Wednesday, March 25, was the scheduled date for Fuqua Around the World 2015. Which meant that on that day, more than 70 Fuqua networking and social events were to be held in different parts of the world. However, due to the spring break holiday MMS: DKU students had, Duke Kunshan University hosted its first ever Fuqua Around the World a little early on Saturday March 21, as part of a larger Duke alumni reunion weekend.

The day started early for alumni who had signed up for a Tesla test-drive made possible by Tom Zhu, Daytime MBA ’10, who is general manager for Tesla in China. While they started the test-drives, we took our Foundations of Management and Organizations final, but eventually joined the others. DKU students without a Chinese license could not partake in the test drive, however Tesla employees where extremely friendly and took us for a ride! I must say being inside the car was incredible and gave me a feeling I will not soon forget.

Student volunteers at Duke alumni reunion weekend in Kunshan, China
Student volunteers welcomed guests

After lunch the main events took place, starting with guest registration and a campus tour. This gave students who had volunteered to help out at the event the opportunity to network with alumni from all over China as well as meet some prospective students who were in attendance. I had the opportunity to meet in person with my Career Advisor for MMS who is here in China—Tian Yang, Daytime MBA ’14. Not only did I get to meet his family, but I also learned more about his employer, Johnson & Johnson, which is one of the companies I am very interested in working for back home.

The afternoon then proceeded with some welcome remarks from the DKU Director of the Chancellor’s Office Luke Li, Daytime MBA ’06, and the development and alumni relations team at DKU including Associate Vice President for Business Development Wendy Kuran and Director of Development Cheng Feng, MPP ’08.

Duke Kunshan University Associate Dean Patrick Moreton
Associate Dean Patrick Moreton provided updates on DKU

As attendees enjoyed some drinks and snacks, Associate Dean of Graduate Programs and Conference Center Programing Patrick Moreton, introduced DKU and provided updates on the school to everyone in attendance. He was followed by Fuqua’s Regional Director for East Asia Jodie Zhu, Cross Continent MBA ’13 who focused on what was happening with Fuqua specifically.

Through the rest of the afternoon we had a group photo of all attendees as well as several keynote speakers. These included:

  • CEO, Vice Chairman & Co-Founder of Union Pay Advisors Meng Zhao, MA ’06
  • L’Oreal China’s Corporate Media Service Director Michael Zhang, Daytime MBA ’06
  • Business Development Director at BeiGene Xin Huang, Ph.D. ’08

The speakers provided great insights through reflections on business and life after Duke.

Duke alumni panel talks to students in China

The day ended with a career panel for MMS: DKU and prospective Fuqua MBA students with five guests:

  • Data Analytics Associate at Union Pay Advisors Baoji Qu
  • Commercialization Director at Abbott Diabetes Care Kelly Wang, Daytime MBA ’08
  • Principal at Bain & Company Wei Yu, Daytime MBA ’08
  • Equity Research Associate at Nomura International David Hao, Cross Continent MBA ’11
  • Product Manager at Johnson & Johnson Medical China Viviene Zhang, Daytime MBA ’12

Their experience in the healthcare, consulting and banking industries gave prospective and current students some good things to consider as they plan their next career moves. I personally got a lot out of this panel as I am in the process of applying for consulting opportunities and leadership development programs at business-to-consumer multinational companies.

There was also some free networking time during which the alumni had a chance to catch up with each other while meeting current MMS: DKU students. Overall, it was an incredible opportunity for all, and a very enjoyable afternoon.

For the alumni, there was a dinner at the Fairmont Hotel, that followed the eventful afternoon—the type of event MMS: DKU students are looking forward to joining soon after graduating in May!