Nancy Zimmerman
"At Hanes I worked with a 2006 graduate who inspired me as a leader and astute businesswoman. Her success was a sort of ‘carrot’ for me to pursue the Duke MBA.”
Director of Product Development
American Textile

Weekend Executive MBA

Class of 2013
Consumer Products

Prior Education:

Salem College
Art History, 2000
Charlotte, North Carolina


Working full-time and going to Fuqua was, most certainly, one of the hardest things I’ve done. Looking back it seems a constant whirl of team conference calls, take-out dinners, cramped studying in airplanes, and constantly saying “no” to social engagements. But the sacrifices were worth it, because I strengthened my quantitative abilities and built a well-rounded portfolio of analytical skills. MBAs are not common in merchandising and product development, so my Duke MBA has helped me stand out in the textile industry. It says that I understand the whole picture—not just the trends, fabrics, and product construction.

Before Fuqua

I was the Marketing and Merchandising Manager for a 40M USD shapewear business at Hanes. With my small team, we relaunched our Bali brand in department stores, expanded our Hanes space in Target, and introduced a packaged shape program at Walmart.

After Fuqua

I'm the Director of Product Development at American Textile. My team manages the design, sourcing, and execution of more than 200M USD worth of bedding for retailers including Target, Walmart, Costco, and Kohl's.

Insights on Working in Teams

  1. Not every team gels immediately. There is a chemistry than can solidify itself quickly or can take weeks to get into.
  2. You really can accomplish more together than you can on your own. As someone who enjoys working independently, I quickly realized that my team was critical to my success at Fuqua. With so many competing priorities, the team flexed to accommodate a teammate’s sick child or an emergency work trip.
  3. Team work can get stressful. We had an instance where a teammate wasn’t pulling his weight. As a manager or a team member, this is never a fun situation. Luckily we were able to address the issue quickly and shift around some responsibilities to accommodate the challenge.

Weekend Executive MBA

Top Areas of Career Focus

IT (16%)
Financial Services (14%)
Health Care/Health Services (10%)
Manufacturing/Operations (9%)
Sales/Business Development (8%)
Consulting (8%)

Typical Class Demographics
Weekend Executive MBA

Age Range


Work Experience

5-20 years

Students with Advanced Degrees


Countries Represented



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Nancy Zimmerman
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