Meet Duke Fuqua’s MBA Class Of 2020

Evan Luo

Fuqua School of Business, Duke University

Sky-diver, finance professional and wild animal conservationist.”

Hometown: Guangzhou, China

Fun Fact About Yourself: I was born into a family of doctors, where all of my family members are ER doctors or nurses. Instead of following their footsteps to become a respected doctor, I am determined and have always been encouraged to pursue my passion in business.

Undergraduate School and Major: Bachelor of Business Admission (BBA), Guangdong University of Foreign Studies

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Manager, Assurance and Business Advisory Service-IPO & Capital Market Practice, PwC

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I am keen on cross-border deals because of their structural complexity and the cultural differences between countries. I once helped my Chinese client establish a joint venture with the royal government of Tajikistan, a landlocked country in West Asia, turning Tajikistan from zero cement production to an export country of construction materials radiating to Kazakhstan, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? Sincere, collaborative and determined. It’s easy to find people in business schools who are extremely talented and successful in their own fields. But try to imagine that you are surrounded by people who are not just doing pretty well professionally, but also highly committed to support and help each other grow- this is what Fuqua’s “Supportive Ambition” cultural standard means to me.

Aside from your classmates, what was the key factor that led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA and why was it so important to you? I am grateful that I got multiple offers. And I am proud that I am now in Team Fuqua. The key factor to me is the culture and the commitment of the school to foster that culture. For example, in the interview stage in China, the school organizes a panel sharing session inviting not only the alumni but also the representatives of the leading corporates to interact with the candidates. In the enrollment stage, the school hosts many face-to-face events across the world, such as the Blue Devil Weekend and Fuqua Around the World, for admitted students. Also, there are multiple virtual interactive sharing/webinars covering the topics such as careers, student life, and club activities for the admitted students to get to know more about Fuqua, plan ahead and mingle with each other. The collaborative, supportive and team-based culture of Fuqua kicks in early and all along the way.

What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? The Global Academic Travel Experience (GATE) – a program in which you focus on a region’s history, politics, economy, and culture – both in the classroom, and in person as the class travels through the region. And Wine Around the World (WATW) organized by the Wine Club.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? To add to my finance expertise, a rigorous MBA program will help me further develop a strategy mindset, cross-cultural communication skills, global perspectives, and meaningful professional networks.

How did you decide if an MBA was worth the investment? Financially, it was the career reports. More importantly, on top of the interaction you have with the alumni/admissions/faculties, the stories you learn from your peers and the meaningful feedback you receive from your mentors, have an honest dialogue with yourself about what matters to you most.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? – I applied to Ross, Darden, London Business School, Kellogg and Wharton.

How did you determine your fit at various schools? It is nice to have a weighting percentage model to factor difference components, such as location, course-setting, etc. But I would highlight a “Flight Test” – try to imagine if you would like to sit next to the alumni, faculty, or future classmate in a 4-hour flight and if you will have a comfortable and inspiring conversation.

What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? Elephants visited my tent once-in-a-while on starry nights when I joined the Masai Mara National Conservancy Program in Kenya. There, I lived in the bush with six international volunteers, tutored a local refugee tribe under the boiling sun, and monitored cheetahs through smashing rain.

It is through this kind of experience that the power of business keeps inspiring me and strengthening my confidence in scaling the impact of business to change lives.

What do you plan to do after you graduate?  To join a global investment firm or the investment arm of a multinational company, where I can learn more in-depth industrial knowledge and build up meaningful networks.

Where do you see yourself in five years? I want to leverage my expertise and network to become a business leader in a leading investment firm that is socially responsible and is committed to bring positive impact to the general population.

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