2020 MBAs To Watch: Will Armour, Duke University (Fuqua)

William (“Will”) Armour

Duke University, Fuqua School of Business

Head of a Quant. Heart of a Poet. Unabashed mascot for Team Fuqua.”

Hometown: Chicago, IL

Fun fact about yourself: My mom’s maiden name is Steel. My dad tried to name me Rusty Steel Armour. Thankfully, he lost that argument.

Undergraduate School and Degree: Elon University, Mathematics

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Strategic Finance Manager at BlackBag Technologies (a Silicon Valley software startup)

Where did you intern during the summer of 2019? Nike in Portland, Oregon

Where will you be working after graduation? Finance Manager at Nike

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: Recipient of Ery Kehaya Leadership Scholarship; Co-lead of Male Allies Program within Fuqua’s Association of Women in Business; COLE Leadership Fellow (Coach K Center on Leadership and Ethics); peer-elected Section Representative of 72-student section (cohort); Academic Fellow for Managerial Economics, Treasurer of Fuqua Special Olympics Club

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I’m most proud of the work we’ve done in the Male Allies Program. Gender equity within the business community is more of a pie-in-the-sky sort of goal than most business school clubs have, so I don’t really think of it in terms of specific achievement. That being said, I’m passionate about the work we do and I’m proud of the impact that the Male Allies Program has had on Team Fuqua.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? Despite being the youngest employee at the software startup I worked at before Fuqua, our CFO trusted me enough to promote me into a role as a one-man Strategy team. The promotion itself was meaningful, but I’m most proud of earning the faith of a man who I’ve always seen as a role model. That relationship changed my career path forever.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Aaron Kay, who teaches ‘Leadership, Ethics & Organizations’ has been the best professor I’ve had at Fuqua. Aaron is brilliant, he truly believes in the importance of being an ethical leader, and he inspired me to think critically during every class.

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? I love Friday nights at Fuqua because of how inclusive they are. Every Friday at 5:30, the whole school is at ‘Fuqua Friday’ on-campus eating, drinking, and having a great time. Then, later in the night, everyone goes to the same bar every single Friday. Every member of the class is invited and everyone will be there.

Why did you choose this business school? Team Fuqua is the reason why Fuqua was my top choice MBA program. The best part of business school is being surrounded by hundreds of intelligent and passionate classmates with a diverse range of interests and backgrounds. To me, the spirit of Team Fuqua is all about the student body buying into the idea that we are here to help make each other better. From day one, I felt like Fuqua students shared my values.

What is your best advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? Be yourself. During the admissions process at Fuqua, I felt consistently encouraged to bring my full self, even if I didn’t feel like I fit the typical MBA mold.

What is the biggest myth about your school? “Team Fuqua is just a sales pitch.” I’ve heard plenty of people be cynical about Team Fuqua, but it’s real. The selflessness and support I’ve seen here are really unlike any academic or professional environment I’ve been a part of. People here truly believe that a rising tide lifts all boats.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? I wish I would have taken advantage of our faculty more consistently. I’ve found the quality of the faculty here to be outstanding, and I wish I would have made more time to pick their brains.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? I really admire a classmate named John MacDonald. John is the President of Fuqua’s COLE Fellowship (The Coach K Center On Leadership and Ethics), and he is the perfect embodiment of servant leadership. He’s the most conscientious person at Fuqua and he somehow always finds a way to make every connection feel authentic and compassionate, even when he has to lead a room of 45 peers. That is a unique quality.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? My older sister, Avery, inspired me to get an MBA. Since I can remember, I’ve always wanted to be like her, so I’ve known that I wanted to get my MBA at Fuqua since the day she graduated from Fuqua in 2014. She knows me better than anyone and she knew that Team Fuqua was the right fit for me. As usual, she was right.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

  1. Start a business.
  2. Spend my privilege in ways that matter.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? He genuinely cared about the people and the world around him, and he invested his time and energy accordingly.

Hobbies? Hiking, biking, camping, board games, and being a Cameron Crazie (Duke Basketball fan)

What made Will such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2020?

“When I think of a student who most exemplifies authentic and consequential leadership, I think of Will Armour. Will’s easy, light, and approachable perspective, combined with his eagerness to learn and willingness to meet his peers where they help make Will a genuine and valued ally.

Wills’ vulnerability, humility, courage, sense of right and wrong, and commitment to amplifying the experience of others truly sets him apart and invites others to engage in topics that are difficult. Whether it is co-leading the Male Allies Program within Fuqua’s Association of Women in Business (AWIB), mentoring and supporting first-year Fuqua students as a Leadership Fellow, or speaking up when he sees someone not representing the Team Fuqua standard, Will has earned respect, trust, and admiration from the Fuqua community. Will is a true Blue Devil and a living example of Team Fuqua at our best.”

Steve Misuraca
Assistant Dean
Daytime MBA and MMS Programs


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