I left Fuqua last May ready to rejoin the working world, armed with a new degree and a great deal more knowledge about business, marketing, and health care. The education exceeded every expectation I had of business school.

However, as I think back to what the last two years have meant, my experience transcended more than just the academic coursework. As it turns out, my favorite Fuqua memories are about the people, culture, and drive that make this place special.

6. Health Care Club Week-In-Cities Trips

I’ve written before about my passion for health care and decision to pursue the Health Sector Management (HSM) Certificate, but fall break of my first year truly solidified that passion. I joined a group of 12 other fresh-faced HSM students to travel to San Francisco and visit companies like Verily, Intuitive Surgical, and Genentech. Seeing the application of classroom principles was exciting, but so was taking my new friends wine tasting in Napa Valley and posing for touristy photos by the Golden Gate Bridge.

15 students in business attire posing beside the Genentech sign, one of my favorite Fuqua memories
The Health Care Club’s Week-in-Cities trip to Genentech in San Francisco

5. Beer Club Oktoberfest

It’s no secret that I love craft beer—I was even cold-called multiple times in Professor Aaron Chatterjee’s strategy classrooms when we studied the Boston Beer Company. As co-president of the Fuqua Beer Club, I got to attend and plan beer-themed events with my classmates, and our Oktoberfest event was my favorite. Selling out of 250 tickets, we toasted German culture with the European Business Club and savored bratwurst while catching up with friends.

a full beer stein with a Fuqua 2017 Oktoberfest design on the glass, one of my favorite Fuqua memories
Our Oktoberfest event at Ponysaurus Brewing

4. First-Year Case Competitions

I had no idea what a case competition was when I started school. Once I was initiated, I quickly realized that getting to collaborate with a team of students on real-world business problems and then present our ideas to senior leadership of companies is an experience that makes business school unlike most other graduate school programs. Two of my favorite competitions were with Cisco Systems, where I eventually interned, and (no surprise) AB-InBev on a case that involved craft beer. My teammate, Reece, and I even got to fly to New York to present to the AB-InBev team.

the trio posing for a selfie in Grand Central Station, one of my favorite Fuqua memories
My husband, Pavel and my teammate, Reece with me in New York when Reece and I were finalists in the AB-InBev case competition

3. Serving as a COLE Fellow

Getting to mentor two teams, each made up of six first-year students, as a Coach K Center on Leadership and Ethics (COLE) fellow was one of the highlights of my second year. Each student brought a different set of experiences and beliefs to their team, and it was inspiring to see the two teams work through the issues and demands of their first year. They taught me more about teamwork and success than any other Fuqua experience and challenged me to be a better leader. I’m so proud of what they accomplished individually and I’m excited to keep in touch with all 12 as they progress in their careers!

dozens of students posing for a group photo with Coach K, one of my favorite Fuqua memories
Our group of COLE fellows with Duke Basketball Coach Mike Krzyzewski

2. C-LEAD Team Dinners

Objectively speaking, I had the best Consequential Leadership (C-LEAD) team in the Class of 2018. While there is no way to verify that statement, I really did luck out with the five students I was paired with. They gave me the encouragement to break out of my shell, the support when recruiting got tough, and really became like a second family. Every term we would get together for dinner and spend hours laughing and talking. At our last dinner, we couldn’t bring ourselves to say goodbye, and instead made the promise to “get lunch before everyone left,” knowing full well that was impossible.

the seven friends at a table in the restaurant, one of my favorite Fuqua memories
My C-LEAD team and husband enjoying our last dinner together at Pizzeria Toro before graduation

1. Spring Break Student Trips

I was lucky enough to go on “Treks” both years at Fuqua. My first year, I joined 80-plus students in Japan, and my second year our group of 95 toured around Israel and Petra, Jordan. These trips were loud, exhausting, and jam-packed with cultural and historical information, but being led through a new country by my Japanese and Israeli classmates made the experience truly unlike any other. Fuqua is lucky to have such a rich, diverse group of international students and these trips reflected that. Our inclusive culture was also highlighted by these trips—my husband, Pavel was able to come on both and we made some of our best Fuqua friends in Japan.

14 students pose for a group photo, one of my favorite Fuqua memories
With some of my Section 6 classmates wearing kimonos in Kyoto, Japan, as part of our first-year spring break trip