As I mentioned in my overview of the MMS Association (MMSA), there were some changes in the student leadership roles available for my Class of 2015 to what is currently in place for the Class of 2016. Moving from a single to a co-president model is one example that I talk about in my Q&A with our class president.

While some of the titles might have changed (I’ve noted these instances below) the duties have remained very similar, and the following Q&As conducted prior to graduation provide insight into the roles of various student leaders from my class:


MMSA Culture and Norms Representative: Aparna Rao

This position was called “Section Representative” when Aparna held it.

What is your position, task and mission?

Aparna: My mission is to ensure the needs of my section (one half of the class) are met—be it for academics, career, or social topics—and that there is good communication between students and faculty. I arrange events to facilitate communication between faculty and students. I also organize peer review sessions when need arises, and I help with mock interviews when my classmates need a partner to practice with.

Are there any challenges that you face?

Aparna: Time management is a challenge, especially when there is so much you can be involved in at Fuqua!

What do you think has changed over the five years since the MMS program started?

Aparna: Since the program started, I think the courses have been tailored to better suit the needs of MMS students, and more employer connections have been built for career opportunities. Also, knowledge of the MMS degree has grown within the U.S.

What do you think are the most positive aspects of being part of the MMSA?

Aparna: Being part of the MMSA is a real opportunity for leadership experience. You can really leave an impact on the way students interact with faculty and enjoy the program socially. You are able to interact with many students, professors and faculty.

In general, my position is amazing! This has been an incredible opportunity to get fully involved in every aspect of the MMSA—be it academic, career or social. I have been able to form close relationships with so many people that are involved with the MMS program. Being a section representative has made my year at Fuqua one that I will always cherish.


MMSA Communication Chair: Jennifer Rosene

What is your position, task and mission?

Jennifer: I have the responsibility of making sure our class is informed of everything happening here at Fuqua. I do this by sending out a weekly newsletter, posting on Facebook, and designing the yearbook. I try to always be open to questions and answer them to the best of my ability. I want my classmates to feel like they can ask me anything about the program or what is happening on campus. We have a great group of leaders in the MMSA this year. It has been a privilege just to work with these individuals and it has been very rewarding to see all of our hard work pay off.

Are there any challenges that you face?

Jennifer: The most difficult challenges of my position are reaching students. As you know we have a lot of different cultures and personalities in the MMS class and not everyone uses the same methods of receiving information. I want everyone to have the chance to see what is happening in this program so I try to communicate in several different ways.

What do you think has changed over the Five years since the MMS program started?

Jennifer: Since its inception, I think the program has become more focused in its goals and shaping the experience for MMS students. This is a great program, and it will only become better as its recognition and understanding continues to grow within the community.

What do you think are the most positive aspects of being part of the MMSA?

Jennifer: The bottom line is that I am very prideful in this program, Fuqua, and Duke as a whole. It is truly a privilege to be a part of MMSA and have the opportunity to make a difference. This position will continue to change with the evolution of communication in general, so it is important that we keep up with these trends!


MMSA Activity Chair: Siseko Mahlati

This position was called “Section Representative” when Siseko held it.

What is your position, task and mission?

Siseko: I am in charge of organizing events for the purpose of creating social cohesion amongst my peers and colleagues in my class. My mission is to ensure that all members of the class are united as a team, not only in the classroom but also outside of academic hours. I help students by ensuring that they are comfortable enough to be around other members in the class to socialize with them and build relationships, within diverse groups.

Are there any challenges that you face

Siseko: I would not say there is any downside to being a part of the MMSA, however there may be difficult challenges in terms of time management. But generally it is not a problem at all.

What do you think has changed over the five years since the MMS program started?

Siseko: What I think has changed over the history of the MMS program is that the MMSA has found out what sort of activities and/or events the MMS class is most receptive to. Then we have been able to organize events in such a way that is tailored to what the class would like.

What do you think are the most positive aspects of being part of the MMSA?

Siseko: The most positive aspect of being in the MMSA is to be a part of a process that ensures my peers and fellow students are blissful, entertained and united by the various events we organize. One other benefit is being amongst other leaders who have a positive influence on my life in terms of my leadership development—I’ve seen major progress there.


Other Positions

There are a number of other MMS student leaders positions including the following:

MMS: DKU President

As a member of the DKU class, he/she works closely with the MMSA President while in Durham and serves as DKU class president when those student being their studies in Kunshan. While partnering with students and staff, the DKU President also serves as the representative of the DKU class when working with the larger Fuqua administration while also meeting with MMS staff and administration.

Career Chairs

Of the two career chair positions, one chair focuses on the international student job search and the other on the domestic search. These MMSA representatives help schedule career ambassadors for different events and work with students who have career interests outside of the scope of the MMS professional clubs. They also coordinate student employment reporting campaigns, promote attendance and advertise career events, assist with employer outreach and corporate visits, and attend regular meetings with the Career Management Center.

Judicial Representatives

Judicial representatives educate the student body about the Fuqua Honor Code and Community Standard while being part of a pool of students who sit on the honor committee for all Fuqua programs. They also work with faculty on clarifying academic policies, but are not part of the MMSA.


Students also can be involved in various other formal positions, including, but not limited to: co-presidents of professional or social clubs, Admissions ambassadors, student bloggers, Development and Alumni fellows, and career ambassadors. My classmate Meaghan, goes into more detail on some of these opportunities in a blog she wrote.