Super Term!

The past few weeks have been nice — the calm before the storm — before Term 6, the final term. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. It might even be graduation, instead of a train (although classes don’t end until December).

In the blink of an eye, I find myself approaching the end of my MBA journey. It felt like it was just yesterday that I was investigating universities and studying for the GMAT. Suddenly, I find myself standing here, nearly finished, and facing what is known as the “super term,” which begins this Friday, Sept. 21. This sixth and final term is known as the super term because within a 2-week residency on campus, we take four intense electives, followed by 2 months of distance learning.

The electives are taken with Cross Continent MBA students, who have their residencies in Fuqua’s regional locations around the world. They’ll be on Duke’s campus for the first time, although it’s their final residency of the program. Some Global Executive MBA alumni will also be in our classes — they’re able to return to fulfill the requirements for a concentration or Health Sector Management Certificate. So the super term will be like a big mixer between all of MBA programs, since we’ll also have some opportunities to interact with the Daytime and MMS students who study at Fuqua full-time.

Another perk is that we’ll be able to attend some workshops organized by Fuqua’s Career Management Center, and there are some on-campus recruiting activities that we can participate in. In addition, some social and cultural activities are planned, to allow us all to mingle and to get a better sense of what it means to be a “Dukie.” Some of these events include a Duke Basketball Experience, where we’ll get on a court and learn from some former Duke basketball coaches and players! We can also attend Duke’s homecoming football game and climb the Duke Chapel. So it won’t be all work and no play. But, about that work …

Since current Weekend Executive and Cross Continent students come together for the super term, we create a critical mass that enables the school to offer more electives. This year, there are over 20 course options, and I decided to take the following electives:

  • Negotiation
  • Entrepreneurial Strategy
  • Entrepreneurship and New Venture Management
  • Managerial Decision Making

When I finish these 4 classes, I’ll be done with the coursework requirements for my MBA!

I decided to take Negotiation because I’d like to learn better negotiation skills. Since almost everything in the business world — and in my life — is negotiated in one way or another, I thought that taking the negotiation class would benefit me greatly. I also spoke to some alumni who rated the class very highly.

Since I plan to purse a concentration in Entrepreneurship and Innovation, I decided to take 2 electives during the super term that will help to fill the concentration requirements. Those 2 classes are Entrepreneurial Strategy and Entrepreneurship and New Venture Management. The last class I’m taking is Managerial Decision Making. Since I manage people, and projects, and budgets, this class seemed like a natural fit for me. I think that it will also give me some more insight into how business and management decisions are made.

Since starting the program in May 2011, I find that I have changed irrevocably in so many ways. I have learned a lot about leadership. I have made many friends. The Duke MBA opened my eyes to so many things that go on in the business world. I look forward to learning more during the final term. The end is coming so quickly, and while I’m ready to be done, I will also dearly miss the learning, the camaraderie, the laughter, and the experience of being in school.

Haley Gray

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Weekend Executive MBA, Class of 2012. Find out more about me...

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