As an MMS: DKU student, I spent the first half of the program at Fuqua’s campus in Durham. Then completed the program at Duke Kunshan University (DKU) in Kunshan, China. While each campus offers different experiences, one commonality is the emphasis on connecting with my classmates. Here are some of my favorite memories from Fuqua and DKU.

Life at Fuqua

Dozens of people practice at the driving range at the Washington Duke course

Practicing Golf

At the end of my first week at Duke, I went to a golf event hosted by the MMS program staff. It was the first Fuqua event I attended. We enjoyed free drinks and three hours of golfing. I thought it was a great opportunity for students to connect with each other, even from different sections, and to meet some friends made during orientation and prep courses I took before classes officially began. Some were teaching each other how to play, and the weather was wonderful that day. This was the first Fuqua event I attended, and I’m glad I took advantage of it to make friends with students in the MMS: FOB sections.

Hantao Gan, an MMS: DKU student, with a larger group of his classmates at Triangle Training Center

Triangle Training

Triangle Training was a wonderful experience for both my team and the whole section of students. All of us were divided into small teams. We worked closely to conquer many team-building challenges.

During the event, we always needed to think and act as a team, rather than individually. I remember there was an activity requiring two people to hold each other’s hands to balance on a single rope stretching between two trees. We spent much time figuring out the method for crossing the rope and teaching others. None of the team members were left alone.

Hantao Gan, an MMS: DKU student, with a large group of his classmates dressed in paintball battle attire at the paintball facility

Paintball Battle

I spent two weeks planning our paintball event. I participated in almost every procedure of the preparation, including attendees’ registration, determining the budget, and calling the bus company to make the order. Eventually, about 40 students attended the event.

It brought both fun and pain. It was funny since we shot paintballs at each other, while it was also painful because being struck did hurt. I was so involved in the battle that I did not stop to take many pictures.

A cheese and meat plate labeled with a name tag reading "Hantao Gan"

Cheese Tasting

I didn’t know what “cheese tasting” was before this event. Apart from various types of cheese, the event organizer also provided some snacks and wine to help us enjoy it.

One student from the MMS: FOB track used to make and sell cheese for his family’s farm. He introduced us to all types of cheese and told us what kinds of snacks and wine can make up a great combo with each kind.

Dozens of students gathered for the mid-autumn festival at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business

Mid-Autumn Festival

The Mid-Autumn Festival was another event I planned and hosted. I wanted to leverage this opportunity to let my MMS: DKU fellows feel the vibe of Chinese traditional holidays while living abroad. And the outcome was great!

MMS program staff helped me reserve a room, and we purchased many mooncakes. Every MMS: FOB and DKU student was welcome to attend.

Life at DKU

Hantao Gan, an MMS: DKU student, and a few of his classmates participating in a badminton tournament at the DKU sports complex

Badminton Tournament

The idea of hosting a badminton tournament was something I had for a long time. I remember the first time I visited DKU Sports Complex, I was shocked by the fascinating gym design and its equipment. There are six courts designated for badminton. Many MMS students spend around 1-2 hours every day there. We even have a small chat group to discuss playing badminton. It is more than a sport. It is also a great opportunity for us to gather.

Given that so many classmates love badminton, I planned to organize a random doubles tournament. As the host of the event, I had to find an appropriate date and time for everyone to join. This was one of the biggest challenges in organizing the event. After planning for more than a week, we finally determined a time that works for most students.

The play was a bit chaotic because some students from other programs did not show up on time, so I joined the game as a substitute. The game was tough. Since the pairing was totally randomized, it was difficult for players to have synergy soon. But in the end, I believe every player knew more about his/her teammate and that they became stronger friends.

Hantao Gan, an MMS: DKU student, and a few of his classmates kayaking near DKU's campus


I was excited to try kayaking for the first time. The kayaking activity was postponed for a long time as the weather in Kunshan was not ideal from March to April. Most of the time when we made plans, the weather would change rapidly, influencing everyone’s schedule. Because of this, the turnout was lower than expected, but the 12 classmates who joined had fun.

Even though it was my first time in a kayak, I chose the single raft. Floating on the Dayu Lake with a boat was quite different from just simply walking on the banks—I could feel the moisture from the water and the air felt cooler. Kayaking allowed me to explore areas of the lake I had never been before.

At one point, our poor classmate Arthur fell from the boat into the lake. He was the first one to start paddling, but also the first one to fall. Thankfully he was okay because watching him trying to go back to the boat while failing every so often was even more hilarious.