I am Shu Hong, a second-year Duke Daytime MBA student at Fuqua and a China Admissions Ambassador for this year. Working closely with Admissions and coordinating interviews in China brings back memories of my own business school admissions process. Prior to deciding to apply to Fuqua, prospective students in China have likely learned a lot about the school, community, and culture through various channels including: following the official Fuqua Weibo account, reading this blog, attending information sessions, and  talking to admission officers, alumni, or current students at admissions events.

Here are some more tips as you work on your application:

  1. If you have talked to any admission officers, alumni, or current students, be sure to mention their names, together with what you’ve learned from your conversation with them, in your essays.
  2. Leave enough time to prepare for the essays. After the first draft, let them “cool” for a while, and then begin revising. If you happen to know any alumni or current students, you may find it helpful to ask their suggestions.
  3. If you are waitlisted, keep us updated on your job status, exam scores, or other big changes. Do not hesitate to share with us any significant news, promotions, or improvements.

In the spirit of essay writing, I would like to share 25 random things about me with you:

  1. When I was 12 years old, my father changed my first name from “姝” (beauty) to “書” (academic). Although the Chinese pronunciation remained the same, this change aptly characterized his high hopes and motivated me to live up to them.
  2. My hometown is in the northernmost province of China. It is adjacent to Russia and famous for the heavy snow during winters.
  3. From first grade to fourth grade, I assisted a classmate in a wheelchair with a variety of tasks from washing her hands to retrieving her textbooks, through which we developed a beautiful friendship. This experience taught me the joy of giving at an early age, and prompted me to continue helping others in need. Currently, through the Net Impact Club, I enjoy contributing back to the community.
  4. I love all kinds of food — Chinese, Mexican, Italian, French, etc. Whenever I come to a new city, the first places I go are restaurants and grocery stores.
  5. I have practiced Chinese Calligraphy since I was 7. I can still remember some of the movements and show off to my friends from time to time.
  6. Karaoke is my favorite entertainment. I held the record of staying in a Karaoke club, singing and dancing for over 8 hours. By the way, there is one good Karaoke club – Star Karaoke here in Durham!
  7. During college, inspired by my best friend who is a lesbian, I advocated for LGBT rights by presenting workshops to educate my peers on the topic and encouraging them to join our advocacy efforts.
  8. My husband and I were classmates in college. Now we are MBA classmates at Fuqua! Following the Fuqua honor code, we share housework but we don’t share homework.
    I love animals. However, I never had any pets before and I’m planning to adopt one after graduating from Fuqua.
  9. Chinchilla is on my top list because it looks just like me.
  10. My father is a teacher and my mother is a librarian. I call them every day since I came to the US. They are two of my best friends and mentors.
  11. Call me crazy but I did two internships last summer because I wanted to experience two different industries and job locations.
  12. To overcome my fear of heights, I tried skydiving and I loved it! There is a good place for skydiving in Durham close to the airport.
  13. I like playing cards and I held monthly game nights with my friends before I joined Fuqua.
  14. I learned to play electronic keyboard when I was young and I hated it because I was forced to practice a lot and show off to every guest. However, I picked it up after I graduated from college and playing music became a joyful experience.
  15. I had never played video games on Xbox, Play Station or Wii until I met my husband. Now I’m familiar with all those game consoles and play FIFA, Resident Evil and Halo from time to time.
  16. I’m most productive when I’m under pressure. I was never relaxed before the final exams and I would prepare until the last minute.
  17. I learned Beijing Opera from my college roommate, who was a Beijing Opera fan and repeated a same section of a play for more than 30 times in one afternoon.
  18. I have a set of Monday to Sunday socks but I never picked the right sock to match the weekdays.
  19. When I first moved to Shanghai for college, I couldn’t understand a word of the local dialect Shanghainese. Now I can speak half the language and understand almost all of it.
  20. My favorite sport is badminton. I’m the cabinet of the newly founded Fuqua badminton club and I play with club members every week.
  21. My best experience in high school was collaborating with my classmates to write a novel in high school. It was a story about missions for government agents to protect the country. We also dreamed about a movie based on the story.
  22. I love technology and new electronic devices. My only “anti-tech” thing is that I still prefer printed books over electronic books.
  23. There are two “MS” on my resume and I’m proud of both of these great companies – Morgan Stanley and Microsoft.
  24. I bought an expensive Canon 7D when I knew nothing about photography as I believed that “you cannot make bricks without straw”.
  25. My goals for the second year at Fuqua include attending golf course, traveling to South America and becoming Fuqua scholar.

You can read more about my story here.

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