuqua, Duke, and Durham through my words.

twitter icon Follow me @Franklee96.



One Response to Our Bloggers

  1. Pingback: Breaking into Consulting | The Duke MMS Student Blog

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>