Ask a Fuqua Student, part 2

It’s hard to believe that the first installment of ‘Ask a Fuqua Student’ was written last September, both from a time perspective and that I felt I could speak intelligently about the program after one month!  Now that we’re 2/3rds of the way through, I’m pretty sure I’ve got a handle on what’s what (although I’m sure at least one fellow classmate will be along shortly to disagree…)

Of course, these are all just my opinions, I don’t speak for anyone at Fuqua, and if any of my answers conflict with official statements from the business school, the Fuqua staff answer is correct.  Here are the questions I’ve received via email in the last month, both from prospective students and enrolled CCMBA’ers from the incoming 2011 class:


-  Can I use a Mac for the program?

Yes.  About 1/4 of the the CCMBA class uses a Mac; they also seem to be standard issue to the professors.  However, there are some software programs/Excel plugins that are Windows-only.  Thus, you’ll probably need a copy of Fusion or Parallels installed on your Mac (or Bootcamp).

-  Do I need to buy Windows/Microsoft Office?

No, Duke has a site license with Microsoft where you can download Windows 7 and MS Office.

-  Does Fuqua support the use of iPhone/Blackberry/Android?

Fuqua email is done through Outlook Web Access/Microsoft Exchange.  Any phone that can access Exchange servers directly should work, although you may have to set it up yourself.

-  Are there any CCMBA spouse support groups?

The class of 2010d has a Facebook group where spouses have met and coordinated activities, though I wouldn’t necessarily call it a “support group”.  For the Class of 2011 and beyond, a similar group can be found here.

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Ask a Fuqua Student

Greetings prospective Executive MBA students!

It looks like there are at least a few of you out there that are looking for information about the Cross Continent MBA program or Duke/Fuqua in general, and you eventually make your way here.  Cool.

In the comments section, leave a question you have about the program and I’ll pass them along to some classmates to get a wide range of answers.  The intent here is to talk more about the program experience, not to answer specific questions related to admissions or other info easily found on the Duke website.  There are plenty of great books and highly qualified admissions consultants out there that can answer questions about GMAT scores, essays, etc.

Note:  Standard disclaimers apply…none of us work for Fuqua, comments are the only the opinion of whomever expresses them, this doesn’t constitute any guarantee for admission, etc.


1.  $120k is a significant amount of money for an MBA.  What is it about the Cross Continent MBA program that makes it worth this price tag?

  • Coming from Real Estate, I’m definitely a non-traditional MBA student!  An MBA was part of my personal growth plan when I moved to Russia, and the Cross Continent MBA is a realization of that goal.  From a professional standpoint, I look to improve my skill set and increase my business network. The majority of my working career has been in Russia, so I look to the Duke MBA to solidify my position in the U.S. business community as well as providing myself with additional tools and confidence in the workplace.  That alone will be well worth the investment.  - Bob Aubrey, Real Estate, Russia
  • $120K is a significant amount of money, but it is not much more than most EMBA programs at any top 10 school.  I am paying the premium for several reasons.  I am paying for Duke’s brand.  I am paying for a program that gives me more international exposure then any program on the market.  Most importantly, I am paying for a global cohort of individuals in my class.  The diversity of experience in my classmates is important to me and no other program out there gives me this kind of diversity- even programs I researched located in other countries. – Marisa Eddy, Consultant, United States
  • You can get this MBA from anywhere in the world, you aren’t tied to a specific city, region, or country while in the program.  You will also gain international competence.  I’ve already begun to look at the world with a different set of eyes. – Wasim Al-Abed, Wireless Telecommunications, United States
  • I was originally considering going to a full-time program.  Given that tuition and expenses for full time programs are comparable–and I’m still getting paid a salary for 2 years–the cost wasn’t as hard to swallow.  The ability to keep working and progressing in my career, while also traveling the world while learning, is the perfect combination.  - Adam Ball, Finance (Entertainment/Media), United States

2.  How do you plan on financing your education?  How quickly do you plan on paying of this debt?  Do you believe that your increase in salary after graduation will be worth such a hefty initial investment?

  • Unfortunately, my company is providing no additional time off or financial support. However, one of the advantages of living in Russia is a lower cost-of-living, so I will be able to pay for tuition out of salary and savings over the next 16 months. In terms of being “worth it”, this degree gives me career flexibility, which is priceless.  Before entering the program, I was being pigeon-holed by my boss and “squeezed” on compensation. This trend has reversed substantially in the last several months since I started the program.  - Bob Aubrey, Real Estate, Russia
  • I’m financing the tuition costs through student loans. I plan to pay the loans off within a 5 – 7 year period. Once I factored in the difference in graduating salary between several schools, the Cross Continent MBA was a calculated risk that I was willing to take. – Wasim Al-Abed, Wireless Telecommunications, United States

3.  Although Duke has just 1 MBA degree, will it be correct to say that the professors don’t take a Cross Continent MBA program as seriously as they take the regular MBA? I mean would it be like a second class MBA?

  • The difference between the programs is not in the quantity of material or quality of instruction, just the program delivery.  A co-worker of mine is currently going through the Wharton EMBA program, and her stories about the material and workload aren’t any worse than mine, just different. – Randy Zwitch, Financial Services, United States