During the second week of Global Institute, one of my classmates came up with the idea for each person in our section to have lunch with a new and randomly assigned person each week. The meet-ups were coined “lunches of consequence,” a nod to Fuqua’s principle of creating “leaders of consequence.” Though the lunch concept vaguely (and uncomfortably) reminded me of blind dating, getting to know my classmates was one of the things I was most looking forward to, so I put my name on the list. The lunches have become one of my favorite Fuqua experiences and are particularly special to me, because they reflect three of Fuqua’s unique strengths: Team Fuqua, the student-led culture, and the collective diversity of our class.

Team Fuqua: When I visited Fuqua for the first time last fall I was impressed with how approachable everyone was. The inviting feeling continued during orientation, where I felt that I could walk up to anyone and enjoy a great conversation. So when my classmate asked my section to participate in the lunches of consequence I was not surprised by how excited everyone was to sign up. One core aspect of Team Fuqua is how open everyone is to getting to know his or her classmates.

Students having lunch at FuquaStudent-Led Culture: Although only in her second week at Fuqua, my classmate was already innovating a new way for my section to get to know one another. My classmate’s ambition to develop the lunches of consequence is an example of the student-led culture at Fuqua. More importantly, my section’s support for the idea illustrates the supportive role the class plays in helping leaders bring their ideas to life.

Collective Diversity: I left each lunch impressed and inspired by my classmates’ backgrounds and plans for their Fuqua experience. For example, I learned that one of my classmates is passionate about health and wellness and is creating a nutrition-based startup. I had lunch with one of my classmates from India who, like me, is interested in pursuing a career in marketing. We talked about our different professional and cultural backgrounds and how they have influenced our career choice. The diversity of ideas brought to the table coupled with the willingness to share those ideas captures Fuqua’s spirit of collective diversity.

The lunches of consequence are spreading to other sections and even beyond lunch. I’ve seen some people having their “lunch” at the driving range or on a run through the nearby Duke Forest. I’m excited to meet more of my classmates and see this idea grow!