When reflecting on my time in the MMS program, there is no doubt that my involvement with the Daytime MBA clubs at Fuqua shaped a major part of my experience. After being in the ‘real world’ for a few years working at food and beverage companies, I relished the opportunity to be back in an academic environment, surrounded by a community that facilitated interactions among like-minded peers.
My interest in the food space blossomed during undergrad, when I studied nutrition and public health and gained some volunteer and research experiences. I wanted to use my MMS education to gain foundational business knowledge to go back and apply to the food industry. I knew that the Food & Agriculture Club would be a good vehicle for meeting other students with similar interests, most of whom had more experience than me and would be great sources of knowledge and connectors in the industry.
I attended the initial meeting, where students were encouraged to apply for leadership positions, but I found out that only MBAs were eligible for them. I approached the president afterward and asked if there was any way I could get involved as an MMS student. As a result, the MMS representative position was created.
As MMS representative, my primary goal was to serve as a liaison between MMS and MBA students, encourage MMS students to get involved and promote the club’s various activities. In addition, I had a voice at every cabinet meeting and was able to aid in the curriculum design for our events and workshops. These included a joint event with the Wine Club at a local organic wine bar, a panel discussion on the future of food, and a workshop aiming to help prepare first-year MBAs for their summer internships in the food space. One of the workshop case studies even led me to my current position! Although many members of the club have graduated, our GroupMe is still active—where we share relevant articles and documentaries—and the new leadership team keeps us up-to-date on happenings for the coming year.
In addition to the Food & Ag Club, I was also involved in the Tennis Club. I attended weekly practices, had the opportunity to represent Fuqua when we played against UNC Kenan-Flagler, and was a part of the inaugural Darden Cup, a joint tennis tournament between Duke’s Fuqua, UVA’s Darden, and Dartmouth’s Tuck business schools. Interacting with MBAs in a setting outside of the school environment helped facilitate a deeper relationship amongst our programs. When it came down to choosing between jobs at the end of the school year, my MBA friends were instrumental in assessing all of my opportunities and guiding me towards the best decision.
All in all, my involvement with clubs at Fuqua connected me with a network of like-minded individuals, allowed me to gain lifelong friends and mentors, and helped develop a relationship between the different programs to build a stronger, more unified Fuqua family.