As an Admissions Ambassador and a blogger, prospective students ask me a number of questions. I thought it might be helpful to share my answers with a larger audience, and I will post more questions throughout the application period.

Where do MMS students come from?

We have students who come from ALL over. Many different countries, states, academic backgrounds, cultural backgrounds, and universities are represented. The diversity here is truly remarkable. Fuqua is one of the most global and diverse business schools in the world. Our MMS students represent 22 different countries and over 70 undergraduate institutions. Students have studied all kinds of topics and hold degrees in economics, engineering, art history, sociology, history, philosophy and English (to name a few). One of my classmates is a lawyer, there’s also an actuary and accountants, as well as entrepreneurs who have started their own non-profits and businesses. There is no “typical” MMS student, and that is the beauty of this program. Some students are fresh out of college; others have been out for up to 4 years. The academics, combined with the unbelievably unique student body, make the MMS experience one that is unmatched. Check out more class stats.

If I don’t have a formal business background or education, how will I fit into the program?

I had similar reservations when I was applying to this program. Having a liberal arts background and non-profit experience, I was worried that I would be limited in my abilities to excel, and I wasn’t sure if I’d fit in at a business school. Instead, I’ve learned that an untraditional background like mine is an asset because I bring a different perspective to the table. Varying levels of expertise and different interests and strengths make teamwork and classroom discussions much more interesting.

Do you feel safe in Durham? And how is the housing? Do I need a car?

Having grown up in a city and gone to school in South Central Los Angeles (USC), I have a biased opinion on the matter. That being said, Durham is just like living in any other urban environment. There are places you shouldn’t go after dark, and things you shouldn’t do by yourself … like in any city, you just have to use some common street smarts. But be assured that Duke has a lot of security resources, including on-campus police who monitor “help phones” and safe ride services.

As far as housing goes, location varies – some students live in on-campus apartments, while others live anywhere from a few minutes to an hour away from school. There are a lot of options and varying degrees of quality and price. In addition, not all students have cars, but it is a plus to have. It’s fairly easy to find a classmate to carpool with and it’s easy to take public transportation. Duke and Durham have transit systems, both of which travel throughout Durham and make living off campus very manageable. Duke’s Parking and Transportation Services actually offer free bus routes throughout campus and some parts of Durham and Chapel Hill. But whether or not you have a car will come down to personal preferences. For more insight, check out the blog post about navigating campus from my classmate Naresh.