About 30 minutes after I found out I was admitted to the Weekend Executive MBA’s 2025 cohort, my wife notified me that we were now expecting our second child. My favorite fortune cookie slip is framed above my desk: “Thrilling times ahead. Be on your guard.” This theme has never felt more real since joining the program as a plate-spinning adult.

My motivation for applying to Fuqua was to backfill foundational business subjects, accounting, and finance to help me perform more confidently in my work in financial services. And, yes, while drinking through a firehose on those subjects and others, a different aspect of life in the Weekend Executive MBA program has stood out to me more profoundly. It’s about the people here.

Team Fuqua is Tangible

Before applying, I spoke with two Fuqua alums about what to expect if admitted. “The Team Fuqua thing is real,” said my friend. A year later, I can speak first-hand that Team Fuqua is a foundational principle of the experience here that directly translates to professional life. The team format has been an incredibly unique experiment for learning, leading, and organizing the workload we face as students.   

Re-entering an elite academic environment as an adult is a significant balancing act. For prospective students, it’s essential to be upfront about this. ‘Overwhelm’ will probably feel like the new norm, but here at Fuqua, systems are in place to help us navigate these waters and extract a massive amount of value through the process. At Fuqua, you will have a new team of people, many of whom you’ll come to cherish, who will help you figure out the balancing act and move forward through the program.

The Cohort Connection

I’m amazed by my classmates, who look at life from various perspectives: entrepreneurs, corporate backgrounds, and medical professionals. Our cohort is approximately 25% active or retired military. The on-campus weekends are priceless opportunities to connect with many people working to improve their functional capacities, grow their networks, and tackle complex and vital issues by improving organizations’ operations. This melting pot of life experiences and perspectives is one of the aspects that makes being a part of Team Fuqua so special. Frankly, it’s a realm of my life that I thought was over after undergrad. I’ve had this incredibly fortunate opportunity to become a part of a learning community again, with the added benefit of taking what I learn each weekend into the business world.

For most of us going through the program, unforeseen life challenges will spring up that add complexity to getting through to graduation. Crises of employment, family matters, and health challenges are genuine for most of us at one time or another.

At the start of orientation, Dean Boulding’s commentary about selecting candidates based on a combination of IQ, EQ, and particularly one’s DQ, or decency quotient, couldn’t have been more spot on. Joining Fuqua has been an opportunity to spend time with strikingly curious, empathetic, and, yes, decent people.

One of the foundational notions of Fuqua is the belief that enterprise is one of the last remaining forces for good in the world. I see that concept play out in real time in my classwork and shared experiences with people in my cohort.