One of my favorite activities that I’ve become involved with here is Fuqua on Board. The program is run by Duke’s Center for Advanced Social Entrepreneurship (CASE), and is a terrific way for first-year students to connect with Durham area non-profits.
What is Fuqua on Board?
Fuqua on Board matches Duke MBA students with Durham area non-profits. Students serve a one-year term as non-voting board members of the organization. Fuqua MBAs are assigned a board mentor and participate in monthly board meetings, in addition to board committee meetings.
The Scrap Exchange
I am matched with a Durham based, non-profit creative re-use center called The Scrap Exchange (check out their website: www.scrapexchange.org). Since 1991, The Scrap Exchange has been collecting donated materials from businesses and residents and distributing them through its retail store. There is something for everyone at The Scrap Exchange, artists go there to get low price supplies, home economics teachers can find deeply discounted fabrics, and children can have their birthday parties in the arts and crafts room in the back of the store.
A Mutually Beneficial Arrangement
The great thing about Fuqua on Board is that both parties benefit from the arrangement. Students gain from learning about how boards function and get an opportunity to take part in strategic conversations that they will hopefully be able to leverage in their future careers. The non-profits benefit from having new perspectives from MBA students who might even have work experience that may assist the entity. For example, my Fuqua on Board MBA counterpart has retail experience and has been able to use that skillset to assist The Scrap Exchange on some tactical decisions for their store.
So far, Fuqua on Board has been a valuable experience for me, and I am looking forward to staying involved with the program for the duration of my time at Fuqua.