Business Week this week interviews Duke Adcom Director Liz Riley Hargrove. The principles shared are common to all good schools, but also give a current sense of what Fuqua is “looking for.” As BW summarize it: “applicants with a propensity for teamwork who are ‘leaders of consequence.'”
Admissions-relevant highlights are extracted here:
Can you describe the Duke culture?
“It can be defined as a collaborative leadership culture. The foundation of our program and the day-to-day learning experience has often been described as “Team Fuqua.” Most of what the students will do in their MBA program will be done in some sort of team dynamic. But we also expect in this environment that they will take risks and hone their leadership skills.
“Students are involved in many aspects of the administration and running of the school: serving on the admissions committee, preparing first-year students for the job-search process, serving on the curriculum committee. Really, if you choose to enroll at Fuqua, you’re accepting partnership status. And that’s a partnership that I think differentiates Duke from a lot of other business schools—the amount of responsibility and impact that students are able to have here.”
Who wouldn’t be a good fit for Duke?
“This could be a really tough environment for people who aren’t used to working in teams. If you have perfectionist, individualistic tendencies, this could be a very frustrating experience. We expect our students to work in teams with their classmates to solve problems, and we expect that they’ll negotiate through conflict and difficult conversations.”
What are some common mistakes people make in the interview?
“In many instances, the students who don’t do well in their interview haven’t done their research to understand why they want to attend Duke. And oftentimes, instead of answering the questions, they’ll drive the interview or frame every response with what they want the interviewer to know. Have a good understanding for the story that only you can tell.
“It’s critical that your interviewer walk away understanding three key concepts: why you want an MBA, why you want one from Duke, and what you hope your contribution will be.”