Sara Alom Ruiz
“Even non-coffee drinkers become junkies in Term 1—you often need the boost of caffeine to get you through the intensity and rigor of the program.”
Director Business Performance Improvement
Mediclinic Middle East

Cross Continent MBA*

Class of 2015
Health Care

Prior Education:

King’s College London
PhD Cardiovascular Medicine, 2010
University of Bristol
Pharmacology, 2005
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

*Now the Global Executive MBA program.


As I considered world-class MBA programs, the academic reputation of the Duke MBA brand was indisputable. The Cross Continent format was ideal, allowing me to continue to work and gain valuable experience in my job and minimize disruption to family life. Given my interest in emerging markets, the global business exposure from international residencies was a huge attraction, as well as the ability to concentrate in Health Sector Management. But what stood out the most for me were the incredible people—accomplished and ambitious, yet humble and always willing to give back, personifying  Fuqua’s culture.

Before Fuqua

I was the Assistant Hospital Director for a 150-bed hospital, part of a PLC FTSE 250 healthcare provider group. I supported the CEO in preparing, managing, and delivering our annual budget; developed and executed the annual operational plan; and helped execute our 5-year strategic plan.

After Fuqua

During the program I was promoted to COO of the hospital. Now I serve as Director of Business Performance Improvement for Middle East operations (six hospitals, 38 centers) of an FTSE 100 global company. In this corporate strategy role, I’m responsible for strategic business projects, process improvement, and business performance.

5 Tips for Teaming Well

  1. Get to know each other. It sounds cliché, but spending time with your team really helps eliminate biases and will make you realize you are more similar than different.
  2. Communicate regularly and be very explicit about expectations and timelines.
  3. Capitalize on each other’s strengths and different time zones. Your team could be working round the clock on those assignments.
  4. Broaden your perspective and thinking. It is a great opportunity to learn from each other, to challenge yourself and others and to become more comfortable with other cultures.
  5. Do not wait until it’s too late to have honest conversations about what’s working and what isn’t.

Admissions Insight

What's Up with the *Asterisks*

Admissions staffer Dan McCleary in his office
Long story short—we evolved our portfolio to provide additional flexibility for students and recruit an even stronger mix of backgrounds, ages, experiences, and career stages.
Typical Class Demographics
Global Executive MBA

Age Range


Work Experience

5-20 years

Countries Represented




Non-US Citizenship

Carolyn Hardy
Global Executive MBA

Carolyn Hardy

Class of 2016
Gentry Brann's gallery photo
Global Executive MBA

Gentry Brann

Class of 2018
Doug Liedberg
Global Executive MBA

Douglas Liedberg

Class of 2014
Andy Gilbert
Global Executive MBA

Andy Gilbert

Class of 2014