At Duke’s Fuqua School, the MBA education is built on an idea called “Team Fuqua.”
The idea centers on bringing out the strengths in others. And it all starts with the types of student that Fuqua recruits to be a part of its MBA class.
“We believe diversity is powerful and comes in many forms: geographical, gender, industry and functional backgrounds — just to name a few,” says Russ Morgan, senior associate dean for full-time programs at Fuqua. “We intentionally recruit a diverse cohort because we strongly believe they will learn from each other.”
That diversity is heavily integrated into the learning experience at Fuqua, which stresses team assignments that allow students to gain an appreciation for different strengths and perspectives.
“Because of that experience, our students and graduates meaningfully appreciate the power that lies in difference,” Morgan says. “They start measuring success not just by their own accomplishments but the success of others.”
At Fuqua, MBA students are taught foundational business skills across a variety of core academic areas. Students have the ability to customize their learning experience early with electives that align with their interests and career goals. The Fuqua program starts with an intense month of orientation and immersion in Fuqua’s Global Institute — a rigorous, hands-on program of three courses that emphasize leadership in a global society.
The remainder of the academic year is organized into four 6-week terms of MBA classes that each meet twice a week for 2 hours and 15 minutes. The term structure allows students to take a wide variety of courses and choose electives sooner, which can better prepare them for an internship down the road.
Fuqua students also have access to a variety of experiential learning opportunities that emphasize the idea of “Team Fuqua.” One example: the Fuqua Client Consulting Practicum, a program where small teams of students are paired with a company to solve a real problem the company is facing. The goal of the practicum is to create a collaborative and engaging learning experience, where students can apply their collective knowledge to solve existing and emerging challenges.
For those looking to start their own business, Fuqua offers the “Program for Entrepreneurs,” is a hands-on program that allows students to start new ventures while earning their business degree.
Fuqua seeks applicants who can demonstrate a keen sense of leadership. Fuqua Dean Bill Boulding like to call it “triple threat leadership.” It boils down to three major characteristics: IQ or intelligence, EQ or emotional intelligence, and DQ or decency quotient.
IQ is the most straightforward. Fuqua only seeks the most intelligent of the bunch. “Simply put, you must be smart,” Morgan says. “Duke is a rigorous academic program.”
EQ pertains to your ability to recognize, evaluate, and discern your own emotions and other’s emotions. “You need to be able to perceive and understand how other people are feeling,” Morgan says. “You need to have empathy.”
DQ can be summed up as how nice you are. Fuqua looks for applicants who can show they really care about others, Morgan says.
“You need to genuinely care about other people and want to do what is right by them.”
These characteristics ultimately contribute to the mentality of “Team Fuqua.” In the end, Morgan says, the motto is more than just symbolic nomenclature. It’s what sets Fuqua grads apart.
“We believe the Team Fuqua way of working isn’t just a nice concept, but ultimately a competitive advantage for our students,” he says. “After all, true innovation happens when very different people come together to work on a common problem and find a novel solution. Leaders who can meaningfully get the best out of a team are in high demand in all sectors of business.”