Embarking on the MBA adventure at Fuqua is like stepping into a world of endless possibilities. For me, this decision was a no-brainer even though I came from a non-business background. As a surgeon with a decade of experience in dentistry, public health, and maxillofacial surgery in the vibrant city of Lagos, Nigeria, this was a new chapter I couldn’t wait to begin.

My journey at Fuqua started with a bang – a week-long Health Sector Management Bootcamp that united international business and health care experts. Imagine the insights when you bring those two worlds together! We dove deep into health care systems around the globe, dissecting how economic development and societal diversity shape health care accessibility. Our goal? To enhance treatment value and reduce costs for patients, particularly in Africa, where health care transformation is an urgent need. But that was just the beginning.

Oluwasey Atoyebi, Daytime MBA '25, sitting with another man and three women playing an ice breaker at a circular table at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business. The camera is slightly overhead.
Me (right) and other students during HSM Bootcamp

Orientation week at Fuqua was a whirlwind of incredible moments, but one memory shines brighter than the rest. It was the moment I met Alison Levine, an extraordinary speaker and Fuqua alumna. During Orientation, she told our class about conquering Mount Everest. But it was more than just a story, it was a life-changing experience.

Alison Levine, MBA '00, speaks to the Daytime MBA Class of 2025 during Orientation in a packed Geneen Auditorium at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business.
Alison Levine giving her speech to the Daytime MBA Class of 2025 during Orientation

Craving more, I also read Alison’s book, “On the Edge,” which took me even deeper into the principles she applied during her Everest expedition. The lessons I’ve gleaned from her experiences are invaluable, not only in business but in shaping one’s character and approach to life’s challenges. Her words about resilience, determination, and the relentless pursuit of excellence resonated deeply with my personal journey.

Securing admission to study dental surgery after high school was a grueling three-year battle filled with uncertainties, a testament to my resilience and commitment to never give up. Life’s challenges grew even more daunting when I lost a beloved family member, testing my resilience in profound ways. During those trying times, I found strength in the “never give up” mantra, which became my guiding principle. Together, they remind me that, like conquering Everest, I can overcome any obstacle with unyielding determination, and that resilience and perseverance ultimately lead to triumph.

It’s astonishing how a single speech can alter your perspective. Alison’s words have become my guiding light, a constant reminder of the power of resilience, determination, and unwavering courage. As I embark on my journey through the intersecting worlds of business and health care at Fuqua and beyond, I hope to always keep in mind that our inner strength propels us to new heights when faced with challenges and leadership isn’t just a title, it’s a way of life. So, let’s embrace the challenges, seize the opportunities, and continue to shape a future where our collective determination leads us to greater success.