Meet the MBA Class of 2023: Tracy (Chunhong) Liu, Duke University (Fuqua)

Tracy (Chunhong) Liu

Duke University, Fuqua School of Business

“Down-to-earth dream chaser and never-stop-learning learner.”

Hometown: Chenzhou, China

Fun Fact About Yourself: I believe in simplicity. I’ve been using the same wallet for 11 years, the same Kindle for 7 years, and the same smartphone for 5 years. My simplicity mindset keeps me focused.

Undergraduate School and Major: Ocean University of China, Bachelor of Business Administration; Nanjing University, Master of Business Management

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Nike, Program Manager

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. As I always heard in Fuqua, if you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together. The ambitious Fuqua students support each other to achieve bigger ambition beyond what each individual can achieve in and out of the classroom. This requires each of us care about the success of each other and of the team, be willing to contribute, and be inclusive about different perspectives.

What word best describes the Fuqua MBA students and alumni you’ve met so far and why? The Fuqua MBA students and alumni are very caring. During my application, whomever I reached out to, they answered my questions with concrete information, which really helped me understand the school and improve my application. (I’m also impressed with the students and alumni’s affection for the school. I believe it’s a mutual feeling between the school and students). For areas they were not familiar with, they redirected me to other alumni to make sure I could get the information. After being admitted, I received help from many alumni and students who aided me in preparing for school. They always said that they had received similar support and wanted to carry on with the practice of helping the younger students.

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? Fuqua is very adaptive to the trends of commercial society and continues to offer new courses that are most relevant to the current business world. Some of the facts: it is a pioneer among top schools to offer a STEM-certified second major in the MBA; it added new courses related to technology transformation and entrepreneurship last academic year; and it emphasizes a lot of leadership communication. My career focus is technology and getting the most updated skills and knowledge is very crucial. Most importantly, I want to further develop the mindset of being flexible and open to changes, a mindset I have found in Fuqua through all the adaptations it has made in its program.

What course, club or activity excites you the most at Duke Fuqua? I’m excited about Tech Trek, a trip to visit venture capital and startup firms in other cities, with Silicon Valley being a regular destination. My long-term career goal is to work for a startup. The opportunity to experience startups and talk with entrepreneurs can help me prepare before I dedicate myself to it.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I built the project delivery process and standards from scratch and implemented it in all five tech streams at Nike. It guided 40+ projects delivered yearly, greatly improving delivery efficiency and avoiding delay.

How did COVID-19 change your perspective on your career and your life in general? COVID-19 reminds me that change is the only constant of life. The best way to enjoy your life is to devote yourself to your true passion, to what you really care for deep inside.

Meanwhile, instead of waiting for change, I want to create change. I know an MBA can enable me to bring positive change for myself and others, so I re-confirmed my decision to apply for an MBA.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? I have equal years of experience providing consultation to the retail industry and working in the industry. It is fascinating for me to deeply understand an industry from both external and internal perspectives. For the next step, I want to explore entrepreneurship at the intersection of retail and technology. An MBA will help me to explore the opportunity in a safe environment.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? Sloan, Kellogg, Ross

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Duke Fuqua’s MBA program? Find yourself as a unique person first, and then as an applicant. Believe in your unique value to your team and your organization. A very common way to complete an application is to list all of the traits that the school might appreciate and try to map your stories to those traits. However, my suggestion is to look into your past, find who you are under all of those achievements you had and discover what motivates you most. Show your true self. It may not be shining in every aspect but it will be remarkable in some aspects.


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