Meet Duke Fuqua’s MBA Class of 2018


Angela Tenney

Duke University, Fuqua School of Business

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: Bubbly, confident nerd with a penchant for lists, puns, and trivia.

Hometown: Andover, MA

Fun Fact About Yourself: After undergrad I made a list, “30 Things To Do Before Turning 30,” that I’ve been pretty diligent about seeing all the way through.  Highlights so far have been visiting all 6 major continents (sorry, Antarctica), climbing Half Dome in Yosemite to watch the sunrise, and being at Fenway for the Red Sox’s World Series-clinching win in 2013!

Undergraduate School and Major: Stanford University, Chemical Engineering

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:

  • Siemens, Hazardous Chemical Intern
  • BD Biosciences, Reliability Associate
  • ZeaChem, Process Development Engineer
  • IHS, Consultant

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: While working in petrochemical consulting, a client wanted a production cost curve model for two different kinds of nylon. Each kind had a lengthy upstream chain – i.e., there were many intermediate chemicals between the raw feedstocks and the ultimate nylon product – and each of those intermediates needed a cost model built as well.  Working across our product expert and modeling teams, I built a dozen models that calculated production costs for hundreds of plants to help the client understand the competitive position of an investment they were considering. The scale of the project was daunting, and a quick turnaround made it even more so, but I felt proud once it was completed that I had combined our in-house knowledge of each process technology with a mathematical comparative approach that ultimately generated conclusions with real-world business applications.

Looking back on your experience, what advice would you give to future business school applicants? It’s hard to prepare for all the questions you’ll be asked during various interviews, but all the ones I did had some version of “Tell me about yourself” – and all of them were at the beginning of the interview.  It’s difficult to condense your entire “story” into a short snippet, but if you prepare and drill a succinct but thorough response – really think about the high points you want to bring up right away – it’ll show you can communicate efficiently and give you a boost of confidence that you can ride for the rest of the interview!

What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? Fuqua originally made my list for academic reasons. There are a lot of new ideas being developed within the energy industry, and I think that innovation will only grow as we move forward and try to build more sustainable lifestyles. Fuqua’s energy sector resources (particular EDGE, its Center for Energy, Development, and the Global Environment) examine both traditional and renewable fuels and how the two industries interact and compete, taking a comprehensive view of the entire global energy profile rather than focusing primarily on one industry.

What solidified Fuqua as my top choice was its culture. Stories from current students described a program in which people don’t take themselves too seriously (my interviewer said she had to stand up and do a song or dance when she sat in on a class), and in which there was a huge emphasis on collaborating with your classmates rather than competing with them.  I learn best in environments where you’re allowed to make mistakes, and Fuqua’s approach – don’t stress too much about mistakes, and support those around you when they do – really stuck out in the competitive business school world.

Tell us about your dream job or dream employer at this point in your life? I want to spend my career combatting global warming, one of the biggest threats we’re facing as a society.  Working in corporate VC with a focus on renewables would allow me to continue learning about what new ideas people are developing, leverage both my experience in energy and my business degree to determine the strongest contenders, and provide funding and support for those most likely to have a significant impact on the world.

What would you like your business school peers to say about you after you graduate from this program? That they always looked forward to being on a team with me – they knew I could be relied on to do any work delegated to me thoroughly and responsibly, I’d provide extra help if they struggled, and I’d keep things lighthearted and fun with an attitude that embodied Team Fuqua.

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