Duke - The Fuqua School of Business

Scott McKenzie

Class of 2010

I learned a lot more practical skills in my one year at Fuqua than I did in the four years I was in undergrad. The professors are engaging and they keep you on your toes – they push you.

Unbelievable Experience

I was listening to a recording of Dan Ariely's book, Predictably Irrational, while I was driving home to Dallas from Durham a couple years ago. I enjoyed it so much that I looked him up and found out that he was a professor at Fuqua—I had no idea! I contacted Dan and volunteered to help him with his projects. I started working with him in the fall of 2008, and he served as the advisor for my senior thesis, "Driven to Cheat: A Study on the Drivers of Dishonesty—Through the Game of Golf." 

I later helped to organize a follow-up to my thesis on cheating in golf. The study was of 15,000 golfers looking at the relationship between cheating in golf and cheating in business—it was a unique study and received some great media coverage.

I'm extremely lucky that I came across that book. Dan is so nice about bringing people in. He has a knack for explaining very complex problems into very simple terms. Working with him was an unbelievable opportunity, and I continued to work with Dan during the MMS program.

Practical & Applicable

I learned a lot more practical skills in my one year at Fuqua than I did in the four years I was in undergrad. The professors are engaging and they keep you on your toes—they push you. You have to go to class prepared, and that makes you learn more.

I had lots of large classes in college where I could fly under the radar, but it's not like that at Fuqua because the classes are smaller and the professors know your name. Accounting Professor Scott Dyreng literally memorized everyone's name before the first day of class. It was clear that the professors had a true passion for teaching, which was refreshing.

The classes are also really engaging and hands-on. There was a marketing simulation called PharmaSim that we did in Professor Rick Staelin's class that I really enjoyed. It was an interactive online simulation that we did in our team, and is one of the most fun things that I've done scholastically. We essentially pretended to be a drug company and had to make all the marketing and advertising decisions to promote a leading drug. We had to research products and competitors. We made decisions and we learned from our mistakes. It was really interesting because there was instant gratification and results from our decisions. It turned marketing into a practical, logical business problem and gave us an example of what we might have to face in a real business setting.

Soccer Fanatic

I participated in several student clubs at Fuqua. But I think what I enjoyed the most was being able to play soccer. I'm a big soccer fan and played competitively until college. I participated in an intramural soccer team with other MMS students, and we made it all the way to the graduate school finals, which was a blast!

When I studied abroad in Madrid, Spain, I played soccer for the university there. I was one of the first Americans ever selected for their team. I've also played soccer competitively in Mexico and Argentina.

I went to the World Cup in South Africa in June. I traveled all around the country during the month, going to 7 matches, including 3 of the 4 US matches and one of the semifinals. Some of my friends from Duke put me in contact with people in South Africa that I stayed with, which was really helpful. I had such unique opportunities like riding an ostrich, surfing in the famous Jeffrey's Bay, going on safari, and tackling the highest bungee jump in the world.