“Math camp? You’re doing math camp next week?” — my friend asked in disbelief after hearing that I was about to begin a week-long math review. While choking on my answer, I realized how similar my situation was to that of an overeager 6th grader packing up his protractor and TI-83 and heading to his favorite math camp for the summer. This was against everything that I stood for.
You see, I remember my favorite thing about college was the fact that math classes, for the most part, were optional. My quantitative skills had retired to a distant corner of my brain, as I focused on finishing a major that involved absolutely no math and no statistics. Upon being admitted to Fuqua I knew that I would be forced to gather the cobwebs and shake off the thick dust from my once sterling analytical skills. The overwhelming task led me to Professor Dan Laughhunn and the Business Math Review or, as I like to call it, Fuqua Math Camp, which was offered before the official start of the MMS program.
The week started abruptly on a Monday morning as we received a mini-tour of the business school and a decent breakfast that everyone seemed too nervous to eat. We then jumped straight into the curriculum with what seemed like 150 pages of packets that I would come to know and love as a vital part of Dan’s course. The course covered everything from linear functions and inequalities to basic financial calculations. At the end of my first day, I had made a few friends, relearned some frustrating math rules, and been completely convinced that I needed Math Camp.
The intensive review was helpful not only because it reminded me how to carry out certain equations, but also in learning the practical business applications of these topics. I found that as the week progressed and new topics were introduced, I was learning quickly and carrying that knowledge almost directly to the business application stage. But be warned –this was no easy task for both teacher and student. Dan and his amazing assistant Tiffany worked tirelessly to ensure that the concepts worked their way into our consciousness. As for the students, most of us stumbled out of the classroom with our eyes glazed looking for food at any cost (just picture The Walking Dead or I Am Legend, add math and you would have a pretty accurate picture). But by the end of the week, Ifelt better prepared for what lay ahead and relatively comfortable with the topics that Dan had covered — and much more ready for the quantitative nature of MMS.
Another wonderful aspect of the week was how it touched down right before the madness of orientation, giving me an opportunity to get my bearings in business school, settle down in Durham, and get to know some of my classmates. During the week, we shared everything from our work, to sweet potato fries at the Refectory Cafe. I made some of my best friends during that week, and I’ll never forget my “bunkmates” at Fuqua Math Camp.