Beyond the MBA Classroom: Campout for Tickets at Duke Fuqua

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 business school.

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 36 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 usually participate in Campout in groups to increase their chances of collectively winning a few season tickets and then, if successful, divvy up the actual games among the members of the group (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.” Another first year echoed this sentiment, and selected Campout as the social highlight of his Fuqua experience thus far, describing for us the “huge tailgating atmosphere” and saying he had a “great time getting to know other students.”

For in-depth descriptions of social and community activities at Duke Fuqua and 15 other top MBA programs, check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.

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