As a working professional living in the United Kingdom at the time, I felt going overseas for an academic course, in a new country, would be an excellent way to exercise independence. I investigated many programs for the best place for overseas study and found the Global Executive MBA program at Fuqua stood out.

In addition to its reputation as a leading university in the world, Duke’s program offered a good mix of in-person and virtual lectures and opportunities to travel to different countries around the world, see new places and meet new people. I also needed a program in which the online portions are fully asynchronous due to my full-time job in London.

Group of Global Executive MBA students pose for photo after climbing Duke Chapel stairs

As the academic year is ending, I find myself reminiscing about my time at Fuqua. An integral part of that has been interacting and spending several weeks with people from backgrounds and cultures I’d never met before. My time at Fuqua has been such a formative experience spiritually, academically, and emotionally. It has constantly challenged my views about the world, through academics and my social interactions. I felt that I increased my knowledge, found my independence, and made new friends and connections from all around the world.

Five Global Executive MBA students in front of balloons reading "GEMBA"

The highlight of my time at Fuqua was participating in a panel to talk about the African continent during my last residency on Fuqua’s campus. The African talk was part of a wider drive by the school to help students learn about and connect better with the African continent. I thought this was a great opportunity to provide my perspective as an African student.

There were student representatives from Sierra Leone (myself), Nigeria, Kenya, and Uganda. Each individual presentation provided an enriching learning opportunity, exploring the African continent, its different cultures, and communities, as well as the spotlighting opportunities within it. We all brought different dimensions to the discussion, using our personal experience of living on the continent to explain and demonstrate how to put principles into practice, also adding a high level of tangibility, which tremendously enriched our discussions and provided a multifarious perspective.

Philip Kaikai and three other Global Executive MBA students pose for photo at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business

I believe we couldn’t have had a better setting for this program. Honestly, I enjoyed every moment of it. We had a pleasant atmosphere, with some laughter during the talks. The experience left me richer, not only in understanding and knowledge about Africa, but also with a changed perspective that has yielded dividends at work and in my private life.