Meet Duke Fuqua’s MBA Class Of 2025

Sometimes, it’s hard to explain it. A school just gives you a feeling. This place seems different, you think. The energy – it’s real. The people – they’re like you. It’s a culture, a spirit, a purpose – and once you experience it, you want to be part of it.

Four years ago, Mridang Lodha was a successful entrepreneur in New Delhi. And then he was exposed to Team Fuqua. From there, it all fell into place. He moved across the world – and gave up two years – to be part of Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. Now a McKinsey consultant in Seattle, Lodha admits that it is hard to put the Duke Difference into words. In the end, he says, “Duke made me fall in love with myself again.”

“I loved the diversity that the admissions committee worked hard to bring in,” adds the ’22 grad. “I appreciated studying in a small college town allowing domestic and internationals to mingle. Most importantly, I loved the sense of “collective success” – the success of one was success of us all and people taking out time to support each other.”


The heart of Fuqua’s appeal is its mix of IQ EQ, and “DQ.” Here, IQ translates to intelligence, while EQ – Emotional Quotient – refers to self-awareness, self-control, and the social and interpersonal awareness to read people and situations. However, Team Fuqua takes it further with DQ – Decency Quotient. DQ is a leadership style grounded in integrity, transparency, humility, and mutual respect – a focus on looking out for others and doing what’s best for them.

To do that, students hold each other accountable for modeling six Paired Principles in word and deed. When Andrew Fischer, a ’23 grad and P&Q Best & Brightest MBA, was evaluating business schools ,he focused on three elements: “elevated community, collaboration, and leadership development.” Every time he met with the Fuqua community, he notes that he felt respected and heard.

“I saw that leaders at Fuqua embraced curiosity. With that, I felt that Fuqua’s learning environment promoted true collaboration in academics and in culture…I also saw the work of COLE, the Coach K Center for Leadership and Ethics, as deeply aligned with my values. Knowing that I thrive in team learning environments, I felt deeply drawn to Team Fuqua. School leadership elevated IQ+EQ+DQ…not only in words but in actions; leadership by example made the decision to come to Fuqua an obvious one for me.”

2025 MBA Orientation


Now, Monserrat Etcheverry is following in Fischer’s footsteps. A former CRM and direct marketing head for a Chilean retailer, she was drawn to the Team Fuqua culture – a place where she says “leadership permeates every activity, person, and student in the university, setting.” Her 2025 classmate, Papa Kwabena Anim, is equally enthusiastic about what he has seen from his classmates thus far.

“Team Fuqua is absolutely not a slogan, it is real! The energy among the Fuqua admits is palpable and the commitment towards supporting everyone to succeed is unwavering. But what is most striking and reinforces my conviction that Fuqua is the only school for me is how everyone at the MBA genuinely embodies the core values of Fuqua—everything is so natural.”

Among teams, differences tap into wider perspectives and deeper experiences. You’ll find this diversity – backgrounds, careers, aspirations – across the Class of 2025. Take Kwabena Anim and Etcheverry. The former comes from the energy industry, where he helped bring electricity to 6,000 people in an African village. In contrast, Etcheverry takes pride in being a successful professional, student, and mother.

“I have been successfully managing the responsibilities of mothering two children, including my youngest, Franco, at just two months old. All the while, I have been studying with him in a baby carrier while applying to Fuqua and having a challenging job, which has been an immensely rewarding and demanding journey. Mastering these three realms of my life and now embarking on my Fuqua experience—crafting the next chapter of journey—fills me with immense pride and unwavering commitment to continued growth.”


This year, Team Fuqua also boasts several military veterans. Henry White, a West Point grad from Richmond commanded a Patriot Air and Missile Defense unit in the Middle East before joining Team Fuqua. Rebecca Grimesey graduated from nearby UNC and served as a US Air Force Special Operations Command. Her role: Intelligence Analyst.

“While deployed, I led an elite cell of intelligence specialists from the Department of Defense and civilian intelligence agencies. We first met at a forward-deployed location and quickly gelled into a highly functioning entity. We accomplished our mission and positively influenced the region’s security situation.”

Christian L. Bailey-Burke is a study in contrasts. At Harvard, he majored in Neuroscience before becoming a strategy consulting at Deloitte. Now, he is pursuing a dual MD-MBA. Elsa Victoria Treviño García started a venture capital fund, Toro Funds, that enabled 16 startups get off the ground.  At the same time, Gabrielle House spent a decade as a teaching. Most recently, she oversaw the EMERGE Fellowship, which supports first generation students in admissions to highly selective colleges.  Her classmate, Zelda Hart, followed a similar path heading up development at I Grow Chicago, a nonprofit supporting everything from restorative justice to urban farming.

“I grew the budget from less than $200,000 to more than $2 million [over five year],” she tells P&Q. “My proudest moment of this journey was the groundbreaking for our children’s playground. After a multi-year capital campaign to renovate five vacant lots and three homes, the impact of my efforts finally struck me when residents and stakeholders held hands and vocalized their dreams for this new space. Neighbors shared the pain of going so long without a safe place on their block for their children to play To them, this groundbreaking represented hope. On that day I felt the greater significance of all tasks that made it possible and my role in the broader community effort.”

Broll at The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University in Durham, NC on Tuesday, April 18, 2017. (Alex Boerner)


Suvd Tserenkhuu certainly made an impact in her native land. At the Mongolian Central Bank, she developed its currency trading platform. In a hospitality tech startup, Devanshu Ganatra, who earned his black belt when he was nine, led a 20-member team and turned a $1.5-million-dollar monthly deficit into a breakeven proposition. Despite being on the job for less than a year, Ross Fly was entrusted with developing and rolling out his company’s leadership training curriculum – one that reached “thousands of frontline leaders across five continents in over a dozen languages.” Between Stefan Nieuwoudt’s startup and employer, he has been making Africa a better place to work and live.

“Over the last three years, the company I founded has assisted over 1,500 youths to be upskilled by delivering accredited education and then finding them permanent jobs in structured workplace environments,” he writes. “In addition, my employer, which has a focus on water sustainability has saved enough water (over the last four years) to supply a million individuals with enough water to meet their basic needs, maintain good health, and sustain themselves for a period exceeding six years.”

That’s not the only continent where Nieuwoudt can share some great stories. “I lived in Australia for a year and sold all I had with some friends to buy a van (to sleep in) and cycle from Brisbane to Cairns. En route, we met cassowaries (survived!), savored endless mangoes, coped with scarce showers (those single years!), and triumphantly swam by the Barrier Reef. An audacious year Down Under, a pedal-powered escapade, quirky camaraderie, fruity feasts, shower scarcity, and reef revelry – all uniquely us!”


Ross Fly, an “avid rock and ice climber” is equally adventurous, having hit 13 states and Greece to pursue his passion. Now a dual degree student who began pursuing his Master’s in Environmental Management last year, Fly admits to being struck by the “impact-orientation of his classmates thus far.

“I am blown away by how many people I have met who are actively pursuing non-traditional post-MBA careers because they know these paths will enable them to have the greatest impact on the issues they care about—whether those issues focus on education, the natural environment, social justice, poverty, or some other passion. Being surrounded by people with not just diverse incoming careers but diverse outgoing aspirations both excites and inspires me. For prospective applicants, I’d recommend checking out The Fuqua Show podcast on Spotify for fascinating conversations with some of these students.”

Fly himself has already developed a serious of daily measures to ensure a similar impact. “Am I building close relationships with classmates and faculty? Am I taking risks that will push me to grow and learn? Am I challenging my ideas and thoughts with new ways of thinking? If I look back at the end of my time at Fuqua and can say I consistently answered these questions affirmatively, then I will consider my experience a success.”

When it comes to a successful two years, Rebecca Grimesey is using a similar yardstick, focusing on friendships and learning over partying and job offers. For Devanshu Ganatra, nothing short of personal transformation could be deemed a success.

“I would count the next two years of my MBA to be successful if I am able to push myself out of my comfort zone at every stage and significantly raise myself up from where I was before as a person—physically, emotionally, academically, and professionally, he writes. “I want to do this daily and constantly. I also want to be able to build relationships with people who become my cheerleaders for the future, and also have a small group of people who make me feel at home in this amazing foreign country and become my friends for life.”

Duke Fuqua’s MBA program is among the first business schools to announce they will accept scores from applicants who took the new, shorter versions of the Graduate Management Admission Test and Graduate Record Exam. Courtesy photo


The best friendships are based on common values that create a common language. The foundation is empathy, reliability, openness, and candor – celebrating successes as much as being there through rough patches. These qualities are also found in the Paired Principles, the values that define and guide the Fuqua community. They are comprised of Authentic Engagement, Supportive Ambition, Collective Diversity, Impactful Stewardship, Loyal Community, and Uncompromising Integrity. On the surface, some of these pairs seemingly contradict each other. Just as opposite poles magnetically attract, the Paired Principles feed off of each other, making each student better along the way.

Among the 12 Fuqua students chosen for this year’s Meet the Class, there was at least one who had selected each of these principles at least once.

The most popular one was Supportive Ambition, defined simply as ‘Your success is my success.’ It is creating, in the words of Devanshu Ganatra, “an environment where everyone supports and uplifts each other, creating a positive culture rather than engaging in cut-throat competition.” The principle resonated with Ganatra when he heard a story of how two roommates helped each other through an interview – despite competing for the same job.

“I want to be able to spend my time at Fuqua in the same way—being extremely ambitious, but also taking my peers along and helping them grow—whether it’s through introductions to my network, sharing interview tips and resources, conducting mock interviews, or providing genuine constructive feedback. The “supportive ambition” philosophy to me is to have a stake in my peers’ success and thus contribute towards making it happen.”

Next Page: Interview with Russ Morgan, Senior Associate Dean

Page 3: Profiles of 12 Members of the Class of 2025

Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.