When you select an MBA program, you are not just choosing your learning environment, but are also making a commitment to a community. Each Thursday, we offer a window into life “beyond the MBA classroom” at a top MBA program.
In early September, approximately 2,000 students from all the graduate programs at Duke University participate in Campout in hopes of winning the right to buy one of the approximately 700 graduate student season tickets to the Duke men’s basketball team’s home games at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Undergraduates sit in different sections and have a separate ticket process. Campout is one big lottery, but over the course of about 40 hours, from Friday evening to Sunday midday, the numbers are whittled down through periodic checks. Monitors blow whistles to make sure that students are present—and awake—so as not to miss their chance to participate in the ticket lottery. More than 1,500 of the original 2,000 usually make it to the end and are entered in the lottery for the tickets.
Students typically participate in groups to increase their chances of collectively winning a few season tickets and then, if they are ultimately successful, divvy up the games among the team members (i.e., eight students may win four season tickets, so each will get to attend about half the games). Many of these groups also rent trailers and bring tables for beer pong and video game stations, and come armed with grills, drinks and music. “It’s like a long party,” a first-year student told mbaMission, “and it’s a great way to get to know students in other graduate programs.” Two other students we interviewed echoed her sentiments, emphasizing that the event represents an important opportunity to network, socialize and even date early in the year.
For in-depth descriptions of social and community activities at Duke Fuqua and 13 other top MBA programs, check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.