Duke - The Fuqua School of Business

Kirsten Green

Class of 2010

… the Team Fuqua spirit definitely came through during my job search! The Fuqua network is so important, especially for people like me who are hoping to make a career transition―it's invaluable.

In Business for the Common Good

My hometown is in a rural area with high poverty and unemployment rates and few higher education options. After I finished college, I moved back home and worked for a community assistance organization—I just wanted to help in any way I could.

My plan was to go back to school after getting a little work experience. Although I applied to an MBA program, I felt it was probably premature and I wasn’t confident it was the right option for me. But, when I learned about the MMS program, it seemed like a better fit given where I was in my career.

I thought business would be an excellent way to help individual and community development—that’s why I went to business school. I see business as a tool for immense social good and think there are so many innovative ways it can be used to elevate people and communities. Business done right can do a lot of amazing, transformative work.

Hands-On Experience in Ecuador

During the MMS program, four classmates and I had an amazing opportunity to go to Ecuador over spring break to work on different consulting projects at the Dole Food Company. It was a fantastic experience and I learned a great deal.

My project focused on digitizing the records for Dole’s employee medical clinic and then analyzing the data to identify health trends and correlations. I also set up a new database form, so clinic workers could retire the old paper records and continue with a health records system that can be analyzed and queried. It was great to play a role in helping a company become more efficient and responsive to the needs of their workers by developing a simple new tool.

I’m ultimately interested in working in sustainable agriculture, so being at Dole gave me an interesting peek into the business of agriculture and global trade. I’m specifically interested in coffee—it’s long been a passion of mine. I’d like to enter that market of sourcing and supplying to set up better practices and make sure companies and farmers adhere to fair labor standards and produce an excellent product.

The Team Fuqua Network

Much of my job search process was independent, although I utilized the Career Management Center’s (CMC) career coaches and I attended CMC workshops. I did a lot of networking with Fuqua alumni on the West Coast—I would say about 90 percent of the alumni who I contacted responded to me and were incredibly open and helpful.

I started networking in November/December, before winter break. I had several phone interviews with alumni. One was a director at a huge agency and she had to be really busy, but she still took the time to talk to me and I really appreciated that. Two other alums even met me in person.

The best part about it was how candid and realistic they all were—the Team Fuqua spirit definitely came through during my job search! The Fuqua network is so important, especially for people like me who are hoping to make a career transition—it’s invaluable. Now that I’m settled in San Francisco, I’m looking forward to connecting with Duke and Fuqua alums in the area.