Anyone who has experienced Team Fuqua through a day on campus realizes that getting your MBA in the Weekend program is not an individual accomplishment. Some of the most important team members often go unrecognized. Twice during the program, our partners are invited to campus to spend the weekend with us. Partner Weekend is a great chance to celebrate those who support us while we pursue our degree. We finally get a chance to show our spouses what we actually do every other weekend when we’re on campus for class, let our significant others put faces with the voices from our study teams that they hear constantly over WebEx meetings, and have a bit of fun together also.
Partner activities kicked off on Friday with a post-class guest speaker, Fuqua Professor Peter Ubel. Peter is a physician and behavioral scientist, and he explored doctor-patient interactions with us. Partners were encouraged to participate in the conversation and didn’t hesitate to do so. It was clear that Fuqua students aren’t the only smart ones in the family!
Following Peter’s talk, we headed to the Fox Center for dinner followed by casino night, the main social event of the weekend. Lots of laughter was shared as we got to know each other’s partners a bit more. At this point in the program we’re more than halfway finished. We’ve grown close with many of our classmates so meeting their better halves is particularly entertaining. For casino night, we were each allocated a share of chips and were off to the gambling tables. Fuqua did a great job bringing in professional dealers for poker, blackjack and craps, and the tables were soon full. Even though we were only playing for raffle tickets at the end of the night, competition got pretty intense and the stakes got higher as the night went on. Despite my usual risk aversion, I’ll admit that I went all in on the last hand of blackjack. Luckily, my strategy paid off and I hit blackjack!
Although the majority of the weekend is reserved for students and their partners, a number of classmates brought their kids to breakfast on Saturday morning. A passerby might have done a double take after seeing sippy cups on the tables alongside sports jackets, but in many ways this represented our collective experiences of balancing daily priorities. Plus, you had to smile when you saw which “daddy” a little girl is running toward.
To close out the weekend, spouses were invited to attend one of our Saturday classes. Some took this opportunity while others ventured out to explore Duke’s campus. Having our families there definitely made for a lively weekend and served as a small thank you to our partners. After all, we couldn’t do it without them.