Four Things That Make Fuqua Different

Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business gets its fair share if applicants every year. In fact, not a week goes by when we don’t see Fuqua on an applicant’s short list of MBA programs to consider. Given the school’s tight-knit community and knack for producing good grads, it’s not surprising that so many applicants think about spending two years there. What does surprise us, though, is that so few of those applicants really know the school beyond its obvious strengths. We always urge these applicants to go back and do their homework a bit more before they start crafting their Fuqua applications.

If you’re considering applying to Fuqua, ask yourself: How do you know if Fuqua really is a good fit for you? And, perhaps more importantly, how do you know if the Fuqua admissions committee will decide that you’re a good fit for the school? Today we look at four things that set Fuqua apart from other top-tier business schools:

Collaborative Leadership
Duke is focused most of all on collaborative leadership. Other than Kellogg and perhaps UCLA Anderson, few business schools can cite that as the program’s most distinguishing feature to the degree that Fuqua can. This breaks down as collaboration as embodied in “Team Fuqua” and the emphasis on student involvement across the educational experience, and leadership such as all business schools emphasize, but none in quite the same way as Duke with their “Leaders of Consequence.”

Expanding Reach
Fuqua also claims to be “rethinking the boundaries of business school” and as already discussed, has systematically broadened its reach both geographically, being the only school that has a firm presence in major centers around the world, and demographically, by offering compelling options to students in various phases of their careers and from different populations.

Leaders of Consequence
Duke has a stated goal: to create so-called “Leaders of Consequence” a phrase that we believe was coined by Dean Blair Sheppard around 2008, when he assumed leadership, and which has since been refined to “global leaders of consequence”. This “leaders of consequence” concept is so important that it comes into play within the Fuqua application essays. While a concrete definition is lacking, suffice it to say that Duke feels a leader of consequence is adaptable, down to earth, and ethical. As Dean Sheppard put it, they want to produce graduates “who can drink champagne with the rich and famous and can drink chai with those who that’s all they can afford.” In terms of an application, like other top schools, Duke’s admissions teams are looking for people who have made a difference in their jobs and in their communities, and who seek an MBA from Fuqua in their quest to make a real impact on the world in the future. See our discussion of the current essay questions below for more on the “leader of consequence” concept and how it plays into admissions at Duke Fuqua.

Open Interview Process
Fuqua strongly encourages candidates to travel to Durham and visit campus, and while you’re there, interview with a student. This Open Interview option is available only in the earliest part of the admissions cycle each year, usually starting in mid-September and running through October. Scheduling opens in August for these limited slots. You need not have your application completed in advance of the Open Interview; it is characterized more as an “evaluation” than an interview.

Today’s blog post was clipped from our Fuqua Annual Report, one of 15 guides to the world’s best MBA programs, available for purchase on our site. If you’re ready to start building your own application for Fuqua or other top business schools, call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today. And, as always, be sure to find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!