2022 Best & Brightest MBA: Audrey Dotson, Duke University (Fuqua)

Audrey Dotson

Duke University, Fuqua School of Business

“Everyone’s teammate. Introverted extrovert. Lifelong learner. Committed friend and partner. Optimist.”

Hometown: Vienna, VA

Fun fact about yourself: I worked as a Manager of the Duke Women’s Basketball Team during the first year of my MBA! I played college athletics and was really excited to give back and get involved in such a fantastic athletic organization. It was a blast.

Undergraduate School and Degree:

  • Undergrad: Bucknell University, Majors: Economics & Political Science
  • Other graduate: American University, Masters in Analytics

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Boston Consulting Group, Senior Knowledge Analyst, Health Care Systems

Where did you intern during the summer of 2021? Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Boston, MA

Where will you be working after graduation? Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Marketing Manager, Global CF Marketing

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: Co-President of MBA Association, Duke-Margolis Health Policy Scholar, Graduate Manager of Duke Women’s Basketball Team (2020-2021), Forte Fellow, Teaching Assistant

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? Serving as the co-president of our student government, the MBA Association, has been what I’m most proud of during my time at business school. It’s been extremely challenging and time-consuming, but also incredibly rewarding. Being in this position has made me a more empathetic, empowered, and smarter leader. I’m so grateful for the relationships it’s enabled me to form with my classmates and the Fuqua administration.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? Prior to business school, I worked at Boston Consulting Group (BCG) in its Public Sector Practice Area and focused on US Health Care Systems. Although this area is one of BCG’s largest practices now, it was relatively new when I started. Because of that, it did not have an extensive pipeline for external IP development (e.g., whitepapers, LinkedIn papers, etc.). To combat this, I worked with one of the practice’s Managing Directors & Partners (MDP) to develop a plan for publishing externally over the next year to enhance our brand in the space. I was proud that not only did we meet our publishing goal for the year, but we exceeded the number of publications we intended to write and developed a publishing approach that was quicker than the typical BCG process. This approach received attention across the entire Public Sector Practice Area, and the MDP and I presented our process to the North America and Global Public Sector Practice meetings.  

Why did you choose this business school? One of the main reasons I chose Fuqua is because of its strong healthcare focus. I knew that I wanted to stay in healthcare and ultimately wanted to work for a company that was taking an innovative approach to care. The Health Sector Management program curriculum at Fuqua has been fantastic and it’s been helpful to connect with a group of like-minded healthcare-focused students.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Michelle Lowry. As someone who was intimidated by finance and heavy quant classes, she did an amazing job of teaching Corporate Finance in an approachable and understandable way. I loved the way she taught and appreciated her patience.

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? Even though not directly related to Fuqua, being a part of the Duke community and experiencing the hype around Duke basketball has been amazing. Because Duke and Durham are such a tight-knit community, you feel like the entire town focuses on the basketball games. Going to games this year has been so fun and a great bonding experience for me and my classmates.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? I wish I could have found ways to get to know more of my classmates on a deeper level earlier. Some of this is because of COVID restrictions, but I wish I would have found ways to get to know more outside of my immediate social circle earlier in my first year. Everyone I have met is incredible!

What surprised you the most about business school? How much I’ve grown as a person and leader in two short years. Business school is such a privilege and I’m so grateful I was able to experience it.

What is one thing you did during the application process that gave you an edge at the school you chose? I went to multiple admissions events in the city I was living in, Washington, D.C., to get to know the admissions representatives and alumni. I found this helpful because I was able to get a better feel for what Fuqua was like, as well as get to know the admissions representative who would know a little bit about me already when reading my application. I’m not sure if this truly gave me an edge with admissions, but it helped me feel more confident in my decision to apply, which was likely evident in my application.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? There are so many classmates that I admire and look up to. One of them who stands out is Iboro Ikene. Not only is she one of the smartest people I know, she has given so much to the Fuqua community through her work as the VP of Student Organizations on the MBA Association. As VP of Student Organizations, Iboro worked closely and tirelessly with 60+ clubs and our administration to navigate ever-changing COVID event policies. She has navigated so much adversity and managed frustrations, all while providing a calm and patient presence. In addition to the MBA Association, Iboro serves as a Teaching Assistant and member of the Black and Latino MBA Organization. I consider her a dear friend and someone that I, and many others, look up to.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? My fiancé was one of the biggest influences on my decision to come to business school. Getting my MBA was something that I wanted to do, but his support is what ultimately encouraged me to apply. While preparing for school, he helped me practice mock admissions interviews, read my application, and switched to working remotely so he could move to Durham, NC with me. I can’t thank him enough for his unwavering support and encouragement to fulfill my dreams.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? I would love to consistently travel abroad for work (or maybe even live abroad for a year!). More importantly though, I want to work for an organization that helps me feel empowered at work, while also allowing me to spend time with my family.

How has the pandemic changed your view of a career? If there’s one thing we’ve all learned over the past two years, it’s that life is short. We spend so much of our lives working and I want to work on something that is important to me. I also want a career that allows me to pursue my personal goals and spend time with family. A career that allows me to feel fulfilled personally and professionally, rather than just one or the other, is really important to me.

What made Audrey such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2022?

“As the father of daughters, I’ve reflected during the last year, how much I hope they grow up to be a lot like Audrey Dotson. Audrey is incredibly smart and exhibits the definitions of grit and resilience. She has a keen ability to navigate really stressful times and cut through the noise and distraction to focus acutely on what needs to be done to figure out the best way forward. I’ve had a front row seat in watching her leadership during the challenging circumstances of the pandemic. I’ve been amazed by her positive focus on moving forward productively while wanting no credit or recognition for her efforts.

I’ve served at Fuqua long enough to witness the tenure of many student body presidents. All of them have been extraordinary in their own ways – but rarely have a I seen a combination as powerful as Audrey and Jordy. I’ve nominated each of them for this honor, and as such I want to also talk about both of them as a team in this recommendation, as the true partnership and collaboration I’ve witnessed from them during the last year has been an inspiration to me.

Audrey and Jordy stepped up to lead at a time when many of their classmates were understandably focusing what was missing in their experience. The immediate challenge was that there was no playbook or mental model on how to restore and reenergize the MBA student experience in the middle of a global pandemic. Their hope and focus, was to look forward with optimism, to focus on connections and building new traditions, and to make the most of circumstances. They knew they couldn’t do it alone. The first, and perhaps most important challenge, was to assemble a support system through their cabinet to collectively ensure their vision was inclusive, realistic, and actionable. They assembled the group with thought, care, humility, and an enthusiasm to lift up others.

What makes Audrey and Jordan Daniel so special, is their consistency performing at a high level and also trusting their incredible classmates to share in the work. Day after day, as role models to both their fellow students and our staff, they showed up, and while uncertain about what would be around the corner, they were determined to make the best of any curveballs that came their way. I recall a meeting where they humorously expressed a desire to get parody t-shirts made with the “Friends logo” with the word “Pivot” in place of the famous “F-r-i-e-n-d-s.” They both have a knack for intelligently finding the humor and positivity where possible, recognizing we all need to smile during these difficult times.

Audrey and Jordan Daniel tirelessly advocated for their classmates. Every interaction, every meeting, was focused on reframing the many challenges as opportunities to learn and grow, but most importantly to support their fellow classmates. Fuqua is better because of their leadership.”

Steve Misuraca
Assistant Dean


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