Meet the MBA Class of 2023: Thomas Louvaris, Duke University (Fuqua)         

Thomas Louvaris            

Duke University, Fuqua School of Business

“Languages aficionado with a passion for cooking who loves meeting and connecting people.”

Hometown: Ios, Greece

Fun Fact About Yourself: As a kid, I almost fell into a crater of lava while climbing the volcano in Santorini. I don’t know how I strayed but fortunately there were no accidents. The unexpected reward: I found the best sunset view in the area.

Undergraduate School and Major: Dual major in Political Science and Spanish from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Sales Account Manager at Safety Rail Company

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? “Loyal Community.” I will always be grateful for the time a second-year student spent with me throughout the entire application cycle, teaching me about Fuqua and even coaching me for my upcoming interview. The best part about coming to Fuqua is that the tight-knit culture spreads throughout the entire Duke community. You have access to very strong networks and we all look after each other.

What word best describes the Fuqua MBA students and alumni you’ve met so far and why? Down-to-earth resonates the most. Before I went to our class’ first social event, I was naturally a little nervous about what to expect. To my pleasant surprise, I was overwhelmed by positivity and surrounded by successful and genuine individuals who had fantastic stories to share. Everyone is incredibly welcoming and I am always left thinking that the admissions team has done an excellent job organizing a diverse class that shares the same values.

Aside from your classmates and school culture, what was the key part of Duke Fuqua’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? I think the Fuqua MBA is a quirky program in a good sense—in that it isn’t afraid to be different. It attracts a certain subset of motivated individuals who are career-oriented but don’t take themselves too seriously, and know how to have fun. I heard many times of students who were accepted to higher-ranked programs but chose Fuqua instead for the more complete MBA experience. I found those observations and others powerful and elected to enroll.

What course, club or activity excites you the most at Duke Fuqua? I am excited to join Fuqua2Duke as a mentor to undergraduates, especially first-generation students. As a first-gen student myself, I have had to learn most things the hard way. Having discovered the blessing of mentorship throughout the years, I hope to spare other students from facing avoidable hurdles.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I had the opportunity to join my former employer during a pivotal period of growth that ultimately led us to become the industry leader in the passive fall protection industry as we established new business verticals, expanding our capacity to undertake multi-million dollar turnkey projects. I dove deep by creating internal processes, working closely with our executive team to establish structure within our department and across departments, all while enhancing my business aptitude by getting hands-on experience in our sales department.

How did COVID-19 change your perspective on your career and your life in general? COVID-19 was a blessing in disguise. The fact that the world was shut down motivated me even more to zero-in on my goal of attending a top business school, and I am incredibly thankful to have been supported by my former employer throughout the process.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? Working for a couple years helped me identify my strengths and weaknesses in the workplace, and the career path I would ultimately like to pursue. I realized that a top MBA would equip me with the best tools to help become a well-rounded businessperson and surround myself with like-minded individuals.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? Darden, Yale, Tuck, Booth and Cornell

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Duke Fuqua’s MBA program? Give yourself time to understand your values and goals in order to assemble a quality application. This is a marathon and not a sprint. It takes years to get quality experience, create impact at work and in extracurriculars, and study for the GMAT. Then you can start asking yourself questions, such as, “Do I want an MBA in a smaller city to help bond with my classmates?” “Do I care about the MBA experience just as much as landing a great job?” “Do I care about achieving greatness as a team just as much as individually?” If so, then I would highly recommend applying to Fuqua and we hope you will join the Fuqua family.


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