Impact and Advantages of the Weekend Executive MBA

I’ve been reflecting on my MBA experience, and thought it might be time for an update on me and how the MBA impacted me — for one thing, I made a huge career change. Fuqua’s Weekend Executive program expanded my possibilities, and I think the program format offers some unique advantages that made it the right program for me, my busy life, and my goals. So, let’s cut to the chase …

5 fun facts about me and getting my MBA:

  1. I have four children, and they ranged in age from 4 to 14 while I was doing my MBA. I was in the Class of 2012. Read more about how the Weekend MBA format fit into my life as a working mom, or read about a typical day in my life as a student.
  2. I started my own blog, leadershipgirl.com, after getting addicted to blogging while at Duke. I also blog on my company’s website, theextensionofyou.com. I guess you could say I got hooked?
  3. My career totally changed after I completed my MBA at Duke. I was a supervisor at a large technology company at the beginning of my MBA, with desires for growing my career. I ended up completing a concentration in Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and have since left my former employer to start my own company, Extension of You Home Care. In less than 3 months, we already had 10 employees, and are hiring like crazy because we are growing phenomenally. I’d say that you should believe it when alumni tell you that the Fuqua experience will totally change your world.
  4. I did my MBA while leading 2 Girl Scout Troops, and added a third at the end of Term 6. I’ve used a lot of the skills that I gained through the MBA to help the girls in my troop attain their leadership potential by mentoring them through their Girl Scout Silver and Gold Award Projects. These are the highest awards that a girl can earn at the Cadette (middle school) and Senior/Ambassador (high school) levels, and are a significant leadership award, representing many hours of pre-requisites, followed by a 50- or 80-hour community service project which addresses a problem, and the solution must be sustainable.
  5. My girls are mad about selling Girl Scout cookies. While I was completing my MBA concentration, my three troops of Girl Scouts sold almost 18,000 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies. My two daughters sold 4,700 of those boxes in 2013, and 4,300 in 2012. (Here’s a previous blog post with more details.) I guess you can say that I’m achieving my goal of world domination of Girl Scout Cookies with some of the skills I acquired at Fuqua.

3 advantages of the Weekend Executive MBA:

  1. Easy scheduling — there are short bursts of school on weekends, with time in between to do homework, digest material, and work on other stuff before you go back to class. It allows for great work/life/school balance — read more about this.
  2. During the on-campus residencies, you can drop in on other Fuqua events, since the Weekend MBA classes are at Fuqua. This was priceless. Attending Fuqua Fridays was great fun.
  3. The quality of the cohort. I really enjoyed getting to know my classmates, who were all impressive, and I had a great time with them.
Haley Gray

Haley Gray

Weekend Executive MBA, Class of 2012

I’m currently a senior software quality engineer at EMC in Research Triangle Park (RTP). I’m also a proud mother to four young children. I stay active in the community, serving as a Girl Scout Leader and Cookie Manager for two troops.

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