MQM: Business Analytics Student Sharzad Abdollahi
“I have grown a significant amount as a leader from the start of the program. I can examine a problem or opportunity and identify deeper questions that will lead to more insightful solutions. Fuqua has also given me a better feel of the business landscape. This framework has propelled me to be a more strategic decision-maker.”

MQM: Business Analytics

Class of 2023

My Program Track:


Prior Education:

Arizona State University
Business Management, 2022
Scottsdale, AZ

Why I Chose Fuqua

I never thought I’d find myself coding or in an analytics program. The MQM program was a bold choice for me as I had almost no coding background, but after connecting with students and alumni, I fell in love with the culture, so I took a leap of faith. I knew Fuqua’s culture, people, and curriculum would enable me with the skillset and support system to deepen the areas of knowledge I needed to be a leader of consequence. I felt the curricular and extracurricular opportunities would allow me to develop the authentic leader within me. Ultimately, I believe the culture at Fuqua stood out to me because there are no expectations to fit a certain model—you can define how a leader looks.

Before Fuqua

Prior to the MQM program, I was a Project Management Intern at Northrop Grumman where I handled contracts through the cycle of proposal, contract execution, and delivery for domestic customers. I discovered a love for high-impact work, and this experience piqued my interest in the power of data-driven decision making.

After Fuqua

Performing high-impact work that ultimately lends itself to social impact is what drives me. I am still in an exploratory phase, and my future function and industry may change as I grow. I see myself making the most impact with my skillset and passion in the technology industry.

5 Places to Study on and off Campus

  1. UHill Triangle Coffee House: One of my favorite coffee shops in Durham. The coffee shop is quiet and has delicious tea drinks (and coffee for coffee lovers). There’s live music outside on weekends and with the sun shining, I look forward to doing my homework there.
  2. Duke Gardens: A must-see for anyone visiting Durham, Duke Gardens is also one of my favorite study spots when the weather permits. The views are unmatched and a study date with friends can turn into a picnic!
  3. Cloche Coffee: Another quaint coffee shop near campus with cute decor, charging station to last you the day, and great drinks to fuel your studying.
  4. Brodhead Center: Located at the heart of campus, Brodhead has great lunch or dinner options and quiet study spaces. Whenever you need a study break, just walk outside and take a look at the beautiful chapel.
  5. JB Duke Hotel: The hotel is next door to Fuqua, so this is the perfect study spot when you need a break from campus, but want to stay close.

My Favorite Professor

I absolutely adore Professor Michael Aguilar, who taught empirical economics analysis. He is witty, an expert in his field, and passionate about what he teaches and the students. His class was one of the most challenging classes I have taken, yet I loved just about every minute of it. He exuded passion during our lectures so I looked forward to every class—including exam days! Aguilar brought theoretical concepts to life and made the intangible tangible. He was always available to break down any topic and work with me until I felt confident or, as he says, “the lightbulb turns on.”  He engaged with students during class and allowed us to customize the course so we could learn in the best for way our learning needs. He always pushed me to dive deeper and taught me to ask better business questions.

MQM: Business Analytics Student Thomas Alberto Pena
MQM: Business Analytics

Thomás Alberto Peña

Class of 2023
MQM: Business Analytics Student Ujwal Sachdeva
MQM: Business Analytics

Ujwal Sachdeva

Class of 2023
Master of Quantitative Management: Business Analytics Student Junyi Zhang
MQM: Business Analytics

Junyi Zhang

Class of 2022
MQM: Business Analytics Student Alexandra Springate
MQM: Business Analytics

Alexandra Springate

Class of 2023