It was a long-standing dream of mine to pursue a master’s degree after completing my undergraduate studies. I researched many different schools and tried to understand the differences between them. Of course, they all promised a good education, were well-known schools, and required a competitive application profile.

Personally, I didn’t know much about Fuqua until the application process. Of course, Duke was a name I knew, but I didn’t know exactly what the business school was like. Then I decided to research Fuqua in more depth. I tried to reach out to current students and alumni, and I wanted them to tell me about the school. Then I started to hear the same thing from all of them. When they described the school to me, they all put this one term at the center of everything and told me that it wasn’t a marketing trick. They were telling me “how real it was.” What I heard from all of them was “Team Fuqua.”

When I looked into what Team Fuqua meant, I saw that it was described as a whole that values strong friendship, places great importance on collaboration, and is ready to support each other at all times. “At Fuqua, it’s about realizing that people can accomplish more together than alone.”

I was impressed. A lot. One of the top 10 business schools said they looked at EQ as well as IQ in candidates. They caught me here. Because at such a critical year in my life, I would need more support than ever.

I had made my decision, and Fuqua was at the top of my application list. After my challenging application process, when I received my acceptance, the world was mine.

Since July 2022, I have been at Fuqua, and every day I feel that I am in a wonderful community. The fact that everyone has been so influenced by Team Fuqua and has come here accordingly means that there are a lot of people around me who are ready to support me in every way.

When It Really Hit Home

When I came here, I thought I would need the most support around my career goals. Fuqua would probably be a great help in shaping my career path. Maybe I would need support to reach certain people in the areas I targeted, or maybe I would ask for the support of my teammates when I didn’t understand a point in a course.

However, this scenario suddenly changed on February 6, 2023. I received news of two major earthquakes that had occurred in my country, Turkey. At first, I couldn’t understand what was happening. Unfortunately, we are accustomed to some degree of earthquakes in Turkey, as it is a seismic country. However, this one was different, with magnitudes of 7.8 and 7.5, occurring a few hours apart, in an area equal to the distance between Philadelphia and Boston, where over 10,000 buildings had collapsed and thousands of people were trapped under the rubble, in a massive disaster.

As I watched the news, I began to understand the extent of the catastrophe. After getting over the shock, I began to think about what I could do. This is where Team Fuqua came in.

On the second day of the earthquake, I emailed the associate dean of my master’s program, Jeremy Petranka, explaining that we needed to do something. Dr. Petranka focused on designing the fundraising campaign for Turkey-Syria earthquake relief that I proposed, and he approached the issue as if it were his own. I can say that we set the whole Fuqua community in motion in just a few days. We created a GoFundMe page and made the process official. In just the first five days, we raised over $2,000. The MQM and MMS program student leadership associations at Fuqua also pledged to donate $1,000 each to the campaign, and we found ourselves at $5,000 in no time. Goodness multiplied.

I was truly surprised and felt very special about how quickly we were able to come together as a community and how we all shared each other’s problems. My classmates’ sympathy and sharing my pain, and each of them coming to hug me and share my burden unexpectedly, somewhat eased my heavy emotions and allowed me to see how we became “one” in an instant.

I would like to say a special thank you to Dr. Petranka, who worked tirelessly from the first day to help those affected by the earthquake and never made me feel alone, and my friends who empathized with me and prayed for the people in my country, and everyone who donated to our cause regardless of the amount. Team Fuqua is here.

And now, this often-quoted African proverb now has extra special meaning to me: “If you want to go fast go alone. If you want to go far go together”