The Fuqua Experience: Our Stories

Tushar, Melissa and Nicole in the Fox Center, they share their Fuqua experience
Sectionmates (from left to right: Tushar, Melissa, Nicole)

Melissa Blette

Like many, I came to orientation feeling excited but nervous. Would the “Team Fuqua” spirit I felt during my campus visits be true of my experience? How would I handle the transition back to school? Would I make the lifelong friends I’d hoped for? Now a couple terms in, I can assure you that the collaborative nature of Team Fuqua is incredibly real.

As a proud member of Section 4, I have already made what I feel could be lifelong friends and my section-mates, in particular, have been so supportive. When I got sick, a member of my Consequential Leadership (C-LEAD) team came over, cooked dinner, and cleaned the dishes. When I needed extra help on statistics, a section-mate tutored me for an entire Saturday which was her only day off that week. When I earned an on-campus leadership position, I found sticky notes on my locker congratulating me on becoming a #girlboss. So with all this, I can truly say that through late-night study sessions, C-LEAD team dinners, and even a few “Bachelor in Paradise” viewing parties, I’ve made friends that will last a lifetime.

Tushar Dasgupta

As I was flying from India for my first trip abroad, I was full of mixed emotions. I was excited to go to a country known as the “Land of Dreams,”—a place where liberty and freedom are respected—but I was apprehensive whether I’d fit in. As a gay man in India, I had always felt uncomfortable and unaccepted. In large cities, I knew the U.S. would be more open to me being gay, but I had some doubts that Durham would be the place I could live openly for the next two years. The state had just passed HB2, their infamous transgender “bathroom law.”

Now that I’ve been in the U.S. for 100 days, I realize I made the right decision. The acceptance I feel at Fuqua and in Durham have exceeded my expectations by leaps and bounds. I’m a member of FuquaPride—Fuqua’s LGBT organization—which has given me a platform to meet people with similar life experiences; my entire class respects who I am; I’m fully supported in my professional and personal life; and I can share my problems with my amazing C-LEAD team. At Fuqua, I’m freer and happier than ever before and have found the acceptance I had been searching for my entire life.

Nicole Barefoot

At Fuqua, we’re a team. It’s not just something Fuqua puts on its marketing materials—it’s an ingrained belief. Before going to business school, I was worried about keeping up with my quantitative courses; I was worried about living in a brand new city where my spouse was traveling for most of the week; and I was worried I wouldn’t fit in.

Since I started school a few months ago, those feelings have faded away. Instead, the people I’ve met have encouraged me to be my best and have motivated me to be even more supportive and authentic. When I needed help in Fall 1 Economics, many of my sectionmates reached out to offer their time. They had more than enough work to keep their 24 hours jam-packed—so this wasn’t just “I’m going to help you,” but an “I’m choosing to give up something else to make sure you succeed.” This mentality will continue to be a guiding principle for me. I’ll always remember how I felt when my team members reached out and how much better my team functioned knowing we supported each another.

Ultimately, every prospective student needs to decide what school is their best fit. But what’s great about Fuqua is that we don’t have an individual ‘fit’—because we’re a team.

Duke Fuqua student blogger Melissa Blette

Melissa Blette

Daytime MBA, Class of 2018

Before Fuqua Born and raised in South Florida, I graduated from the University of Central... Read More

Learn more about Melissa | View all of Melissa's Posts

Nicole Barefoot, Duke Fuqua MBA student blogger

Nicole Barefoot

Daytime MBA, Class of 2018

I was born and raised in Los Angeles, but after receiving dual degrees in Art Studio and... Read More

Learn more about Nicole | View all of Nicole's Posts

Tushar Dasgupta, Duke Fuqua MBA student blogger

Tushar Dasgupta

Daytime MBA, Class of 2018

I was born in a small city of Nagpur also known as Orange city in... Read More

Learn more about Tushar | View all of Tushar's Posts

  • Shubhanshu Pandey

    Hi Tushar,nnTons of thanks for this valuable post. I am currently working on my applications and pretty much interested in GATE program. it will be a great help if you can help me with know whether students also choose to lead teams which visits their home country. For example, I am from India, so will I have the opportunity to be a team lead of any team which will be visiting India.nnAlso, in terms of learning we get, do visiting other countries is more helpful than visiting home country?nnThank you in advance.

    • Hi Shubhanshu, nnThe GATE programs visit small handful of predetermined locations every year including China, Brazil and South Africa. So there is not an India GATE. However, there could be an opportunity to gather a small group of classmates for a more informal/non-academic trip to India during one of the school breaks. Students frequently plan their own travels within smaller groups.

      • Shubhanshu Pandey

        Thanks a lot for such a valuable information.

    • Tushar Dasgupta

      Hi Shuhanshu, I am glad thatb my post was helpful for you to know more about Fuqua and how much inclusive it is for international students! As far as GATE is concerned, the post below is correct as theres no India GATE but yes like mentioned below, we are planning an India trek for people who are interested in visiting India and get to know more about its culture. You can be a part of the organizing team if you decide to join Fuqua. Let me know if you have any questions! ood luck with your application!

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  • Anshul Mehrotra

    Hello Tushar,nYour post was very insightful about the culture and being culturally Fit at Fuqua.I would like to know more about Fuqua,can you please drop a test email at