Fuqua School of Business

Q) Fuqua prides itself on cultivating a culture of engagement. Our students enjoy a wide range of student-led organizations that provide opportunities for leadership development and personal fulfillment, as well as an outlet for contributing to society. Our student-led government, clubs, centers, and events are an integral part of the student culture and are vital to providing you with a range of experiential learning and individual development experiences. Based on your understanding of the Fuqua culture, how do you see yourself engaging in and contributing to our community outside of the classroom?

Tip #1: Hint is in the Question

The first part of the question has clues on what to highlight in the essay: student-led clubs, events, and centers. You should always choose the experiential learning modules and leadership initiatives that would have an immediate impact on your post-MBA career.

Tip #2: Professional + Talent + Passion + Non-Profit + Global Experiential Learning

Not all your potential contribution has to be aligned with a post-MBA goal. Even though almost all engagements require some form of consulting, causes that you believe in can be found in Duke Fuqua’s student organizations.


Duke Fuqua MBA Essay (Short-Answer)

Q1) Why is pursuing an MBA the right next step for you?

Q2) What are your post-MBA career goals? Share with us your first choice career plan and your alternate plan.

Scenario #1: Maximized the career progression

Be careful how you structure this narrative as any form of exaggeration and misinformation could be easily recognized as most competing applicants also use a similar narrative.

Without an MBA, most applicants reach a team lead or equivalent position in 3-5 years. For those who switched jobs 2-3 times, they could maximize their title with a Project Manager role, but the transition is likely to be in a start-up where the years of experience is not a restriction in taking over the managerial position.

The admission team recognizes the nuanced movements in your career. An unnecessary explanation is not required. Just a statement confirming the dynamics is sufficient.


The first long-form essay requires applicants to write 25 Random things about themselves.

Tip #1: Length of each item

When you are writing random things about yourself, follow the list form with sentences varying in 10 to 20 words. Even though the admission team encourages using only a few words if the reveal is self-explanatory, we would recommend, a format like:

<unique achievement/event> <additional context><what you felt>

25 Random Things Example

I went to the last Formula 1 race at Indianapolis. It is true - you can only experience sports in its truest form at a Stadium among real fans.

Sample Short-term Goals Essay – Technology to Consulting (100 Words)


Finance and consulting job function received the best remuneration –both crossing the $160,000 barrier, while Marketing/Sales were the lowest paid ($132,000) but had the third best representation (21%) indicating how job satisfaction played a major role in the post-MBA choice. Also, for Business Development/Sales role, the year-end bonus adds considerably to the total salary, just like Finance job function does.

Duke Fuqua MBA Salary by Function
Among the industries recruiting from Duke Fuqua, Finance had the best package with the signing bonus crossing $45,000, taking the total median salary to $171,250.

Duke Fuqua MBA Salary by Industry

Consulting and Consumer Goods industry offered the 2nd highest total salary – both offering $165,000 in post-MBA salary.

Reference: Duke Fuqua MBA Employment Report

Duke Fuqua MBA vs UNC MBAThe rivalry between UNC and Duke is not limited to College basketball; the competition as a favorite MBA destination is much fiercer. While the casual researcher favors UNC for the good-looking crowd, serious applicants should consider five factors: ranking, curriculum, location, class profile, and post-MBA jobs.


According to US News, Duke is at #14 while UNC is just behind at #19 for the best Business School. The surprise however was with the 2014 BusinessWeek ranking where Duke Fuqua was ranked #1 in the 2-yearly ranking, rising five positions from the 2012 position. In terms of ranking parameters, BusinessWeek considers Student Satisfaction and Employer Survey on equal weightage (45%), validating further on Duke’s edge over UNC, which was ranked #12th in the top 100 rankings.


UNC Kenan-Flagler MBA’s core curriculum is comprised of 13 core courses, majority of which (10) are completed during the first-year fall semester. The spring of second year is mostly devoted to elective courses with students getting the opportunity to pick from over 125 courses every year. The electives are clustered into 10 concentrations:...

Duke Fuqua MBA Essay Tips
2014-15 MBA Application Essays for Duke Fuqua School of Business have been published. There are three required short answer questions (50 words each), and two required essays: one is in a list format (2 pages), and the second essay is required to be completed in 2-pages or roughly 1000 words. There is also an optional essay to explain about any gaps in employment history or course performance, Academic Weaknesses or other information about recommenders or general weaknesses in the profile.

Required Short Answer Questions: Answer all three questions. For each short answer question, respond in 250 characters only (the equivalent of about 50 words).

Before answering any of the short answer questions, you should have a sense of what 50 words means. It is equivalent to 4 lines. Therefore, the answer to the short questions should follow the format that is seen in mission statements of the company. This requires concisely presenting your answers, and rewriting the answer several times to fit the word...

2014-15 MBA Application Essay Questions for Fuqua School of Business have been released. There are three required short answer questions (50 words each), and two required essays. The word limit for the required essay varies. First part is a list type question, and the page length can vary from 1 to 2 pages or 500 to 1000 words.

The second required essay question is a choice between two options:  one rephrased “Why Fuqua MBA” question, and another about one Fuqua principle that you find most resonance. The word limit is 2 pages or 1000 words for the required essay question. There is one optional question that offers the applicants with the opportunity to address any extenuating circumstances in their profile. The circumstances include Gap in Employment, Academic Weaknesses or other information about recommenders or general weaknesses in the profile.

Required Short Answer Questions

For each short answer question, respond in 250 characters only (the equivalent of about 50 words).

1) What are your short-term goals, post-MBA?
2) What are your long-term goals?
3) Life is full of uncertainties, and plans and circumstances can change. As a result, navigating a career...

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