Being a part of the digital age has its charms, but the sheer magnitude of information available often leaves us with more questions than answers. The information surrounding the MMS program is no different. Between all of the blogs, recruiting information, and stories that you hear from alumni and current students, it is hard to know which insights or experiences will apply to your time at Fuqua. Having contended with this information overload firsthand, I have compiled a list of what you can expect from your time here at Fuqua, regardless of your background.

You’ll Meet a Wide Variety of People

Fuqua boasts one of the most diverse Master of Management programs in the country. Students originate from all corners of the globe and converge in Durham, North Carolina to learn together. Last year, class demographics were comprised of students from 29 different countries. Besides geographical diversity, women and minorities comprise 47% and 49% of the student body respectively.

Behind this data lies unique human beings with even more unique experiences and points of view. Therefore, no matter how well-traveled you may be, you are bound to meet someone with an entirely different worldview. These perspectives are so incredibly enriching and were far and away my favorite part of the MMS program. That being said, despite so much diversity, you are also bound to meet people who are very similar to you. These similarities are often the basis of fast friendships, but I encourage you to branch out and meet someone new every day. The connections that you make at Fuqua are arguably the most important and most rewarding part of the program. Do not waste the opportunity to gain insights and make friendships that will last a lifetime.

You’ll Learn Something New

This may seem obvious—after all the MMS Program is first and foremost an academic program. However, your learning does not need to stop when class ends. For many international students, learning about American culture and getting used to its customs will be their greatest learning experience. For any non-locals, exploring the city of Durham and finding your favorite restaurant will be an entertaining endeavor. Joining the greater Duke community through extracurricular activities can always teach you something new, whether you are a complete novice or continuing to hone an old skill. For those who prefer more academic learning, assisting a professor with research can teach you a plethora of new skills. Finally, this program will teach you about yourself. Whether it’s learning how to cope with stress, combating homesickness, or befriending someone from another culture, you will grow and learn profusely during the next 10 months.

You’ll Be Challenged

The MMS program can be stressful, so whether it’s academically or socially, expect to be challenged. In terms of academics, you will have one or two classes a day, four days a week, and each class is about two hours long. This may not seem like much class time, but most courses have a case due before every class and the vast majority of them are team-based. Teams can be another challenge during your time at Fuqua largely because team-based assignments are usually a major portion of your final grade. As a result, the team members you are assigned can significantly impact not only your grades, but your overall experience at Fuqua as well.

Teams are chosen randomly at the beginning of your summer term and again at the beginning of your first spring term. I know people in the program who adored their team and became very close friends with them, and others who have had the opposite experience. Personally, team-related matters proved to be my greatest challenge at Fuqua. Perhaps, your greatest challenge at Fuqua could be finding friends. The best advice I can offer is to join extracurricular activities, go to Fuqua Friday, and if you have an idea for an affinity group that does not exist, then create it! If you participate in activities that you enjoy, like-minded individuals are sure to find you.

Your time in the MMS program will be just as unique as you are. As a result, I cannot tell you exactly what to expect during your 10 months in Durham, but I hope the list above gives you a glimpse into the wonderful world of Fuqua.