It’s February 2019. I’m in the second year of my MBA, and I’m in the Fuqua auditorium leading a Blue Cup competition against UNC (our annual Duke vs. UNC “MBA Olympics”). The crowd is chanting our classmate’s name. You would have thought it was a high-stakes professional sports match, but no, it’s a Super Smash Brothers match, with the glory of Duke on the line. Elimination after elimination—that classmate’s fighter took down his foes without losing a single life and secured the first-ever esports cup for Fuqua. That moment symbolized a key theme of esports: “anyone can be the best,” no matter your physical capabilities.
Following My Passion
I started my career in finance as an analyst, and eventually took a deeper interest in strategic analysis and management. Knowing I needed an MBA to take things to the next level, Fuqua best represented what I valued: teamwork, humility, and leadership. Not to mention, it had one of the best student communities I could find. As a first-year student, I didn’t know what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I explored everything from entrepreneurship, consulting, investment banking, and just about everything else. However, I knew I was an entertainment (particularly gaming) and sports nerd, and that I do my best work when I’m passionate about what I’m doing, so companies like Disney and Blizzard Entertainment were at the top of my list.
Landing at Blizzard
With the help of the career management center, fellow students, and a little luck, I landed an internship at Activision Blizzard doing esports product strategy. Now, I’m the Global Head of the Overwatch League. I’ve gone from developing business cases for digital engagement tools as an intern to leading a global team focused on bringing epic entertainment to millions of fans. While the job isn’t perfect and, like any other job, has its frustrations, we’ve seen great success and I enjoy the dynamic nature and dedicated, talented individuals around me.
Fuqua gave me the tools I needed to confidently navigate a career, the courage to follow a passion, and lasting connections that aren’t providing me shallow “career help,” but are friends that celebrate each other’s lives. While I confess that I still may not know what I’ll be when I grow up, I’m grateful for the experiences and people at Fuqua that set an invaluable foundation for whatever is to come.