Duke, Fuqua MBA

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Duke Fuqua MBA Introduction


Alums who go off and become successful always reflect well on their alma matar. And Duke can lay claim to providing the MBA education for one of the most famous executives in the world: Apple CEO Tim Cook, late founder Steve Jobs’ handpicked successor. It’s hard to imagine any school having a better living advertisement for itself. In recent years, Fuqua has had great success at matching its MBA graduates with world-class companies seeking the best and brightest. The breadth and diversity of the recruiters coming to Fuqua is a testament to the quality of its students and what the school makes of them.

The Fuqua MBA degree promises an education with a 360-degree perspective that encompasses the history of mistakes and shortcuts in business while simultaneously looking to the future with a palpable optimism. Fuqua’s goal is to create the business leaders of tomorrow, leaders who demonstrate competence, character, and purpose – leaders of consequence who are comparable to famous Fuqua alumni.

Good Facts:

– Just like Darden almost 83% of international students had a job offer by graduation which while another 9% getting it in 3 months after graduations with an average salary of $117k. Given the current environment with trump administration the numbers look pretty good.

– the split across functions and industry is pretty much in line with other good US B-Schools with maximum students opting for consulting followed by finance, general management & marketing.

– However one outstanding bit is the 9% placement in health care sector which is a bit large specially comred to Darden.

– The average GMAT score last year was only 702 which is surprisingly low for a school of Duke’s reputation. 2 days ago we checked out Darden which had a average GMAT of 713. This goes on to show that duke does not only rely upon GMAT score but likes to evaluate condidates holistically specially with it’s list of 25 interesting things about yourself question.

– Class profile numbers are pretty standard with 39% international applicants and 34% women candidates.

Not so good facts:

– Last year for a class of 423, duke received 3796 applications and rolled our 849 final offers. Finally only 440 joined, while it represents a good 22% conversion rate for any candidate willing to apply, however a 50% acceptance rate is a bit worrying to me.

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The Economist
US News ranking

Duke Fuqua MBA Sample Essays


Duke Fuqua Essay 1: Share with us your list of “25 Random Things” about YOU

1. I am right handed but I taught myself to write with my left hand as well, simply because being called ambidextrous sounded cool.

2. Fine gourmet food and street food – I love them both equally. I am a self proclaimed food connoisseur.

3. My favorite hobby is to edit and enhance 3D renderings. I enjoy working with lighting, brush strokes, frames, etc.

4. I am a fitness freak and I enjoy outdoor activities. Recently, I went para-gliding in Koh Phagnan in Thailand, and snorkeling in Vietnam.

5. Although people tell me I sing well in public, my best impression of Whitney Houston only comes when I’m driving or in the shower.

6. My grandfather passed away unexpectedly one morning in 2009 and my biggest regret in life is not visiting him the previous night due to some (now silly) work assignment.

7. I play a mean game of tennis. While on holiday, I practice regularly with my mom.

8. Since my parents are entrepreneurs, growing up we never had the time to take many family vacations. I’ve always wanted to travel the world. Someday.

9. I became a vegan by choice over 8 years ago, only because I got bored of eating meat one fine day I recently got back to eating it just to increase my protein intake but I still stick to vegetarian food mostly.

10. I’ve played many strong characters in plays and skits in school, college and church festivals, such as Penelope, Ella Fitzgerald, Queen Mary, and Jane Austin...Continue Reading Here

Duke Fuqua MBA Interview


So I finished my interview yesterday and it went better than I thought it would! I had to fly in to a different city so I flew in on the 14th, spent the night, woke up well rested and headed for the interview which was scheduled comfortably at 10.15 a.m on the 15th. I was actually a full 25 minutes early, but it worked out great since my interviewer showed up early too! He was a young-ish guy, about mid to late 30s if I had to guess. After a few minutes of small talk, he jumped right in. Questions asked included:

  • Tell me about yourself
  • Tell me about your current role at work
  • Why MBA
  • Why Duke
  • Tell me about some constructive feedback that you received
  • Tell me about the time you showed your leadership skills (in and out of work)
  • What do you think makes a team successful
  • What is your role in a team
  • Tell me about a time you handled a conflict in a team
  • What kind of a leader are you
  • What are your career goals
  • Why do you think this is the right time for an MBA
  • Which other schools have you applied to

The interview lasted about 40-45 minutes, including the questions I asked him at the end. Initially, I didn’t think he was very responsive but as I found my groove, I saw him nodding and agreeing with stuff I said. I didn’t have any issues coming up with stories and I was very well prepared with my answers to why Duke and why an MBA. He opened up when I started asking him questions about the Duke experience and by then, we had a good rapport. He even told me to call him if I ever needed any help regarding Duke or even otherwise…Continue Reading Here

Duke Fuqua MBA Application Essays


Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business is a community oriented program seeking a diverse class of accomplished students. Admissions director Shari Hubert has written some excellent blog posts about what they look for in the Duke Fuqua application process. As Hubert wrote in December 2017, “This place is truly special. It wasn’t long after joining Fuqua in October that I came to that realization, and every day I continue to encounter things that affirm it. … I’ve been struck by how real and authentic everyone is, and getting to know my colleagues and our students has been one of the most enjoyable parts of my job so far.” For the Duke MBA essays, communicate who you are and why you should join Team Fuqua. Starting your research and personal networking now will help you prepare the most effective essays for your Duke Fuqua application.

Required short-answer essay question
For each question, respond in 500 characters only (the equivalent of about 100 words).
1. Why is pursuing an MBA the right next step for you?
2. What are your post-MBA career goals? Share with us your first choice career plan and your alternate plan.

This career goals essay asks for your plan for an MBA and your future career goals in this two-part question. Because both parts should fit together, think big picture and focus on the overall story trajectory. What would be the most logical (and interesting) progression from your current skill set to a Duke MBA? How will your next step flow from the combination of your MBA and your past experiences? The career goals essay is about your ability to assess your background and plan your future. It’s not a promise you are required to fulfill.

As you consider your alternative path, think about plans that fit with your background and goals. Also, show what you could explore if your first plan doesn’t work out. Flexibility is useful in a changing world, and useful for these short-answer Duke MBA essays.For example, you could be focused on becoming a marketing executive in the consumer packaged goods industry.

Therefore, you might be interested in a company like General Mills. If you don’t find the right job in that industry after Duke, maybe you would consider marketing for a retailer, such as Target. This could be an alternate career path because it allows you to develop a marketing career as well, just in a different industry. Or, you may have two separate interests and want to consider both of them. Your Plan A is to join a strategy consulting firm after graduation. However, if you don’t receive a job at your top choice firm you would think about co-founding a start up as another possible path. Think about your range of interests and go from there. Because you have limited space in these Duke MBA essays, boil your plans down to a clear statement. Any plans for an MBA and career goals you discuss should be supported by the information provided in your resume, recommendations, and other essays. In particular, Duke Fuqua should be a clear training ground for your future career.

First Required Essay : 25 Random Things about yourself

Instructions: Present your response in list form, numbered 1 to 25. Some points may be only a few words  , while others may be longer. Your complete list should not exceed two pages.For context: Fuqua believes different types of people, points of view, and experiences bring out the best in everyone. And above all, we place a premium on succeeding while making a positive impact on businesses, organizations, and the world. These ways of thinking set the Duke MBA experience apart, and this concept extends beyond the student body to include faculty, staff, and administration. When a new person joins the Admissions team, we ask that person to share with everyone in the office a list of “25 Random Things About Yourself.” As an Admissions team, we already know the new hire’s professional and academic background, so learning these “25 Random Things” helps us get to know someone’s personality, background, special talents, and more. In this spirit, the admissions committee also wants to get to know you–beyond the professional and academic achievements listed in your resume and transcript. You can share with us important life experiences, your likes/dislikes, hobbies, achievements, fun facts, or anything that helps us understand what makes you who you are. Share with us your list of “25 Random Things” about YOU.

This Duke MBA essay is entirely open-ended. As a result, you can cover your personal background, work experiences, values and hobbies. If you have a particularly interesting story, this is the place to tell that story. Make sure that any topics that are personal are also relevant to your Duke Fuqua application. Director Hubert has posted her own 25 random things, including items from her famous aunt to her love of vegetables. This list shows her personality and also ranges from the serious to the frivolous. Consider that range as you compose your own list. Coming up with 25 random things to list in this essay may seem daunting at first. To jump-start your creative process you may want to brainstorm with friends and family about what is most interesting and memorable about you. Or keep a notebook with you to record ideas as you go about your activities. Once you have 25 random things, how do you structure your list? There’s a few possible ways: chronologically, chunking the list into themes, or even alphabetically.

You could organize the list so that it builds from shorter to longer items. Another idea is to intersperse some of the 25 random things that require a paragraph explanation between sets of things that are easy to understand in one sentence. Structuring the list to make it easy to read and follow will be appreciated. But, resist the urge to package the list too perfectly. Content is always the most important factor in these Duke MBA essays. Also, remember that the main point of this essay is to show Fuqua your personality, and interests. This makes the essay a crucial part of your overall Duke Fuqua application.

Second required essay: The Fuqua community and you

Instructions: Your response should be no more than two pages in length. Fuqua prides itself on cultivating a culture of engagement. Our students enjoy a wide range of student-led organizations that provide opportunities for leadership development and personal fulfillment, as well as an outlet for contributing to society. Our student-led government, clubs, centers, and events are an integral part of the student culture and are vital to providing you with a range of experiential learning and individual development experiences.

Based on your understanding of the Fuqua culture, how do you see yourself engaging in and contributing to our community outside of the classroom? In your application, be very specific about why Team Fuqua is the right place for you. The best Duke MBA essays will be personal, while demonstrating you have done your homework on Fuqua. Everyone benefits from a diverse alumni network, but what specifically do you want to give and receive from your classmates?

Describe clubs and classes you want to join at Fuqua. Also, offer specific examples from your past experiences to show your consistent passions.

Your fit with the program is crucial to this Duke Fuqua application. In addition, it will be ideal to show the personal qualities that Duke Fuqua prizes. The Duke MBA program is especially interested in your role within the community. Community involvement has significant weight in your Duke Fuqua application. If you research thoroughly, you should be able to show you will be a strong contributor to Team Fuqua. This essay can also be a place to talk about how the Duke MBA fits into your career goals. What do you know now that will be enhanced through your Fuqua MBA education? And what crucial aspects of the skill set required for your future career will be augmented by attending Duke? However, the main focus should be your community involvement. Think about how you plan to improve the experience of others at Duke.

Tell us more

If you feel there are circumstances of which the admissions committee should be aware (such as unexplained gaps in work, choice of recommenders, inconsistent or questionable academic performance), please explain them in an optional essay. Please do not upload additional essays or additional recommendations in this area of the application, and limit your response to one page. The Admissions committee at Fuqua asks that you use this space only to explain extenuating circumstances. So, don’t use this essay just to add new information to your Duke Fuqua application. If you have a low GPA, lack a recommendation from your current supervisor or have gaps in work history this is the place to address it. If you do not have any of those areas to explain, skip the question and focus on the other essays. When approaching any concerns about your background in the optional essay it’s important to show that your recent performance, whether academic or professional, has demonstrated recovery from the issues of the past. Your goal is to remove questions from your application. To do that, address any information the admissions committee needs to know to evaluate your application. In a factual and positive manner, write that you know there could be questions about your background, but you have thoroughly improved in any areas necessary. That will be the best way to show you are now ready to contribute to the program at Duke Fuqua.

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