Class of 2010
You have to come into Fuqua with an open mind and treat the experience as a way to learn more about yourself. Be willing to step out of your comfort zone...
My mom is from Tanzania, my dad is from Uganda, and my grandparents are originally from India. My parents studied in London and then moved to Vancouver, so I'm Canadian. I speak French fluently and I know some German. I guess you could say I'm 'multi-cultural.'
During my senior year at Yale, I took a critical look at myself and realized that I lacked technical business experience. I never took an accounting class, and I knew nothing about marketing. To be more competitive in the job market, I needed more practical business skills, and so I began looking at the MMS program. The program has made me more well-rounded. It gave me the tools and the knowledge to be able to make good business decisions. I really got my money's worth, and I have no regrets.
The MMS team structure is an important aspect of the coursework that was very different from undergrad. Here, everyone must participate―the teamwork is integral. I was really lucky that I had two fantastic teams in the program. We clicked easily, and during the process of working together, I also made some great friends.
Once I got to know everyone, the diversity became even more apparent and interesting. I met people from all over; I became friends with a Duke basketball player, and met people from the broader community, from the Divinity School and Law School. I definitely got a lot of exposure.
My advice to incoming students: You have to come into Fuqua with an open mind and treat the experience as a way to learn more about yourself. Be willing to step out of your comfort zone, because the people you encounter have diverse backgrounds and ambitions. In the work force, you'll deal with people left and right and center and you'll need to know how to deal with that―the MMS program will be good preparation.
I think the wine industry is fascinating―the production of wine, the science behind it, as well as the business mechanics. I was a part of the Wine Society at Yale, and I co-founded the MMS Wine & Beer Club at Fuqua. The class and administration really got behind it with Dean Sheppard and Assistant Dean Amato attending some of our events.
Our signature event was a fundraiser for the Emily Krzyzewski Center in Durham. We reached out to local breweries, which donated their products for the tasting. We ended up with about 12 beers―all locally-made―and held the tasting at the University Club. About 50 students came out. It was a lot of fun and we raised about $1,000.
Leading the club was a wonderful learning experience for me. The students contributed their time and money to make something special happen in the group―it was even voted Club of the Year.
The Next Stage
I got a position at DUMAC―the group that manages Duke's endowment. I work within the private investments group which covers the real estate, venture capital, buyout, and natural resource investments of Duke―there are billions of dollars involved. I'm looking forward to working in the endowment world because it supports education, and that's important to me.
I got a merit scholarship to come to Fuqua and that meant a lot to me―I want to ensure that others have that opportunity too. This job has everything that I want in a career―I get to work for a university that cares about its employees and wants to see them succeed. It's a chance to be a part of something great and support a cause that I believe in.
Maybe I'll go to Wall Street down the road, and I know I'll be well prepared for that if I do … I also think it would also be cool to own a vineyard some day.