Impact of the Duke MBA on My Thinking and Life is Profound

Two years ago, I was studying for my GMAT, and trying to decide which executive MBA programs to apply to.  Ultimately, I ended up choosing Duke’s Fuqua School of Business.  I finished with my coursework in December, and am now working towards finishing my concentration.

The impact of the Duke MBA on my life has been, in a word, profound.

The Impact of the Duke MBA on my Thinking and Outlook Towards Life

  • Leadership
  • Business Principles
  • Time Management
  • Getting Things Done
  • Eye Opening


I’ve always been inclined towards leadership in all aspects of my life.  Fuqua has a very strong focus on leadership, and on accepting people into the program who are and want to be leaders of consequence.  In fact, this is one of their guiding principles.

Business Principles

I have always been curious about why executives at corporations make particular decisions that seem to have absolutely no basis in rational behavior to the casual observer.  Now I understand why certain decisions are made.  It has also occasionally been entertaining to get first-hand real-life exposure and demonstrations of these same concepts in my current career.  I can honestly say that after running a simulation in Management OPS, I have seen a real-life bullwhip happening, and the unintended over-ordering of systems, and piles of hardware that it generated.  I also know how to prevent that from happening again in the future.

Time Management

Time is always at a premium in my life.  Studying for 15-25 hours per week while working full time with four kids certainly had a very real impact on my time management skills.  I could probably write a book on all of the tips and tricks that I’ve learned.

Getting Things Done

The most important things in life get done.  The rest don’t.  This is a corollary to the time-management discussion, but it is about priorities.  I found that the most important things in life got done while I was in school.  The things that were not as important simply did not happen.

Eye Opener

The Duke MBA opened my eyes to other cultures, and to other businesses, and other way of doing business.  It helped me to understand that not everyone is like me, and that is okay.  It is also okay – great even- to be me, with my views on the world, the workplace, and the environment.

I could probably go on for days about the impact of the Duke MBA on every aspect of my life, but I think you get the idea.

What about you?  What have you done, that has an impact on your life?  Have you pursued an MBA, and what did you learn?

Next – My Amazing MBA Experience at Duke University