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Jenkins MBA Team Wins Duke MBA Games for Second Consecutive Year

A team of Jenkins MBA students brought home the win at the Duke MBA games for the second year in a row, helping to raise money for the Special Olympics of North Carolina in the process.

By Jess Clarke

Capture the flag? Tug of war? A relay race? Unusual competitions for an MBA team.

And though the stakes weren’t high, winning was sweet for 10 Jenkins MBA students who participated in a fundraiser for Special Olympics North Carolina. 

The Poole College students beat Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business team by winning more events at a field day at Duke in April — and the Poole group raised $3,000 for Special Olympics. This is the second consecutive year Jenkins students have brought home the trophy for first place in Fuqua’s longtime Special Olympics fundraiser.  

Although it was a different kind of athletic competition for the Wolfpack, there was no lack of enthusiasm for the project, which the Jenkins MBA Student Association organized. Students raised the money in just two weeks by capitalizing on reliable Pack pride.

With a GoFundMe campaign and requests on social media and by word of mouth, “We appealed to people being Wolfpack strong to put a very community-oriented perspective on this,” MBA Student Association President Damanpreet Johal says.  

“The NC State Think and Do mentality is instilled in everybody here…in the support that we give to each other,” she says. “The network is so big, and everyone is so willing to help you.” 

Help came quickly, in donations from Poole faculty, staff, students and others. And in the volunteers who formed the Jenkins team, which reached its 10-person maximum almost immediately.  

This year, because of Covid complications and delayed planning, NC State and Duke were the only competitors. On event day, a pumped-up Jenkins team arrived with NC State swag for the Special Olympics athletes — and with Wolfpack spirit. “We definitely made an entrance,” Johal says. “Duke was shocked.”        

With five Special Olympians on the Jenkins team, the ultimate goal was “making sure that the special-needs athletes felt included and knew we were there for them,” she notes. 

The Olympians knew. 

“I love these MBA games. I look forward to being part of NC State’s (team) every year because I believe we will win. I can’t wait to be back next year and play with you again,” Special Olympics athlete Keke says. 

Another aim of the event was to solidify a partnership between Jenkins and Fuqua students. In the upcoming academic year, Jenkins’ MBA Student Association will organize networking events with MBA students at Duke and other North Carolina business schools. 

The Jenkins MBA Student Association has fundraisers each year. Johal worked with Special Olympics athletes in high school and as an undergraduate. Whatever the organization is, those activities connect NC State students with people off campus. 

“In the midst of final academic assignments, this was a very good opportunity to take a moment, appreciate what we have, step into the community and give back,” Johal says. “We want the Jenkins MBA program to be seen as a program that cares about and gives back to the community.”

Check out pictures from the event below:

The Student Association’s GoFundMe campaign for Special Olympics is still accepting donations. Visit