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Real Humans of Duke Fuqua MBA Class of 2022

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Best Uchehara, Duke Fuqua MBA Class of 2022

Hometown: Atlanta, GA
Undergraduate Institution and Major: Morehouse College, Biology
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): NA

Why business school? Why now?
During my medical school rotations, I became familiar with the incredible complexities of our healthcare infrastructure and the extent to which its inefficiencies create distress for patients, providers, and payers. While learning disease processes and treatment algorithms, I knew that my desire to provide holistic care to patients would be unsatisfied without a comprehensive understanding of the role of context (i.e. social determinants of health & healthcare policies) in the overall outcome of patients. I chose to attend business school because it provides an opportunity to learn about strategy and management at the institutional level, in order to more meaningfully impact the healthcare sector.

Why Fuqua? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
I chose Fuqua for a variety of reasons. Throughout the interview cycle, Fuqua’s value of community became very evident – from the handful of students/alumni who reached out to me to the admissions counselors who responded quickly to my questions and concerns. Since starting, the spirit of community, or “Team Fuqua” has continued to shape my interactions with peers, alumni, and faculty.

Secondly, I chose Fuqua because of its Health Sector Management Program, which offers immersive educational and extracurricular experiences for students interested in healthcare.

Lastly, I chose Fuqua because of its incredible network of students and alumni, and the opportunity to be challenged intellectually by peers and professors.

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2022?
We have an incredibly talented class at Duke! My experiences as a learner in the healthcare space have given me a unique understanding of the perspectives of patients and providers in the context of our healthcare system. I believe this perspective is important to consider when making decisions about healthcare policy.

Fun fact that didn’t get included on your application?
I enjoy reading sports commentaries, particularly op-eds predicting playoff outcomes for NFL and NBA teams. They’re usually very thoughtful and are often inaccurate and a great reminder of how bad we are at predicting the future.

Post-MBA career interests?
Healthcare management – I hope to be in a position in which I have the opportunity to care for patients both as a provider and as a strategic decision-maker with the ability to write and implement policies in a way that prioritizes efficiency and patient wellbeing.

Advice to current prospective applicants:
–One thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?
I really enjoyed my interviews. I had some fantastic interviewers who made me very comfortable. Interviews felt like a chat at a coffee shop with someone who I wanted to learn about. 

–One thing you would change or do differently?
I wish I talked to more current students. While I interacted with a few during and after my interview day, I could have invested more time in reaching out to students to learn more about their experiences at Fuqua and how to get involved. Because second-year students leave before the next matriculation period, it is important to maximize that network of students by having as many conversations as possible.

–Part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
I would have skipped the quant section of the GMAT. It was not fun at all and was, in fact, a very long 62 mins. On the bright side, it’s only 62 mins, and so my strategy was to tackle it first to get it out of the way.

What is your initial impression of Fuqua’s students/culture/community?
I have been pleasantly surprised at the pervasiveness of Team Fuqua and the extent to which Fuqua and each of its associated members – from the Dean to the students – seek to live out the values of Fuqua by fostering a collaborative and inclusive community.

One thing you have learned about Fuqua that has surprised you?
The incredible diversity of Fuqua continues to impress me. Since our first week, I have been blown away by the multidimensional diversity within our class –from race and age to nationality and work experience. Our robust class discussions bear testament to this diversity, and I learn so much each time I meet a new classmate.

Thing you are most anxious about in your first year?
I worry about striking a balance between coursework and extracurricular offerings at Duke and within the Durham community.

Thing you are most excited about in your first year?
Since attending basketball games at Cameron and traveling will likely remain off the table for the foreseeable future, my excitement mostly lies in developing meaningful relationships with members of my cohort in our social-distanced world.

Christina Griffith
Christina Griffith is a writer and editor based in Philadelphia. She specializes in covering education, science, and history, and has experience in research and interviews, magazine content, and web content writing.