Duke - The Fuqua School of Business
MMS student Obinna Arizor

Obinna Arizor

Class of 2012

Looking back, I feel that the MMS program prepared me well for the challenges faced in the workplace, and in my current role as an Assistant Director. I regularly apply the accounting and communications skills that I learned in MMS.

MMS Fills Gap in Business Knowledge

After my sophomore year of undergrad, I interned with Goldman Sachs. I worked with students from schools like Harvard and Yale, who were chosen from 25,000 applicants. While there, I developed a newfound sense of competitiveness and thrived in the work hard/play hard culture. I was invited back for a second summer, and was given their Scholarship for Excellence award. At the time, there were 6 interns in my department, and 5 of them were business majors. I was a psychology major. In meetings, they used jargon I didn't understand. I realized it would be beneficial to gain some basic business knowledge and skills before entering the workforce full-time.

I grew interested in the MMS program because of its broad and fundamental business curriculum. Despite getting a full scholarship from another school, I ultimately decided that I was looking for the challenge I knew I would get from Fuqua, and Fuqua really was the best fit for me. I really liked the fact that Fuqua allowed students to apply regardless of their undergrad degree. Some of my classmates studied business in undergrad and had a lot of knowledge to share with those like me, who didn't have a business background.

Looking back, I feel that the MMS program prepared me well for the challenges faced in the workplace, and in my current role as an Assistant Director. I regularly apply the accounting and communications skills that I learned in MMS. I constantly communicate with parents, staff, and board members, and the Business Communications class taught me how to deliver information in a clear and concise fashion. Organization was another key takeaway from MMS. Working in such a multifunctional role, organization is a skill that I use every day.

Alumni Involvement and Impact

The summer before I came to Fuqua, I was put in touch with Mallory Mooser (MMS '11). She told me that serving as a Development and Alumni Relations Ambassador was the most meaningful thing she did at Fuqua. She said it was a great way to become involved and form lasting, meaningful relationships. So when I came to Fuqua, I already knew I wanted the position, and during my first couple weeks in the role, I began interacting with MBAs. It was great hearing about their interests and learning about a different aspect of Fuqua. I later attended a social with MMS alumni in New York City, and met Mallory face-to-face. It was great meeting her and her connections, and I truly saw the value of the Fuqua alumni network. MMS alumni are very involved and dedicated to building a strong support group.

As Development and Alumni Relations Ambassador, I led the MMS Class Gift Committee, which was a heavy leadership role, and really demonstrated Fuqua's focus on teamwork. In addition to my academic teams, this committee was a great way to work with peers. I learned the importance of building a strong team with people who are involved, passionate, helpful and effective. I gained first-hand experience in delegating as well as in receiving feedback.

Diversity in Durham

I am half Caribbean and half African. My dad moved from Nigeria to New York when he was 20, and my mom came from the Caribbean when she was 11. New York is a melting pot, so looking at grad schools, I really wanted a program with diversity. The MMS program is almost like a mini New York because there are so many different people.

I wasn't sure what to expect from a smaller town like Durham. I had never even ventured into the South before MMS! But being in Durham altered my viewpoints because it is a unique and diverse community. I now know I can go somewhere smaller than NYC and still find a lot of happiness. The lifestyle in Durham is very conducive to life as a grad student, and the food is amazing. It is definitely the best food I have ever tried. Dame's Chicken and Waffles is easily my favorite. It sounds crazy, but I went four times in one week.