When I was researching business school options, I knew that I wanted to be in an academic environment that was both fast-paced and collaborative. Many business school programs tout the uniqueness of their offerings, from focusing on a certain style of teaching, to the ability to customize your course load. I found Fuqua’s blend of these options to be the best fit for me, as well as providing a supportive and team-oriented cohort to boot. My Fuqua journey has been transformative so far—both in and outside the classroom—and I know that my professors and classes played a major role in that.

Core Classes

One of the main draws of Fuqua’s structured core curriculum was that it was assigned to us upfront, exposing me to a wide variety of core essential subjects within my first few terms. As someone who had been out of a class environment for some time before business school, I was initially concerned about how fast-paced the classes would be, especially as recruiting started.

Those fears quickly dissipated as I learned the value and significance of my C-LEAD and section teams. Core classes, such as accounting, finance, economics, and marketing, are all populated by your classmates, some of whom have experience in those subjects. Thanks to the team-focused structure, I seamlessly transitioned back to a classroom mindset with the support of my gracious and helpful classmates.

In the end, I gained invaluable knowledge in my core classes, having been fortunate enough to have mentors such as Professor John Heater in accounting and Professors Jordan Etkin and Keisha Cutright in marketing. They employed various teaching styles, such as the case method, and brought their industry experience to the classroom, helping shape our discussion and learning.

Experiential Learning

From the Fuqua Client Consulting Practicum (FCCP) to being involved with Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship (Duke I&E) and Mentored Study, I was excited to learn Fuqua offers a wide variety of experiential learning opportunities.

For my FCCP project, I was paired with an amazing group of my fellow first-years. The team-focused element of FCCP (this is Fuqua after all!) gives everyone a chance to work on a real-world challenge with a client, gaining insight into how a consulting engagement looks from the ground up. With guidance from Professor Stephanie Knight, my team learned how to break down our client’s problems into streamlined workstreams. Then we determined how to use those workstreams to tackle the client’s issues from not just all angles, but the right angles.


A great part of the academic experience at Fuqua is that I have had the ability to chart my own specialization and path after completing the core curriculum. Fuqua offers a wealth of concentrations, from corporate finance to marketing and strategy. Students can choose to specialize in more than one concentration and take electives that align with that specialty. Choosing from all these great electives can be hard, but I was guided by second-years, who helped me navigate which courses would be relevant to my career, what I can expect to learn in the class, and the teaching styles of various professors. Combined with my own research and interest in the topic, I narrowed down my electives and prioritized those that checked as many of these boxes.

My favorite electives have been courses taught by passionate faculty members who are deeply connected to the course material and industry, as well as courses where I’ve felt challenged and learned a lot from. One of those electives was Professor John Graham’s Corporate Finance class. Professor Graham, who is regularly called on by journalists and even lawmakers for his expertise, goes over the basics of corporate finance. He utilizes a bottom-up approach to help integrate the class into scenarios that real-life decision-makers regularly make. He made sure that both the quantitative and qualitative aspects of corporate finance are discussed thoroughly, designing the curriculum so that you did not need to have an expansive knowledge of finance prior to class to enjoy and get the most out of the course.

What I loved most about my academic journey at Fuqua is that professors here know that we have a diverse and varied student body, filled with many different professional backgrounds. Learning is what’s prioritized, and the pedagogy reflects this, with an emphasis on making sure foundational knowledge is taught to learners at all experience levels.