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Real Humans of Duke Fuqua’s MBA Class of 2020

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As the MBA Class of 2020 prepares for its first semester on campus at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business, we at Clear Admit are excited to feature profiles from incoming students as part of the second in our ongoing series called the Real Humans of the MBA Class of 2020. Read on to learn more about Fuqua, why these students decided it was the right experience for them, and what they hope to get out of their two years there.

As an elite MBA program, Fuqua offers students the ability to tailor the curriculum to suit their individual professional needs. Students are only required to take 13 core courses, all but one of which are completed in the first year.

This allows students to get into their specialized work more quickly. When they get to this point, students at Fuqua can choose from 14 different concentrations and more than 100 electives. This is in addition to the various opportunities that students are provided to study abroad, gaining extra knowledge that can make them more marketable after graduation.

The Fuqua MBA program trains elite candidates who stand out in the job market. The school’s graduates regularly receive offers from top firms such as Deloitte, McKinsey, and Amazon. The top three industries pursued by graduates of the Class of 2017, the most recent class for which employment data has been published, were consulting (33 percent), finance (25 percent), and general management (20 percent).

To produce the best job candidates, Fuqua has to find the best possible students. With the Class of 2020, it did just that.

Notably, the entering Class of 2020 is more diverse than previous classes. Of the 440 incoming students, 42 percent are women, an 8 percent increase over the Class of 2019. The percentage of underrepresented minority students also increased by 5 percent, to 16 percent of the class. International students, though, make up a slightly smaller portion of the class, 38 percent, down a percentage point from the Class of 2019.

In terms of prior professional experience, incoming students come from 19 different fields. Unlike the Class of 2019, consulting makes up the largest sector of incoming students, accounting for 24 percent of the Class of 2020, up 6 percentage points year over year. Students with financial services work experience make up 22 percent of the class, a 2 percentage point decrease over last year, when they outnumbered all others.

Other popular pre-MBA fields include hospital/health care/health services (7 percent), information technology (5 percent), nonprofit/education/special organization (5 percent), and energy/chemical/gas (5 percent).

Although these numbers can tell quite a story on their own, they do not give a full picture of the students themselves. But have no fear. Our Real Humans of the Duke Fuqua MBA Class of 2020 features profiles of five MBA students entering the program. As you’ll see, the students come from a variety of professional and academic backgrounds and have assorted professional aims. They will talk about their backgrounds and their goals as well as why Fuqua was the best choice for them. 

Jonathan Pfeffer
Jonathan Pfeffer joined the Clear Admit and MetroMBA teams in 2015 after spending several years as an arts/culture writer, editor, and radio producer. In addition to his role as Contributing Writer at MetroMBA and Contributing Editor at Clear Admit, he was also a co-founder of the Clear Admit MBA Admissions Podcast. He holds a BA in Film/Video, Ethnomusicology, and Media Studies from Oberlin College.