Duke MMS - Review in 2021, The Duke Fuqua Junior Development Program

Hey guys,

Background: Undergrad Non-Target Non-Business Major, 3.8 GPA, 760 GMAT

I wanted to write a review of the Duke MMS program since I noticed the last post on this subject was in 2017 which was 4 years ago. I am about to be graduating in the Class of 2021. I currently have an offer from Accenture in Consulting. Coming from a non-business undergrad program and wanting to get into consulting are what made me choose this program. I only applied to MM/MMS programs in the US because I was really set on consulting rather than finance. In the US this really boils down to either Michigan Ross's MM or Duke Fuqua's MMS. I have no regrets about choosing Duke and overall, considering what it has to offer to people who want to transition into business from a non-business undergrad, I do think it's worth it (especially if you receive a big scholarship).

Pros:

-Duke Fuqua MBA 1 Year Option (Accelerated MBA):

I believe this is a big selling point for this program. If you're a fan of Formula 1, I would think of the Fuqua MMS as similar to a junior driver development program. For example, with the Red Bull F1 team they have a Red Bull Junior Team where talent is trained and drivers are chosen to be promoted to their main teams. This is sort of like how the MMS program is to the MBA program. In my class, students were invited to join the 1 Year Accelerated MBA after the MMS program to continue their education. The accelerated 1 year MBA is only open to MMS and MM/MiM graduates and was created to allow Duke MMS graduates as well as EU MM graduates to receive a Duke MBA later down the road. If you do well in the MMS, you may straight out be invited to take the accelerated 1 year Duke MBA immediately. I know of some from my class who accepted the offer, and some like me who decided to gain work experience before returning for my MBA. This essentially converts your MMS into the 1st year of a Duke MBA.

If you decide to gain work experience instead, which is what I'm choosing to do before enrolling in an MBA, then when you do apply later you will be treated with preference in admissions. You were already accepted by a Fuqua admissions committee before. You are an alumnus after all, and the accelerated MBA was created with the MMS program being a feeder program in mind. Now of course you still have to do well in the MMS program to prove that you are worthy (keep your GPA at or above the average of the MBA program).

The tuition cost of the MMS is 55k and the Accelerated MBA is 86k with a total cost of 141k. This comes out to be about the same as the 2 year Duke Fuqua MBA tuition which is 140k.

-Duke Fuqua Network: Team Fuqua is really something special. People from the school care about each other and you can really feel the team Fuqua spirit. MBA students in the non-professional clubs are welcoming and it's easy to network with them and alumni.

-Faculty: Same faculty who teach MBA students (they alternate between programs based on quarters).

-Career Services: They try to do everything in their power to try to get you a job. Mostly making use of Duke Fuqua alumni already at companies you're applying to, to write you a recommendation. Honestly with the hiring freezes and the COVID situation, I'm happy where I placed. I'm sure that if I hadn't taken this program it would be a lot harder for a non-business undergrad like me to break into consulting.

Cons:

-Speed of the Program: 10 months, 15 courses; ~6 week quarters (you'll be busy with EC on top of the pacing) 

-Time and Cost: This program was worth it for me because I came from a non-business major and it was difficult to place in consulting without this program. If you already have a US business undergrad you might be better off going to get experience in business and then applying to an MBA program. Granted, I know 2 friends from high school who went to Cornell Johnson's hotel school and Carnegie Mellon Tepper for undergrad and they're both struggling to find a job even now.

-Not taking the 1 year MBA option: This is where a lot of value can be gained from this program. Again, think of this as the 1st year of a Duke MBA

In my opinion with the 1 year MBA option, this program is worth it. Placements won't be the same as a Duke MBA straight out of the MMS, but do 3 years in consulting or finance and come back for the 1 year Duke MBA then reap the real rewards.

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Comments (18)

Mar 21, 2021 - 6:34am

Thanks for this! I just got an offer for the class of 2022 and I was skeptical whether to go to the US or not. Also, their employment report doesn't look that impressive and all the visa hassles is a put off. But it was reassuring reading your review.

  • Investment Manager in HF - Other
Mar 21, 2021 - 9:04am

Overall the program is fine, but you have to understand that Fuqua isn't the strongest in finance recruiting and their employment report reflects that. You'll see a pretty wide range of companies (from Amazon to UBS, to healthcare) including many smaller firms (or those with less of a "strong brand") and the majority of these are not the typical IB/PE opportunities. When looking at the employment report it does not seem to offer a leg up over undergrad recruiting (from companies or comp) but is a chance for someone who didn't go to a target or didn't land a great role to learn a bit about business and get a shot at recruiting from a good school. 

Mar 21, 2021 - 9:15am

For me, the program will help me switch from engineering to business/finance, come to the US on student visa and add the duke name to my CV.

I'm hoping and this is also what I'm not sure about, that I will get to work in PE/IB/HF (worse case scenario AM) after this program and also get sponsorship for H1B. But I'm not sure about how the situation is with visa and job so I'm also contemplating whether I should go to Canada. (I got offer from Ivey - top Bschool there).

  • Prospect in VC
Mar 24, 2021 - 5:44pm

You mentioned it is worth it if you get a lot of aid, would you say that most students get scholarships? And if yes how much typically? I'm thinking of applying next year, but 55k it steep

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  • Intern in HF - Other
Mar 24, 2021 - 10:56pm

I don't know if most students got scholarships but I was able to get half off ($27.5k). 

I know a handful of people who also received scholarships and the amounts I've seen range anywhere from $10-20k. I haven't seen anyone get as much $ as I was able to but it wouldn't surprise me if there were other people that got more $ than me. 

Mar 25, 2021 - 1:00am

I've seen people get 25-30k. But most common is 8-20k scholarships (mine is also in that range). Full scholarships are rare because it still has to be a money making machine for them. There are also some who didn't get any.

After you get the offer, you can petition for a higher amount. They'll send you a form and you have to write why you should get more.

I would suggest go for the MQM program instead. It's much better with higher employment prospects. It's also 15k more expensive but you can offset it with a scholarship and higher pay. A high gmat score usually helps get a better scholarship amount.

  • Prospect in VC
Mar 25, 2021 - 10:50am

I didn't do anything like that when applying to grad school, what reason could someone put? I just can't think of anything and "I'd really appreciate fewer loans" isn't very convincing an argument 

  • Intern in HF - Other
Mar 25, 2021 - 1:28pm

While you start off with a higher starting salary in the MQM program its ultimately because its a business analytics degree which will predominately lead to BO/MO type opportunities which may start with higher salaries but don't have the upside of IB/PE/HF/Consulting. I know a guy who got IB out of the MQM this year but the bottom line is that most of the skills you learn in that program aren't necessary to have careers in traditional finance roles and he likely would have been able to break in if he were in the MMS program.

If you want to be a quant/data scientist/data analyst do the MQM but the MQM degree is not going to add much more meaningful value if you want to work in Lev Fin, M&A, etc than the MMS. 

Mar 25, 2021 - 2:17pm
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