Reflecting on my MBA journey, I realize that the passion to reach new frontiers comes from my childhood and Bantu DNA, to believe in a future greater than our circumstances and that difficulties wouldn’t prevail. This philosophy propelled me into the MBA journey, making me the first Mozambican woman to join the Daytime MBA program at Fuqua.

Dreaming is simple, but fear and discomfort often set in when turning our dreams into reality. Leaving comfort zones behind to embark on a new life can be daunting. One of the moments I felt challenged was the team challenge day in my first term at Fuqua. I just followed my gut and trusted my classmates to help me conquer the wall and mountain climbing activity. Even though nervousness and self-doubt crept in in some situations, making me question my abilities, I always chose to trust my Fuqua cohort, who had been through similar situations while communicating my feelings.

Heloisa Sitefane and other Duke Fuqua students standing in front of a climbing wall. They are wearing matching red t-shirts and helmets.

Nearly one year later, what was once unfamiliar has evolved into a realm of comfort because, when I packed my bag, I also carried my Ubuntu way of life: “I am because we are.” I couldn’t have come this far by myself. It took the whole village to conquer all the groundbreaking achievements. At Fuqua, surrounded by people from all over the world and from all walks of life, I have been building my new village so I can reach greater heights.

Heloisa Sitefane, a student at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business with a group of her teammates

I am in the middle of my Fuqua journey. But, I already appreciate the depth of the transformation I am undergoing, the eternity of the memories, and the robustness of the bridges I am creating with my newly-formed global village. The connections will only pave the way for boldness to tackle challenges more significant than I ever thought I would, and to make an impact greater than I could ever make before Fuqua.