Here’s a talk with Steven Ma, a student at Duke Fuqua pursuing a career in the healthcare sector. Read on for Steven’s thoughts on the Duke experience, and don’t forget to check out his blog, From Bench to Board. Thank you Steven for sharing your story with us!
This interview is the latest in an Accepted.com blog series featuring interviews with current MBA students, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at top MBA programs. We hope to offer you a candid picture of student life, and what you should consider as you prepare your MBA application.
Accepted: We’d like to get to know you! Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? What’s your favorite non-school book?
Steven: I was born in China but spent most of my life, and all of my professional life, in the US. I studied biology in undergrad at Oregon State University and graduated in 2010. One of my recent favorite books is Billion Dollar Molecule by Barry Werth.
Accepted: What is your favorite thing about Duke? Least favorite thing?
Steven: My favorite thing about Duke is its ambition. Fuqua is a relatively young business school compared to its peers. It focuses on developing students’ individual passions, whatever they may be, and encourages students to pursue diverse goals. For example, I’m currently on a team participating in the National Cancer Institute/Avon Foundation Breast Cancer Startup Challenge and the support we’ve gotten from the faculty here has been phenomenal. Duke is also building its global presence by opening campuses around the world, including China, UAE, Singapore, just to name a few. Duke is very global and I feel fortunate for the opportunity to learn and grow as a leader here.
There really isn’t anything to complain about Duke. I guess if I thought really hard I’d say that parking can sometimes be difficult and that there is no dinner at the Fuqua cafeteria.
Accepted: Do you have an internship lined up for the summer yet? If so, what role did Fuqua play in helping you secure that position?
Steven: I’m currently in the recruiting process for the summer internship, and will begin interviewing in the next few weeks. Fuqua has been instrumental in attracting the leading health care companies to campus and for establishing strong alumni relationships at these firms.
Accepted: Are you involved in any Fuqua clubs? How central to student life is club involvement?
Steven: I’m currently on the cabinet for the Health Care Club and have participated in the Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Club, Outdoors Club and Tennis Club events. Fuqua is very student-run, so club experiences have been central to my MBA experience. Along with a handful of classmates, I helped to organize Fuqua’s annual Health Care conference this year and it was very fulfilling to serve the student body and take ownership of our educational experience.
Accepted: What are your post-MBA plans?
Steven: My post-MBA goal is to work in a commercial role at a biotech or pharma company within a leadership rotation program.
Accepted: Can you recommend a nice spot to study on or near campus?
Steven: The Fox Center at Fuqua is a fantastic place to meet and study. It has got big windows with lots of light, so it feels very warm in the winter, even when it’s 10 degrees F outside.
Accepted: Can you tell us more about your blog? Who is your target audience? What do you hope they’ll gain from your blog?
Steven: My blog is entitled, From Bench to Board, and my goal is to help folks who are interested in transitioning into the biotech and pharma industries. I blog about my Duke MBA experience and how it has aided in my transition, so it should be helpful for anyone who is interested in the life sciences industry. I hope that by sharing the books and experiences that have helped me along the way, I can also help many more make the transition.
For one-on-one guidance on your b-school application, please see our MBA Application Packages. For specific advice on how to create the best application for Duke see our Duke Fuqua 2014 MBA Essay Questions & Tips.