Entering the MMS program, I was eager to immerse myself in a multicultural team-based environment and to learn more about the practice of business. I came to Fuqua directly after completing my undergraduate degree. I was excited to build on what I studied in undergrad and apply it to the world beyond the university. Accordingly, I looked forward to being part of a larger community of peers and professors who had experience doing just that.

Thriving on Multicultural Teams

Before Fuqua, my experience working in teams was relatively limited. My undergraduate experience was increasingly independent with small seminars and independent studies replacing larger lectures as I progressed academically. I was eager to participate in Fuqua’s education model which emphasizes collaborative teamwork. Throughout my time in the program, I had the opportunity to work on at least five formal academic teams and many more informal or non-academic teams.

I was particularly grateful to develop meaningful relationships with peers from different parts of the world and to immerse ourselves in one another’s cultures. For instance, I recall attending an incredible Diwali event hosted by MMS students and inviting my MMS peers over for home-cooked Shabbat dinners. The multicultural community within the MMS program and the relationships I built continue to impact me years later. I moved to New York, and then to Washington D.C. after graduating. To this day, I still host Shabbat dinners for my friends, work colleagues and teammates at Bain and Company and Accion Venture Lab. I am grateful to the MMS program for providing me with a platform and model to build community across cultures.

Developing an Action-Oriented Mindset

My time in the MMS program cultivated my ability to quickly recognize a problem, strategically craft a solution, and build up the courage to act upon that solution. I was grateful to spend my time outside of Fuqua’s classrooms with Duke’s Citizenship Lab,  a community-based collaboration focused on understanding, explaining, and responding to the challenges of global migration in Durham and beyond.  I also explored ways I could continue to pursue my passion for driving change for resettled refugee youth.

After completing the MMS program, I applied what I learned during my time at Duke to create a nonprofit, Empowering Education Inc., dedicated to developing peer-to-peer mentorship for lower-income, first-generation middle and high school students. Sharing my passion with part of the Fuqua family—including MMS students, professors, and administrators—and working with Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship proved invaluable to giving me the courage and mentorship I needed to launch. Specifically, I recall several profound conversations with Associate Dean Steve Misuraca, which inspired the unique community cohort-based operating model that my nonprofit uses to empower students to this day. Having access to a community of people with a diverse range of experience who are committed to driving change made the MMS program particularly special for me.

Andrew Carlins, an alumnus of the MMS program, and Associate Dean Steve Misuraca at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business

Gratitude and an Open Door

I recently spoke with Fuqua’s Admissions team about how my time in MMS helped me become a more creative thinker, a more collaborative team member, and a more meaningful community builder at Bain and Company, Accion Venture Lab, and beyond.