Duke - The Fuqua School of Business

Feature Story

Student Profile: Jim Kim

October 08, 2009

Questions and answers with a second year student

Name and year (1Y or 2Y):

Jim Kim, 2Y

Experience prior to Fuqua (background info):

Assistant Dean of Freshman, Stanford university; Assistant Dean of First-Year Students, Bowdoin College

Please summarize your student involvement:

MBA Association President, Section Rep, Tennis Club member

What was the highlight of your first year?

Road tripping down to Atlanta to watch the men's basketball team win the ACC Tourney. Go Duke!

What were some of key factors that led you to choose Fuqua for your MBA?

Coming from the world of education where culture and community are so important, I was drawn to the Team Fuqua approach to the MBA.  The Duke MBA provided an environment that was collaborative and supportive without being so soft that I wouldn't be pushed to take on new challenges.  

Being in Durham was also a big pull.  Coming from San Francisco, it was definitely hard to leave the city, but Durham is perfect for life as an MBA student.  On a practical level, the cost of living is about as student-friendly as it gets, and the weather never gets too cold.  On a social level, many of us came to Durham without any ties to the area so we are able to focus on building strong relationships with each other.   Before my first year, I thought I would use each break to catch up with non-Fuqua friends.  Instead I found myself traveling with my classmates to New York, to Tahoe, to South Africa.   People really do take the time to get to know each other here, and that was important to me.

What/Who do you remember most about your Campus visit(s)?

The biggest takeaway from my visit during Blue Devil Weekend (the admitted students weekend in the spring) was that Fuqua is a student-run school.  The administration and faculty trust the students, and the students embrace that opportunity wholeheartedly.   Because of this, Team Fuqua isn't just about the academics; it is imbued in everything we do.  Fuqua Fridays?  Planned by students.  Keynote speakers for career symposia?  Invited by students.  GATE trips?  Led by students.  On my visit I realized that this is not a place where you simply go to school.  You become a part of it.

What advice do you have for prospective students concerning the application process? (Application/Visiting Campus/Interview?)

Business schools vary widely in terms of culture, and there's only so much you can describe through words and pictures.  Do take the time to visit schools to get a feel of what they really deliver in terms of the MBA experience.  I had heard and read about Team Fuqua from alumni and on the internet.  Even so, only after I visited did I really understand what it meant and how it fit with me.