Originally from Kansas, I escaped the Midwest for palm trees and sunnier skies in California to attend Claremont McKenna College for my undergraduate degree, majoring in economics and international relations. I then stayed in Los Angeles for six years and worked in the energy industry, focusing on corporate strategy and marketing. While I enjoyed my SoCal lifestyle, I was looking for a change in my career direction, and an MBA seemed like a great choice.

When I visited Fuqua for its admissions LGBT Weekend, I was sold. By sitting in on a class, meeting students and staff, and getting a chance to interview, I saw first-hand what Team Fuqua meant. More than just a top-ranked program, Fuqua was truly the collegial, diverse, supportive community that I had heard and read about. I knew Fuqua was the perfect place to spend two transformative years—and luckily the feeling was mutual!

Over the summer between first and second year, I put my interest in tech and retail to work with a summer internship at Amazon in Seattle. While I enjoyed the good coffee, mountains galore, and a real income (!!!), it only made me that much more excited to come back to Fuqua for my second year. If your first year is all about discovering your professional and personal self and taking advantage of all the resources Duke provides you, your second year is all about giving back to the Team Fuqua community and maximizing your remaining time. Whether it’s leading FuquaPride as one of its co-presidents, interviewing the next generation of Fuquans as an Admissions fellow, or simply planning yet another international trip with my closest friends, my final year at Fuqua is sure to be a great one.

Fuqua Activities

FuquaPride co-president, Admissions fellow, Diversity Working Group co-lead, FuquaVision guest star, Tech Club supporter, and Wine Club fan.

From my 25 Random Things Essay

  1. Since 2013, I have helped a friend’s wedding business by occasionally serving as a professional wedding officiant. So far, “Celebrant Ross” has sent 20-plus strangers and friends to (hopefully eternal) marital bliss.
  2. My senior year of college I led a backpacking trip to Sequoia National Park for freshman orientation. When our water filters broke the first night, I forced everyone to hike back to a dude ranch, where we offered manual labor for water until our bus came back in 3 days. Luckily, no one transferred schools after that trip.
  3. My biggest pet peeve in life is inefficiency, but I’ve managed to make my daily 45-minute slug through L.A. traffic one of my greatest joys—it’s the best time to keep in contact with my friends, family, and Renee Montagne on NPR.