As a prospective student, I had the opportunity to attend the Duke MBA Workshop weekend for minority applicants. Since 1982, this weekend is a yearly tradition designed to offer prospective students from underrepresented populations a chance to learn about the overall MBA experience and Fuqua community.

School fit was an essential criterion when evaluating which school would be the best choice for me. Thus, attending the Workshop was a crucial step in my search process. Throughout the weekend, I was able to get a real sense of Fuqua’s overall community and specifically, the minority community through personalized student engagement and alumni connection points.

Preparing for such an in-depth event as a prospective student can be an intimidating process. I knew I would have the opportunity to meet a wide variety of students, engage with alumni, and have my official admissions interview that’s part of the application process. This was a bit stressful in thought. However, Fuqua’s practice of having a current student buddy assigned to meet me even before I hit campus to answer any questions removed the stress. My buddy was recruiting in the same industry that I intended to work in post-MBA, involved in the clubs that I wanted to join, and even attended my college alma mater. I could tell the Black and Latino MBA Organization (BLMBAO) students who served as hosts for the Workshop were very thoughtful and intentional in the buddy assignments. Following a day full of events and information, my buddy took time out of her evening to help prepare me for my interview the next day, ultimately allowing me to perform with confidence.

The alumni were also a unique element of the Workshop. From my interactions with them throughout the weekend, it was clear that they were very invested in giving back and engaging with us as prospective students. An alumnus, who came from a marketing background, sought me out during the evening dinner to connect on my career journey and discuss opportunities within the industry in the future. I could feel a sense of authenticity within our engagement as she discussed her journey and challenged me to dream big. Throughout the weekend, I witnessed a wide variety of acts of genuine support from the entire Fuqua community, whether it was prospective students, current students, or alumni. 

As I am now the BLMBAO VP of Admissions, I aspire to embody the pay-it-forward mentality and Team Fuqua spirit. While planning the 2020 Workshop weekend, I aimed to provide the same engaging and memorable experience I had to the next group of prospective students. The Workshop encapsulates what it means to be a part of this unique community. For many like me, it helped solidify Fuqua as the right next step within my professional and personal journey.