When I finished my last official class as part of the MMS program, I was so happy. I found myself in a favorable position — gainfully employed, graduating with a master’s degree, and with a newfound set of friendships that I will keep for the rest of my life. But amongst the feelings of satisfaction and excitement, I was also a little bit sad in some ways. I mean, after graduation, my year full of team meetings, classes, exams, and interviews was over. And while yes, I am elated about having my free time back, I’m going to miss the experience of being at Fuqua every day.

mms team
With my final team, for our final MMS class presentation.

I’m not going to see the same bright shining faces of my friends day in and day out. I’m done learning about the backgrounds of my diverse set of classmates that I’ve grown to know and love. We don’t get to play ping-pong between classes anymore. We don’t get to fight over the last set of fresh cookies late in the afternoon at the Fox Center. We don’t get to celebrate after each term is over… Just like that, it’s all gone in an instant.

mms students
At Duke's Last Day of Class (LDOC) celebration!

On the first day of the MMS program, a former MMSer told our incoming class that these 10 months would fly by faster than we could ever possibly imagine. And she was right. Of course, there were times when I wasn’t sure how I was going to manage my workload — but that’s part of the experience here at Fuqua.

It’s about testing yourself, and it’s about trying things you’ve never even thought were possible before. And it’s about surpassing the expectations of both yourself and others. It’s about doing the impossible. And I am happy to say that I think I’ve done it, with my own flair along the way.

mms students
A very bitter-sweet moment.

I’m going to miss my classmates, professors, and program directors — some, more than others, but all will be missed in their own special way. Each person, with their own unique background and set of experiences, combined with everyone else, is what makes MMS the special entity that it is. There are few institutions in the world that can provide this experience of a clash of cultures, knowledge, and personalities, in a way that is so beautiful and wonderful as the MMS program was. We’ve all been through ups and downs, but certainly more ups than downs. And we supported each other, lifted each other up, and helped each other when help was needed.

I’m not sure I’ll ever find as tight-knit of a community as within the MMS program. But I’m not sure that I want to, because I don’t ever want to detract from the always-changing, ever-dynamic experience that was the Master of Management Studies Program: Class of 2013.