A common anecdote I heard from Fuqua students when I began my application process back in 2021 was that many things are student-run at Duke. Now, as graduation quickly approaches in May, I find myself saying the same thing to prospective students who reach out to me.

Embedding Myself in the Fuqua Community

The first year is extremely busy at any MBA program, but at Fuqua, I was still able to get involved as a first-year cabinet member for the general management, board game and Fuqua fitness clubs. In hindsight, I am so happy I was able to join these clubs in a leadership role. Not only did it feel great to help out my fellow first-years as part of the general management club, but I was also able to forge strong connections with second-years through the board game and fitness clubs. These connections were invaluable for me, as I found myself with a group of second-years that I leaned heavily on to get through my first year. I am still in contact with many of them.

In my second year, I wanted to get even more involved. I successfully applied for and became both a Fellow for the Fuqua/Coach K Center on Leadership and Ethics (COLE) and a Career Fellow, a second-year mentor who helps first-year students during recruiting. I also was asked to be one of the co-presidents of the Board Game Club and Volleyball Club.

The Board Game Club is a Fuqua activity club that hosts weekly game nights for Fuqua students, as well as other events like trivia and video game tournaments. The Fuqua Volleyball Club is another activity club that organizes weekly volleyball games for Fuqua students as well as for students in other graduate programs across Duke.

Fuqua's board game club hosting a game night
Hosting a game night for the Board Game Club

Developing My Leadership Skills

What surprised me most is how much I not only enjoyed leading these clubs but also how much I learned from running them. I built skills on how to lead without formal authority, how to create a welcoming environment, how to delegate work to my cabinet members and how to motivate club members to come to events. I feel that these leadership roles outside of the classroom are exactly what I needed to prepare me for my next job after Fuqua and my career beyond.

Fuqua is a wonderful place to pursue both your professional and personal interests. When I got into the program, I was barely thinking about what clubs I wanted to join. Now with my time at Fuqua coming to an end, I am so grateful for the opportunity to do activities that I love while building my leadership skills and creating lifelong friends along the way.