See You @ High Flyers

Imagine it is the year 2022 and you have just received your invitation to the “Duke CCMBA Class of 2012 Reunion”.  Shooters has been converted into an oxygen bar named “High Flyers”.  The invitation reads:

Dear CCMBA 2012 Alum,

As the MBA class that has the highest net worth and social capital in the world, we humbly invite you to return to Durham, North Carolina on the evening of May 5, 2022 for a 10 Year Reunion. 

The Fuqua team looks forward to welcoming you home for this event.


Malcom Riley – Dean

Fuqua School of Business


Fast-forward to May 5, 2022.  The High Flyers wait staff is helping prepare the room for the exclusive private event that Duke is holding.  Security is at its peaks due to the high profile crowd that will be attending.  Sandra and Yasmine can’t help but chat with Brad the bartender about all the excitement.

Let’s listen in to what they’re saying…shalllllll weeee!

Sandra: “Yasmine, you know what this event is tonight right?”

Yasmine: “I heard it was a class reunion, but I’ve never seen so much hoopla over a class reunion before.”

Sandra: “It’s a reunion alright, this is the Duke CCMBA 2012 class.  Apparently the cumulative net worth of everyone in the room is 10% of the world’s overall net worth.  People like Abe Kim who owns the Uncle Abe’s coffee chain that bought out Starbucks.  Nick Sarraf, the guy that created the Nu-phone.  Talk about revolutionary…it’s hard to believe we ever had to carry a phone with us rather than just having the chip implant.”

Brad  chimes in:  “Hey ladies, what’s all the chatter about?  Don’t tell me you two are excited to see Lady A tonight?”

Sandra squeals:  “WHATTTTTTTTTT???!!!!  THE Lady A is coming?  I love Ayisha Jeter!!!  When she took over the O Network I just knew it was going to be huge.  Who was that lady that she replaced that used to be a big deal?  Oprah or something?”

Brad: “Yeah, yeah she’s great and all, but she’s not the reason for all the security.  You know Ben Brooks is coming right?”

Yasmine: “PRESIDENT Ben Brooks?  So those guys in the black suits outside are Secret Service?”

Brad: “Yup, that’s right.  Apparently he’s flying Air Force 1 down here for the event.  A lot of the classmates in the Duke CCMBA 2012 class are big world players you know.  There’s this guy named Tim Krysiek is big in the oil business.  He made a deal with Russia to get in the market early when everyone thought it was still too risky.  Man did that pay off.  He used some of the money to invest into a real estate investment with another classmate, Edan Amar.  You ever heard of Casino Island in Qatar?”

Sandra: “Isn’t that the man-made island that Qatar built right before the Olympics were held there?”

Brad: “Yeah it is.  It’s shaped like a roulette wheel with the casino in the middle of the island and the housing developments rotate red & black streets all the way around.  There is a cruise ship that goes around the island 24 hours a day to look like the roulette ball.  Pretty cool because you can make bets on where passengers will ask to stop next while you’re at the hotel bar.  Absolutely genius.”

Sandra: “Ohhh that reminds me, isn’t one of the women coming the one who put on the Qatar Olympics?”

Yasmine: “Fatma Al-Ghanim is coming?  You know she is the one who is doing the first inter galactic games on the moon?  I heard she did a reception with all of the world leaders, including President Brooks, on the International Space Station.”

Brad: “I hadn’t heard that, but it doesn’t surprise me.”

Sandra: “Guys I just found the guest list.  Shaliz Afshar is going to be here….ughh…I’m going to have a heart attack.  I love her!  I remember when she was on CNBC and I have followed her fashion blog every day since…forever!  She was just at the Milan fashion week with Anna Winters and I heard they are talking about starting their own line.  If they do I think I will need a new job so I can afford to buy EVERYTHING they make.”

Brad: “You ladies and the fashion.  I’m all about Brad Dubinsky.  He’s the guy that does the “F16 Instructional Videos”.  That stuff is awesome.  He goes up in an F16 and teaches you stuff like algebra at Mach 3 speed!  It’s so cool.  I used his course for Accounting and Professor Schipper gave me a perfect score.”

Yasmine takes a hit of oxygen and tries to calm herself down.  She nervously looks at Brad and Sandra and says: “You guys, this Duke CCMBA Class is seriously the best group of people in the world.  They all went to Duke in the same class?”

Sandra: “Yeah, I know.  Hard to believe right?”

Fade back to present.

Wow…I don’t know about you guys but I can’t wait for that day!  What’s even more amazing is that I believe that when that day comes, we’re all going to shocked at not just the accomplishments that Sandra, Brad, and Yasmine talked about here, but about all the other ones I didn’t have time to list or vision to foresee.

But guess what.  That day may not come at all if the Annual Fund isn’t there.  The Annual Fund isn’t just used for paying salaries or buying books.  It’s used for things like newsletters, reunions, regional networking events, and education events.

So if you are like me, and you believe that the 10 Year Duke CCMBA 2012 Reunion is going to be an epic experience to come together again with people that have changed the world, help make that happen.  You can still donate/pledge to the 2012 Class Gift campaign all the way up to May 8.


Let’s get ready for our practice run at Shooters in a few days, and get those donations in so we can have a great reunion!

Get The Most Out of Your MBA

So here we are, half way through our Duke Cross Continent journey, and at this point we know what to expect when The Box comes or what Finals week looks like during a busy work week.  We know how much we enjoy Residencies and team meetings during Distance.  So we have been posed with a question from other MBA hopefuls to find out what are some ways to get the most out of your program.  Here are a few tips that our Duke CC-MBA 2012 class has compiled and my best attempt to give some advice on how to put them into practice.

Tip #1 – Always say YES when faced with a new opportunity. – from Debbie Barabe – Throughout the MBA process and in your career you’ll often be presented with the chance to do something different and out of your comfort zone.  When you signed up for an MBA you more than likely signed up to add a skill set to your résumé.  So when opportunities come along to do something that is out of the norm for you, take them.  If you’re a CPA volunteer to do a Marketing case.  If you’re a Marketer, volunteer to do an Accounting assignment.  It’s only by saying “Yes” to a new opportunity that the new skill sets you’re aiming for with an MBA will be obtained.

Tip #2 – Gain perspective. Be open to new and different ideas. – from Kevin Wakefield – The Duke CCMBA program takes us to new and exciting locations, but if you go into each place looking to embrace the similarities you still only walk away with one angle.  By being open to new and different ideas you get to look at the same place with a new slant.  That same philosophy can apply to an organization.  If you only look at an organization from your team’s point of view or are only interested in following your processes you will not be able to approach the issues in the bigger picture.  Instead, try to put yourself into a “foreign land” and look at each issue from the perspective of another team or even from your customers point of view.  By learning to think like this in your MBA program you can grow leaps and bounds in the work place.

Tip #3 – Make the most of the time spent with your classmates! – from Tyler Roehm – When we wrote our entrance essay we were asked to share what about our backgrounds would benefit other students.  One hundred fifty of us wrote an essay on that and Duke thought the answer was pretty good.  So when meeting your classmates and talking to them, make the most of that time and find out what some of those reasons are.  A conversation you have today about someone else’s work may be something that becomes a door to another possibility later on.  If nothing else you’ve gained another great friend in your MBA program.

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