I was sold on “Team Fuqua” from my first day at MMS orientation. What I didn’t realize is that this team mentality would become the most valuable aspect of my time here both personally and professionally.

Pre-Fuqua I worked in New York City for 2.5 years in marketing and advertising. I knew it was time for a career switch but didn’t know what that looked like. It was the height of the pandemic and my oldest brother Terry at the time was applying to the MMS program. He was attending Duke undergrad and playing on the lacrosse team (two-time captain! I might add). I was very familiar with Duke and the thought of going to school with my brother, only twelve months younger than me, sounded like a blast.

He encouraged me to apply to Fuqua, and after a detailed application, I got in. It was a rigorous but fun year and we spent more time together than we had since we were kids. We bonded and studied over accounting and economics finals—what fun that was! Family has always been everything to me (I’m the oldest sibling with three little brothers) and I am grateful that Fuqua was able to bring us together.

In MMS I was very involved in the MMS Student Association. This leadership experience firmly convinced me of the value of engagement. If I was on Team Fuqua I wanted to maximize the opportunities for us all to connect. We planned events like an MMS golf outing, Lunar New Year, and Bingo Night. I made connections with peers I call some of my best friends to this day—honestly just really great people.

If I could give any advice to current MMS students it would be to immerse yourself. The Fuqua network is bigger than you can even imagine and people are always more than willing to help with anything. MMS pushed me to break out of my comfort zone and I learned more about myself than I ever thought possible. I know it sounds cliché but when I got here I just knew it was where I was supposed to be. The MMS program allowed me to be surrounded by a diverse culture that helped me recognize my values and what I wanted in a future career.

Flash-forward to now and I am a current student in Fuqua’s Accelerated MBA program. My middle brother Gavin was inspired by his role-model older siblings to apply to Fuqua and is currently an MMS student. Although we’re not struggling over core classes together, we see each other often and when I am time-crunched I do the older sibling guilt trip and have him make me dinner. We are a true Fuqua family. There’s something special about this place and they do it really well. I can honestly say that MMS was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

Team Fuqua, to me, means family. It has become the way that I choose to live my every day, as a peer leader celebrating classmates and working together to be better as a whole. I can only hope we influence my youngest brother Finn to be our next Blue Devil.