This blog was written prior to the Cross Continent MBA program merger with the Global Executive MBA program

As I spent time in the Global Studies Building during my undergrad years at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, I certainly never imagined I’d end up in business school at Duke. As I read about the political instability that plagued Central America and tried to wrap my head around these and other real problems that so many people face around the world, it never crossed my mind that one day I would be a “B-School” kid.

After completing my undergraduate majors in International Studies and Spanish, I moved to Ecuador to sharpen my Spanish language skills and if I was lucky, to find a job in order to get experience working internationally. Within a couple of months I fell into a job working for one of the largest companies in the country, and all of a sudden I found myself immersed in the unfamiliar world of corporate business. Despite my undergrad aversion to business, it didn’t take long for me to realize the universal power it has to shape societies, drive economic growth and bring people together from around the world. I realized that through business, perhaps we can effectively resolve some of the real problems.

Students participate in team building exercisesWhen deciding to pursue my MBA at Fuqua as someone who hadn’t taken a business course in my life, I worried about being the only one who didn’t have a background in finance or accounting. However, as soon as I arrived on campus for my first residency as part of the Cross Continent MBA (CCMBA), I was surprised by how at home I felt among my new classmates. I had become part of the most diverse and interesting group of people I had ever encountered all in one place and surprisingly, there were many others like myself that had non-business undergraduate majors.

Among my new friends and colleagues is a physician taking a hiatus from medical school to be at Fuqua, a Doctor of Pharmacy, a microbiologist, an actress, a hospital administrator, and a former Naval officer. We come from every continent except Australia and Antarctica, represent 23 countries based on citizenship, and collectively have native speakers of 14 languages plus fluent speakers of several more. We have different backgrounds, and diverse interests, goals and reasons for studying business; yet together we have become part of “Team Fuqua.”

Students participating in team building competitionThe CCMBA program personifies Fuqua’s belief that the collective knowledge that comes from cultural and academic diversity makes us smarter and stronger together as a team, and more aware and able to succeed in the increasingly globalized world in which we live. We are united by the Fuqua culture of teamwork and support. It is a place that doesn’t try to stamp out identical cookie cutter MBA graduates, but rather a place that seeks to magnify our unique strengths and passions through a strong foundation in business.

So although my fear of accounting remains (and is in fact very real as I study for the final exam), I’ve found Fuqua to be a supportive learning environment for the non-B-school folks like myself. I can safely say that what I have learned from my incredible and fascinating Fuqua colleagues has been an invaluable part of my MBA experience so far, and the learning has just begun.