Duke/Fuqua Announcement
To announce which MBA program we’d be joining, we posted this picture of our daughter Surrey on Facebook. Go Duke!

By far, my favorite application essay to write was Fuqua’s “25 Random Things About Me.” However, I was surprised to talk to other applicants and hear how difficult many found the essay to write. My advice for those of you struggling with this non-traditional essay is to just have fun! This is a great and unique opportunity to show your interests, personality, and what sets you apart as a person.

I’m pretty confident that after reading my first blog (The Top 10 Reasons Why I Chose Fuqua), you thought to yourself, “Wow, this Trevor McKinnon sounds like an awesome guy. I wish I could get to know him better.” Well, it’s your lucky day! Below are some random things about me, and although this is not the same list I submitted as part of my application, it should give you the gist:

1. I was born in the US, raised in the UK, and have citizenship in both countries.

2. I played alto saxophone in a jazz nightclub in Prague.

3. My daughter’s name is Surrey. No, not because of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes’ daughter (Suri) and not because of the iPhone app (Siri), but because Surrey is where I grew up in England. And yes, people ask me those 2 questions all the time.

4. Surrey is spoiled: she had been to Disneyland more than 10 times before the age of 18 months, even though she’s never lived in California. My wife is from Orange County, so we would visit her family frequently while living in Utah, which always included multiple trips to Disneyland to get the most out of our season passes.

Zambezi Rafting
Just before launching out onto the Zambezi River, along the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe.

5. I played basketball and volleyball in multiple European countries. Since I attended a private international school in the U.K., our school teams would play other similar internationals schools in cities like Frankfurt, Brussels, Vienna, Athens, and Paris.

6. I don’t drink alcohol, and never have.

7. I’m a huge fan of BYU sports. When Jabari Parker picked Duke over BYU during last year’s basketball season, I was devastated. However, my feelings completely reversed once I chose Duke, too.

8. I went whitewater rafting on the Zambezi River in Africa.

Petting a Cheetah
Nervously petting a cheetah in Namibia, Africa.

9. I love the Beatles and enjoy talking about music for hours on end.

10. I kissed the Blarney Stone twice. Given that I’m fairly introverted, it seems the two kisses canceled each other out and left me without “the gift of gab” the stone promises.

11. I was married in San Diego, CA, on December 19, 2009.

12. I petted a “domesticated” cheetah in Namibia, Africa.

13. My favorite movie is “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”

Wedding Day
A wedding-day picture in San Diego, California.

14. I put Tabasco sauce or crushed chili peppers on almost everything I eat.

15. I learned and became fluent in Spanish while living in Canada for two years during an ecclesiastical mission for my church.

16. One of the most relaxing and serene activities I’ve participated in was skydiving. Really.

17. When I lived in Boston, the room I rented had previously been occupied by the actor Chris O’Donnell. In addition, Andy Kaufman, Mark Walberg, Ben Affleck, Casey Affleck, and Matt Damon had all previously lived in the house at one point, since the owner was Matt Damon’s godfather. Unfortunately, I have yet to personally meet any of them.

18. I am a terrible artist but have a real talent for Facebook Graffiti, oddly enough.

19. I went scuba diving with dolphins in the Red Sea. It was incredible.

20. I was the organist in my church congregation for 3 years, although I never took organ lessons.

Meet the Drabble Family – the main characters in my father-in-law’s comic strip.

21. Being a dad is the best thing ever. Currently, we just have the one daughter, Surrey, but hope to have more children in the future.

22. I love reading trivia and memorizing random facts, which comes in handy when my wife and I watch Jeopardy.

23. In the summer, I go through roughly one box of Otter Pops (popsicles) each week, leaving the blue ones.

24. When I was 18, I saw one of my musical heroes, Van Morrison, in concert. I’m pretty sure I was the youngest person in attendance by about 25 years.

25. My father-in-law is a nationally syndicated cartoonist and the creator of Drabble. I’m not sure if I should be proud or embarrassed that I have been the inspiration for several of the strip’s punch lines.

See more examples from and insight on Fuqua’s 25 Random Things essay