Thomas Payne
"This experience has changed me in that I am a more patient leader, who is more understanding of differences in thought and personality types. I am also less inclined to micro-manage.”

Daytime MBA

Class of 2018

Prior Education:

West Point, United States Military Academy
Portuguese / Spanish, 2006
Virginia Beach, Virginia

Why I Chose Fuqua

I wanted to attend a school that had a rigorous academic program and exposure to a breadth of industries. Also, the concept of Fuqua’s values spoke to me as well. However, these reasons were simply items on paper, which made Fuqua high on my list of business schools.

What truly changed my mind about Fuqua was my visit during the Veteran's Symposium. I have never worked with a better Admissions recruiting team. Also, I interacted with members of Duke’s Armed Forces Association and saw that Fuqua’s values closely aligned with the ones that were important to me through my time at West Point and in the Army. I realized that Fuqua was truly a unique place where values mattered, and teamwork was paramount.

5 Things to Know About Durham

  1. Small town feel with the added perks of a large city, such as the Durham Performing Arts Center.
  2. Centrally located, so you're only about 3 hours from the mountains and the beaches of North Carolina.
  3. The Durham Bulls baseball team is a mainstay of the local culture and a great way to spend an afternoon.
  4. I cook, but there are a lot of high quality and unique restaurants in the city.
  5. Charlotte is a short train ride away and Raleigh, the state capital, is less than thirty minutes away if you need a change of scenery.

My Life Before Fuqua

I was a US Army Special Forces officer. I led a Special Forces Detachment in Afghanistan conducting combat operations and in Colombia to assist counter-narcotics and counter-terrorism operations. In my last position, I developed a strategy for Special Operations in Peru and Colombia.

My Life After Fuqua

My goal is to work in the management and strategy consulting field. My plan is to focus on the commercial side first, before eventually using the skills I acquired during that time to focus on public sector and federal practice consulting.

My Fuqua Activities

Duke MBA Consulting Club

Fuqua Client Consulting Practicum

Duke Armed Forces Association Co-President

Black and Latino MBA Organization

Duke Grad Rugby Football Club

Duke Student-Athlete Mentor Program (Football)

Adjunct faculty for the Duke ROTC program

Duke Armed Forces Association

Membership in this veteran's organization is extremely important to me and epitomizes the idea of Team Fuqua

What I Love About Consulting

I am interested in consulting because of the variety of challenges and projects it provides as well as the essential nature of teamwork. These aspects were important in my last profession where I led teams varying in size from 12-200 people and had missions which ranged from building schools to raids against enemy forces. I feel that I can leverage those past experiences in a future in the consulting field.

Student Network

Stephen Seed Daytime MBA

Stephen Seed

Class of 2018
Willy Chen Mo Daytime MBA

Willy Chen Mo

Class of 2018
Kait Shorrock Daytime MBA

Kait Shorrock

Class of 2019
Thomas Payne Daytime MBA

Thomas Payne

Class of 2018