Meet Duke Fuqua’s MBA Class of 2018


Maria Githua

Duke University, Fuqua School of Business

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: An Afropolitan who is passionate about the intersection of business and technology, especially in Africa.

Hometown: Mombasa, Kenya

Fun Fact About Yourself: I have been interviewed twice on a Kenyan national television show that hosts distinguished guests such as presidents, politicians and change makers of the African continent.

Undergraduate School and Major: Meredith College, Mathematics and Economics

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation: Lead IT Business Analyst, Credit Suisse; Entrepreneur                                                                                

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Leading the HR IT team in one of the bank’s migrations to a cloud platform and setting up a model framework for other cloud migration projects.

Looking back on your experience, what advice would you give to future business school applicants?

I personally think that essays are a crucial part of the application process because they offer admissions a view of who you are as a person, your core values, and your goals. It is really important that your story be authentic and aligns with the program that you are applying to. I would advise future business school applicants to really spend time working on their essays.

Recommendation letters are an extension of the essays and offer other people’s opinions or perspectives of who you are. Choose recommenders who truly know you and can offer specific examples to back up your work ethic, your values, etc. If you haven’t yet built those types of relationships with potential recommenders, the time to start would be now.

Lastly, admission interviews are a great way to bring the essays and recommendations full circle by offering a face-to-face perspective. At Fuqua, students conduct the interviews, which I think is great because you can see what a potential Fuqua classmate would be like. To prepare for the interview, I talked with the first and second years to get a glimpse of what to expect. My advice: be yourself.

What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? Fuqua goes above-and-beyond just an MBA.  The people, its commitment to diversity and global perspectives, as well as my career path post-MBA are the reasons why I chose Fuqua. As an African, attending a program with a global view and diverse community was a must for me. I wanted to feel like I could not only take away from the program, but also add to it given my Kenyan and African experiences.

I had also spent a lot of time at Duke because I had friends in undergrad, the School of Medicine, the School of Law and the Duke Global Health. It was through them that I got to meet some Fuqua students at the Duke events that I attended. Those students were the lens through which I experienced Fuqua at a personal level. They exemplified the Team Fuqua spirit in each and every way through my application journey and were always ready to help answer my questions, provide insights, and offer advice. I could really see myself as a part of this community. In fact, I was very sure to the extent that I ended up only applying to Fuqua.

Tell us about your dream job or dream employer at this point in your life?  My dream job is to work for myself. Short-term, however, I would like to work for a company driven on innovation and whose core mission is to positively impact the lives of people by solving problems.

What would you like your business school peers to say about you after you graduate from this program? Maria is an amazing human being!

Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.