What is Bitcoin?

World governments are still struggling to understand bitcoin and its ramifications for the economy. Meanwhile, individual businesses are beginning to embrace bitcoin as it becomes more commonplace in the Middle East.

A company called The Pizza Guys in Dubai claims to be the first business in the United Arab Emirates to start accepting bitcoin. It began accepting the cryptocurrency in February.

Iran got its first Bitcoin exchange in 2013. Also in 2013, two entrepreneurs in Afghanistan performed what they said was the first bitcoin transaction in the country.

Meanwhile, the recent collapse of Mt. Gox, one of the world’s largest Bitcoin exchanges, led skeptics to question the viability of the cryptocurrency.

Duke University Fuqua School of Business professor Campbell Harvey discusses the basics of how the currency works, security concerns, and the future of bitcoin in the following video series.



Going Global with Your Education

012411_fuqua_dubai1075What is the benefit of studying abroad? Wouldn’t it be easier and more convenient for me to stay put here in Dubai and study global business?  After all, can’t I just go online to hear global perspectives?

French native Bertrand Guillotin, director of the international programs office at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business, shares his point of view in the following Q&A.

Q) What does international experience do for one’s resume?

Going to America still has a cachet associated with it.  Just look at the lists of global companies, largest banks or billionaires and see how many are American.  Making it in America implies higher performance, success and prestige.

Bertrand Guillotin, Director of International Programs at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business

Bertrand Guillotin, Director of International Programs at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business

Q) How does a student extract value from the international experience for recruiters?

You need to spell it out, especially if the recruiter does not speak global.  If you come to the table with an international background, you are ahead of the crowd (only 1% of Americans study abroad; 30% don’t even have a passport).  You need to unpack your international experience.  Research published in Harvard Business Review on the Global Mindset by Mansour Javidan shows that global minded managers handle ambiguity better (there is plenty of that in international markets, either you manage it or you don’t survive), solve problems faster, are more creative than others, show more tolerance and embrace diversity in a deeper way.  All of those attributes not only help global-minded managers differentiate themselves, but also yield a competitive advantage in our global world.


Applying to U.S. Business Schools from the Middle East

Guest Blogger: Lana Dajani, Fuqua's Regional Director in the Middle East

By Lana Dajani, former Regional Director in the Middle East

A True/False Exam

What do the GMAT, GPAs and VISA requirements have in common?

Well, the answer could be many things, but for the sake of this blog, these are three areas that frequently are on the mind of prospective students from the Middle East when contemplating business school. Here is a short true/false test that dispels some of the myths related to the GMAT, the required GPA for business school and the reality of VISA requirements:

1. My GMAT score defines my application.

Answer — FALSE. Standardized exams can be terrifying, difficult and can add a tremendous amount of stress to a person’s life. The same applies to the big, bad GMAT — the standardized exam for prospective MBA students across the world. Over the past three years, I have personally come across thousands of prospective students in the Middle East and roughly 9 out of 10 have expressed genuine anxiety over the GMAT exam. They are convinced that it is the one determining factor and that if they don’t score above 700, rejection is inevitable. In reality, it is one of many requirements that comprise the application. Admissions officers are equally interested in the quality of both your work experience and undergraduate education. Is it important? Sure. Candidates should take practice exams or sign up for a preparation course. Perhaps consider taking the exam a second time if you’re not satisfied with your score.

Oh, and a word of advice: do not ask for a waiver. I have been asked far too many times if Duke could waive the GMAT exam requirement. The answer remains a firm negative. Personally, I would be suspicious if a business school did in fact agree to waive the exam as a requirement because that would scream inconsistency and a potential lack of quality amongst the student body.