As my time as an MMS student was coming to an end, I found myself reflecting on the first application essay I wrote about my 25 Random Things. I won’t lie, it was pretty difficult to find 25 things that make me different. It’s even harder to gauge what a new experience will be like, what to expect, and what exactly makes that journey unique.

During my first week at Fuqua I was bombarded with suggestions on what I should or shouldn’t do, see, and even eat. As an alumna, I can now finally say (or write in this case) which of those recommendations really ended up changing my Fuqua experience for the better. Below I’ve compiled a list of my 25 top things to do while in the program, and though the pandemic might alter it some, I hope this helps future MMS students make the most of their experience.

  1. Take advantage of the diverse MMS community. There’s so much to learn from the people you meet, so don’t be afraid to mingle and make friends with as many people as you can.
  2. Go to office hours!
  3. Go to a basketball game! Even if you don’t get to camp out 🙂
  4. Bond with your team. Working with friends is easier than working with strangers.
  5. My biggest regret is not going over the wall during our Triangle Training team-building exercises. Please, even if you’re afraid, go over the wall (if not for yourself, for me).
  6. Try Dame’s Chicken and Waffles! The food is just as good as everyone claims it is.
  7. Sign up for at least one of the mystery events the program team puts together.
  8. Eat at the Brodhead Center on main campus at least once!
  9. Walk around in the Duke Gardens when the weather is just right.
  10. Study in the Gothic Reading Room in the Rubenstein Library.
  11. Get some ice cream and watch the sunset at Maple View Farm.
  12. Try not to cram before an exam. I know it’s tempting but making a schedule and putting in the work ahead of time will make late nights not go so late.
  13. Take advantage of the free fitness classes at Brody and Wilson!
  14. The review sessions by TA’s are super helpful, especially if you’re lost on a particular subject.
  15. Support Fuqua events. There are so many amazing student-run events, Fuqua Idol, the annual drag show, and more.
  16. Go to Shooters at least once. I know everyone harps about it but trust me, you won’t regret it.
  17. However, don’t just go to Shooters. There’s more nightlife in Durham that’s worth checking out, like K-Mixx Karaoke, and other cocktail bars.
  18. Go to networking events the Career Management Center organizes. Even if you’re not super-interested in the specific company it’s excellent practice to get yourself out there.
  19. Don’t skip out on the MMS formals!
  20. Visit the other cities in the Triangle area.
  21. Even if you’re not interested in consulting, go to at least a few case prep practices. They’re informative and honestly, pretty fun.
  22. Go to as many restaurants, bars, and cafes as you can.
  23. Fuqua Friday. I’ll admit, I was skeptical. But even so am glad I attended, even if only once.
  24. Don’t say “I’ll go next time.” You never know if you won’t have the opportunity to do so again.
  25. Finally, make sure to take time and appreciate the people you’ve met and the opportunity you’ve received. It’s hard to get lost in the metaphorical sauce of homework, team cases, and exams, but be sure to take a moment and ground yourself when things get hectic.
Ariel standing on the front steps of Duke Chapel; exploring campus is one of the top things to do at Duke
Duke Chapel