Meet The MBA Class of 2022: Ezban Morrissette, Duke University (Fuqua)

Ezban Morrissette

Duke University, Fuqua School of Business

“I am an extreme introvert who strongly values communication and is fueled by self-competition.”

Hometown: Thomasville, AL

Fun Fact About Yourself: I played trombone in a jazz band. I joined band in high school, but did not participate in college. After completing my undergraduate studies and beginning my career as an engineer, I was searching for additional hobbies so I freshened up my trombone skills and joined a local jazz band.

Undergraduate School and Major: Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University (B.S. Mechanical Engineering) and George Washington University (M.S. Engineering Management)

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: I was a Production Engineer at Naval Sea Systems Command, which is a government organization tasked with designing, building and supporting U.S. Navy ships and combat systems.

The MBA program is renowned for its “Team Fuqua” culture, which is predicated on six paired principles: Authentic Engagement, Supportive Ambition, Collective Diversity, Impactful Stewardship, Loyal Community, and Uncompromising Integrity. Which of these resonates most with you – and what does that principle demand of you as a Fuqua MBA? Supportive ambition resonates most with me. A passion of mine includes motivating others to become confident, self-directed, lifelong learners. I believe that I have not succeeded until those around me succeed. As a Fuqua MBA, I am committed to encouraging my Fuqua family when we make mistakes, ensuring a safe and comfortable environment for others to grow and lending a helping hand to those in need.

Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of the school’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? At Fuqua we often discuss a leadership characteristic called Decency Quotient or DQ. DQ refers to being a decent human being and always doing the “right” thing regarding how we treat others.

Upon connecting with Fuqua during my initial business school visits, I immediately noticed that DQ was not a tagline for the school but a practice that all members of the Fuqua community embodied and considered when making decisions that would affect others. I identified with the idea of possessing DQ because, in my experiences as a leader, I have always made a conscious attempt and placed significant importance on considering the needs of others and empathizing with those who may be experiencing difficulties. I will also add that I appreciated the school’s boldness in speaking out against acts of violence and oppression.

What quality best describes your MBA classmates and why? My classmates and I possess a tremendous amount of grit and resilience. We are authentically proud of the obstacles that we have overcome to arrive at the current phases of our lives. I knew that all students attending business school would have different stories and experiences. I was very proud to learn that Fuqua truly embraced those differences and fostered an environment where we could use those differences to develop a toolset that would prove beneficial as we take on various leadership roles within business.

What club or activity excites you most at this school? I am most excited about partaking in Fuqua Friday, which is a social event that takes place almost every Friday and allows the Fuqua family to come together and learn about each other. I enjoy getting to learn about others and it is also nice to end the hectic school week in a relaxing environment with great food and conversation.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My biggest accomplishment in my career is when I was competitively selected to develop a comprehensive test and evaluation strategy for hardware and software produced by a government agency. Not only did I work with an amazing team and receive great mentorship, but I also felt as if this was the first time in my career where I was able to remove myself from analyzing an abundance of data as an engineer. Instead, I could truly focus on developing strategies that would positively redefine the organization’s culture going forward.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I was seeking to align myself so that I could receive diversification in experience and industry. I knew that an MBA would equip me with the skills necessary to excel wherever I chose to work. I also knew that attending business school would allow me to stretch my mind beyond its normal confines. I was “all in” for the challenge.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? Northwestern (Kellogg), Columbia, Georgetown (McDonough)

What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? The Fuqua MBA application is well known for its 25 random facts essay. Initially, I thought this would be a simple task given that I spend each hour of each day with myself. However, I was wrong. Answering this essay question allowed me to self-reflect and explore myself at a deeper level. I must say that I also learned several new facts about myself when I noticed certain trends within my answers.

What have you been doing to prepare yourself for business school? In addition to studying extensively for the GMAT, I began to spend some time ensuring that I fully understood my true motivation and purpose. I knew that remembering this key information would serve as a success catalyst for me when business school gets hectic. I also began to read various business news sources and further enhance my critical thinking skills by reviewing numerous case studies and strategy books.

What was your defining moment and how did it prepare you for business school? My defining moment was helping a close friend build and maintain a successful business. This experience allowed me to build confidence and move past the anxiety of not coming from a traditional business background. Through helping my friend, I realized that I found business to be intuitive. But more importantly, I enjoyed learning and applying the concepts and frameworks.

What is your favorite company and what could business students learn from them? I would not say that I have a favorite company. However, I can appreciate Amazon’s obsession with the customer and focus on innovation. Business students should always remember to embrace those who helped you to succeed and always possess a, “Day One” mentality. Each day is a new opportunity to innovate and impact change, whereas complacency staggers growth.

DON’T MISS: Meet Duke Fuqua’s MBA Class of 2022