Never would I have thought this brief, one-year encounter with Fuqua would be so personal and profound.
Beginning early in the MQM program, a series of team building events made one thing clear—we would have to bond in order to tackle the tasks ahead of us and enjoy life as a Fuquan.
Duke Basketball Experience
The storyboard of this bonding journey started off with Duke’s signature sport—basketball. The Duke Basketball Experience event was held at Cameron Indoor Stadium and the team’s practice facility in September, after our intensive first term. Immersed in the program’s rich heritage, we were spurred on by the coaches to experience some of what the players do in practice. During every pass, pick and roll, and even simple eye contact with classmates and coaches, it dawned on me that each and every successful implementation of complicated strategies has to engage teamwork, and plenty of it. I was assured that every other Fuquan, with our collective competitiveness, had my back.
In October came the North Carolina State Fair, and thanks to the MQM program staff we got free entrance tickets. If you like roller coasters and other exciting rides, it’s an area of great performance-price ratio that you can’t miss. Besides the rides, the food is also a great reason to go. I strongly recommend fried Oreo cookies! Although it sounds like a weird food, having the crispy, yet soft Oreo in your mouth while watching the fireworks overhead with classmates was just so warm and refreshing after Term 2 finals!
Autumn in North Carolina is perfect for hiking and outdoor activities. We played paintball and zip lined together on one sunny weekend. We always work together on class assignments, so it was interesting to see how that chemistry took a different turn on the ‘battlefield.’ We forgot about homework and recruitment for one day, filled our paintball guns, and ran around trying to avoid the colorful bullets and having our clothes covered by paint.
A big event for MQM, winter formal is definitely worth looking forward to. Everyone in the program gets dressed up and goes to a bar for drinks and dancing. It’s surprising to see how different everyone in the program looks for an event like this—and the photo booth produced some amazing group shots.
Winter Holiday Party
During the last week of Term 3, Fuqua put on its annual Cookies and Cocoa holiday celebration. A cookie decorating competition, games to win Fuqua gear, photo booths, and more were taking place at the Fox Center. We also got Duke blue Santa hats to wear—who said MQMers can’t have fun in class!
There are more events like these throughout each term. It’s true that the coursework can be intensive, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have a life beyond it. To the contrary—the difficult times make each of these extracurricular activities and bonding experiences all the more precious and unforgettable.