My experience visiting Fuqua for its LGBTQ Weekend was the deciding factor for me to apply here. Among other key criteria (class size, alumni network, location), one of my “must-haves” was a school with a strong LGBTQ community whose school and students fostered a supportive environment both professionally and socially.

Even though I am from Arkansas (a state not exactly a friend to gay rights), I was still worried about what it would be like to be gay in North Carolina. I am happy to report that after attending Fuqua’s LGBTQ Weekend last year, I was sold. Not only did it quell my doubts about being gay in Durham, but it connected me with current students, Fuqua staff and admissions, and—most importantly—confirmed that Fuqua was the right fit for me.

What is LGBTQ Weekend, and Why Should You Apply?

LGBTQ Weekend is a partnership with the Office of Admissions and FuquaPride, Fuqua’s student-led LGBTQ network. As an attendee last year, I can tell you firsthand how amazing this experience is. You, of course, get the expected benefits of a school visit (campus tour, class visit, curriculum & careers sessions, etc.), but the LGBTQ Weekend boasts some other great “value-adds.”

It’s (Basically) Free!

As long as you can get to and from Durham, Fuqua takes care of the rest. This includes accommodations and meals throughout.

Direct access to Admissions

Have a burning question for your application? Want firsthand advice on approaching your 25 Random Facts? Our amazing admissions officers are on-hand during the weekend and are more than happy to help you out!

Opportunity to Interview

This is an unsung benefit of the weekend. I applied Round 2 and was so happy come February to have my interview already behind me. I highly recommend interviewing early.

Meet fellow LGBTQ applicants

One not-so-obvious benefit of attending is that you get to meet the other awesome candidates joining you for the weekend. It’s very cool to have friends I wouldn’t have met otherwise in MBA programs across the country (and some of whom I saw again on ROMBA treks I did during the summer)! Also, seeing who else is interested in MBA programs is a consideration for the programs you are looking at — these may be your classmates!

Opportunity to Determine Your Fit

Okay, this isn’t unique to LGBTQ weekend, but it’s worth emphasizing. Fit is one of the most important criteria for selecting your program. Visiting for the weekend allows you determine whether Fuqua is the right place for you.

Meeting LGBTQ Students & Alumni

This is most important! Similar to fit, you want to know that the LGBTQ community here is right for you. I was blown away by the students I met and how welcome everyone made me feel. Beyond that, I was able to make connections with people in the program who I could call on throughout my application process and people who are now some of my closest friends at Fuqua.

Anything Special this Year?

Glad you asked! Last year, I was fortunate that the LGBTQ Weekend aligned with Fuqua’s Distinguished Speaker Series. Duke alum Adam Silver, Commissioner of the NBA, spoke in conversation with Dean Bill Bolding, and while I am not a big basketball fan, it was incredible to get to hear the humble Mr. Silver talk about hard decisions he’s had to make and how he made them (being a leader who listens is a big part of it).

This year, you’ll have an even bigger treat: Fuqua’s Got Talent! A variety showcase of student talent beyond what’s on our resumé, this is a great opportunity to witness the amazing performance skills—and to see just how much fun—Fuquans have!

So When is It and How Do I Apply?

LGBTQ Weekend occurs late fall every year. To apply, all you have to do is submit a brief questionnaire, so contact Admissions to gain access. You’ll need to provide a list of extracurricular activities, your resumé, and your response to a short essay. Please be aware that applying for the LGBTQ Weekend is completely separate from the admissions process and is not a pre-screening.