From day one of the MMS: Foundations of Business program, I was sold on Team Fuqua. You can feel it the moment you step on campus. Every student is here for the same reason — to leave a legacy and make an impact.

When I decided to matriculate, I based my decision on the educational value of the program and a shot at breaking into management consulting or marketing. What I did not expect was to make such strong friendships with my classmates. As I met more and more students, it became clear to me why each person was selected for the program. With almost 40 percent of the class comprising of international students, Fuqua blends students of all different backgrounds and cultures. Diversity of thought makes Fuqua unique.

Peer Collaboration

In the classroom, this translates into a collaborative rather than competitive environment. For example, because I studied journalism in undergrad, accounting was a novel subject for me. I needed help to keep up with the pace and rigor of the course. I regularly attended the review sessions for the course to confirm my understanding of the material. However, the review sessions on their own were not enough. I needed additional help to succeed.

Thankfully, whenever I sought out additional help, there was always a bounty of students willing to lend a helping hand. Some of my classmates even led group review sessions. In preparation for the final exam, my classmates led a daylong accounting crash-course review session. This session adequately prepared me for the final. I was able to improve my score from the midterm by about 10 points.

Work Hard & Play Hard

Collaboration does not end when we exit the classroom. The same Team Fuqua mentality translates to the job search process — as we started to apply for jobs and prepared our resumes and CVs, several friends were more than happy to look over my materials and make suggestions. For students interested in preparing for industry-specific interviews, we frequently hold weekly mock case interview sessions. These are facilitated both by student clubs and individual students. I find lots of people are willing to show up and help their classmates. We even had some MBAs volunteer their time to practice with us. With everyone helping each other out, we all benefit. This is the essence of Team Fuqua.

Finally, I would be negligent if I failed to comment on the social side of Team Fuqua. To be honest, making friends was low on my priority list for attending this program, but it’s made the experience really enjoyable. Whether it’s playing soccer, watching a Durham Bulls game, or participating in Campout (a 36-hour event where students “campout” in a parking lot for a chance to win Duke men’s basketball season tickets), it’s always easy to find MMSers who want to join in on the fun.

Team Fuqua is a work-hard, play-hard culture. MMSers take their studies seriously, but we’re probably the most fun and gregarious group of graduate students at Duke. This facet of the program is of vital importance. In 10 months, when I reflect back on the year, the things that I’ll miss most about Fuqua will likely not be my coursework, the guest lectures, or the job search, but instead my classmates and the MMS faculty and staff that care so much about me and my future.