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By: Susan Brown, Assistant Director of Admissions
What kind of applicant are we looking for in the Master of Engineering Management Program? There’s no single answer. We consider your academic record, test scores, recommendations, resume, and statement, but in today’s post, we thought we’d expand on those 5 qualitative aspects we introduce on the MEMP website. The ideal candidate may show many of these qualities, but all candidates should be open to developing these characteristics through the program.
Engagement in the classroom, extracurricular activities, or in industry
Strong academic performance is important to any graduate program, but we’re interested in what you do beyond studying. Do you regularly contribute to classroom discussion, and can other students count on you in group projects? Or are you a student-athlete, an extra-effort volunteer, or active in clubs within your university? Perhaps you’re a member of professional organizations or an award-winning team member at work? We seek a well-rounded class of students who are engaged in the program, and your previous activities give us a glimpse into the kind of student you’d be.
“[The skills I found most valuable were] communication skills, robust negotiation, and persuasive skills that I learned while being part of multiple MEM student bodies and clubs.” – Abdul Khan, MEM Class of 2012
Leadership in academic to professional settings
What kind of impact have you had? Whether it was a team, project, or program, your past experiences in taking the lead form the basis for your development at Duke. Our programs strive to develop future industry leaders that drive innovation and development.
“We want [students] to learn to leverage diverse opinions and approaches to develop solutions that are better than anyone could reach alone. Developing leadership skills requires not only an understanding of leadership principles and approaches but also opportunities for students to actually lead and receive feedback on their actions.” – Brad Fox, Associate Dean and Executive Director, Professional Masters Programs
Global Awareness the appreciation and understanding of the world’s varying cultures, economies, and political systems
Today’s engineers are expected to work with colleagues all over the world. It’s crucial to understand how others perceive problems and solutions. Employers value engineers who can contribute to and thrive in diverse teams, and with our global student body, we do too.
“I’ve had the opportunity to learn from and work with various students whose cultures span the world, and the program has provided me with the chance to get hands-on experience in working in a global environment.” – Dayna Cole, MEM Class of 2014
Emotional Intelligence, including interpersonal skills and teamwork abilities
Emotional intelligence has been a bit of a buzzword, but its underlying tenet makes sense: how well do you understand, interpret, and respond to the emotions of others? How do you contribute to teams? Working effectively with others is a valuable trait for engineers. Your skills in this area will be an important indicator of how well you’ll do in the program.
“Three traits that I consider most valuable are interpersonal skills, agility, and attention to detail. In today’s world, these traits are very important irrespective of the field of work. Effective communication and the ability to find opportunities to lead/innovate is the key to being a successful project manager.” – Ramya Ramaswamy, Class of 2013
Engineering Leverage the vision to see your engineering education as the foundation for your graduate studies
You spent four or more years becoming an engineer – and engineers are in demand. The majority of our students find success in technology roles that let them leverage their business knowledge while building on their engineering backgrounds. If you want to reinvent yourself with a business program, there are many other great programs that will help you do so.
“The whole MEM experience was amazing. Unlike other programs that push you to a particular field, it gives you the ability to explore diverse career paths. With so many options present, both in the coursework and in potential career opportunities, you have the freedom to choose a role that is suited to your liking. It was a period of a lot of introspection for me as I tried to figure out the right path. It allows you to leverage your background effectively.” – Femi Sokoya, MEM Class of 2013
How many of these traits can you show in your application? Are you ready to develop more? Ready to apply? We’re excited to meet you. Contact us with any questions, and create your application account and apply online! Below is the list of requirements that can be found on our website.
By: Susan Brown, Assistant Director of Admissions
This summer, we became the first department to launch a new application that Duke plans to roll out across the university. Being an early adopter had its ups and downs, and we’re still fine-tuning the system in preparation for our early 2016 deadlines, but we wanted to highlight a few features and tips for the new application.
• GRE Scores: If you’ve taken the GRE multiple times and gotten higher section scores on different test dates, this new feature is for you. Our new application allows you to list your highest GRE section score and the date it was obtained. As long as you report all results to Duke (institution code 5156), we’ll take your highest score in each section.
• Multiple Applications: Can’t decide which program is right for you? (See our video below.) Want to apply to several programs? The new system allows you to create multiple applications to several Duke programs in engineering, divinity, or the environment.
• Document Uploads: We require a resume, statement of purpose, transcripts and other associated documents, but the new system will not show the transcript uploads until you’ve submitted the application and paid the application fee.
• Status Updates: After you submit your online application, you’ll be able to check the status of your application materials via Duke’s Applicant Self-Service system. Applicants who submit their application should receive an email on how to create this log in within five business days. We recommend that you check periodically to ensure that all required application materials have been received.
If you have any questions while creating or submitting your application, please contact us. We’re happy to help!
• Master of Engineering Management (both campus and distance): firstname.lastname@example.org
• Master of Engineering (all disciplines): email@example.com
By: Bridget Fletcher Associate Director, Academic and Student Services
One of the things that students often struggle with when they first arrive on campus is figuring out which staff member to go to when they have a question or problem. In an effort to proactively manage this issue, I worked closely with current MEMer, Shirin Biswas to create a video introduction to each of our primary staff members.
The videos offer some background information on each staffer, including where they grew up, went to school, and other places they’ve worked. They also outline what they do for MEM and/or MEng and the various ways that they might interact with or help students. The videos were shot at different locations across campus and all around Durham in order to allow incoming students to see some of the place they are about to call home.
The most challenging (and the most fun) video to shoot was for Assistant Director of Student Services, Lorelle Babwah. As an avid cyclist, Lorelle wanted to be filmed while riding her bike. We made it work, but there were a few crashes along the way!
You can view the videos here:
La Tondra: http://youtu.be/HytH_R5hSKk
The Duke MEM program has been visiting China each May for the past three years. Our visits are with admitted students, so the focus is on pre-arrival programing, rather than recruitment. We typically meet with 10-15 students in Beijing and 15-20 students in Shanghai. We hold one-on-one conversations with each student to give them an opportunity to ask us questions about MEM, Duke, Durham, the US, the job market, really anything! Some common questions are about whether to complete the program in 2 or 3 semesters, how to stay safe on campus, how to avoid bed bugs, how to navigate the US party culture, and whether or not they will need a car. These are not questions we would expect to get my email, so the in-person visits allow students to ask about things that might be worrying them, but they wouldn’t otherwise ask.
We also hold group sessions in each city, which typically feature a couple of current students as well as alumni. These sessions allow the incoming students to get a student’s perspective on the program and an alumni perspective on how the program has impacted their career. We also provide the students with suggestions and materials for summer preparation. We encourage the students to be thinking about preparing to use English on a daily basis, practicing networking, getting their resume and LinkedIn profiles ready, and sorting out some general moving logistics.
These trips have proven to be very helpful for us. We have found that students are generally more comfortable when they arrive and, in many cases, seemingly more open to new experiences. We have also seen a marked improvement in English communication skills and classroom participation. Additionally, the students are more willing to speak up when they have a question or concern, which means it’s easier for us to help them. Another HUGE benefit is that we get to better understand Chinese culture by being immersed in it for a few weeks. By doing this we become better at serving the needs of our Chinese student population.
Since we have had such a positive response to our pre-arrival programs, Jenny Johnson (Associate Director for Career Services) and I decided to put together a workshop for other universities to learn about our model. We were able to present our workshop at the WISE (Workshop on Intercultural Skills Enhancement) Conference at Wake Forest University this past November. We focused on how our pre-arrival trips to China came to be, the improvements we have experienced since implementing these trips, and helping other universities determine if this type of investment would be beneficial for them. The session was met with a great response and a lot of positive feedback from universities all over the US (and even one on Australia!).
MEM staffers Jenny Johnson and Staci Thornton (Academic Coordinator) will be headed to Beijing and Shanghai this May for our fourth Pre-arrival programming trip to China. They are very excited to meet the incoming Chinese MEMers and to spend some time with alumni (all while eating delicious xiao long bao).
By: Malena Lum MEMP ’15
The 5th annual MEM/MEng Admitted Student Day (ASD) was held on Friday, March 27, 2015. This event was a great opportunity for applicants, who have been granted admission into the MEM and MEng Programs to get a first-hand glimpse of how amazing the Duke experience really is, participating in activities such as a sample class, a sample workshop, lunch with the staff and current students, campus tour, seminar, and much more.
ASD started with a warm welcome and overview of the programs, where attendees were able to meet the faculty and staff behind the MEM and MEng Programs such as Dr. La Tondra Murray, Director of the Professional Masters Programs in Engineering and Bridget Fletcher, Associate Director of Academic and Student Services for the Professional Masters Programs in Engineering. This was followed by a sample class, Management in High Tech Industries, which is one of the core courses in both programs that focuses on managerial decision-making and leadership. Also, the Career Services team gave a brief overview of the variety of resources they have available dedicated to only students in the MEM and MEng Programs.
After this great start, attendees were led to a lunch with the faculty, staff and current students, where they had a chance to talk more about core courses and elective options. During the lunch, each professor gave a brief presentation on their course.
Lunch was followed by an interactive sample workshop, housing overview presented by current students, and a student panel to answer specific questions about Duke, Durham, courses, and activities in general.
One of the highlights of ASD is the campus tour, where prospective students interact with potential future classmates while exploring the beautiful campus. Following the campus tour was a seminar, a core requirement of both programs, and a cultural presentation. Every week, the program brings in an industry speaker to share some insights about their experiences in diverse industries. This helps students in the MEM and MEng Programs learn how to best position themselves to succeed in the industry and excel in their careers. Every Friday after seminar, students from a particular country give a short and fun cultural presentation, followed by delicious food from that country.
At the end of a long but fun day, the student body had also organized a social event to mingle with other students in a more informal setting, watch the Duke’s basketball team win, and give prospective students an opportunity to experience life as a Duke student.
By: Bridget Fletcher, Assistant Director of Student Services
As a part of our on-boarding process for the entering class of 2013-2014, we held a series of events in China and India. Dr. Murray and I met with students in Beijing, Shanghai, Mumbai, and Bangalore. These visits gave us an opportunity to do a couple of things to help students prepare for their trip to Duke. First, we were able to meet one-on-one with students to help them with class selections, general questions about the program, and to (hopefully) ease some concerns about life in the US. Next we were able to introduce the incoming students to some alumni and current students of the program, not to mention a chance to meet each other! Finally, we were able to gather all the students in each city together for a shared meal and a presentation to formally welcome them to the program.
We also held a series of alumni events in each city that led to some great opportunities to catch up with alumni in China and India. Our students go on to do some amazing things! From the trading floor in Shanghai to the essential oils business in India, we learned about the many ways our alumni are putting what they learned at Duke to good use in the world.
Some of our alumni, current students, and even future students also spent some time with us exploring each city. This was a great way for us to really experience the places many of our students come from. I learned so much about each place from our many talented tour guides! For example, I learned that in Shanghai, shopping in your pajamas is a tradition and rain in Bangalore can stop traffic for hours at a time. Some of the greatest foods, sights, and experiences of my life happened on this trip and it was a pleasure to share them with such wonderful people!
In each city we visited I saw some great things happen – roommates were chosen, course work was discussed, friends were reunited and new friends were made. It can be intimidating to plan a move halfway around the world to a country you might have never visited before. We hope these sessions with a few of our staffers, alums, and current students, made that journey a little easier.
By Maahir Shah, MEM ’13
Admitted Students’ Day (ASD), held in the last week of March, gives applicants who have been granted admission into the MEM and MEng Programs an opportunity to experience the education, culture and network at Duke first-hand. While this event is predominantly attended by applicants who are already in the US, several international applicants attend this event as well. ASD 2013 in particular was attended by a diverse group of over 50 prospective students from Belgium, China, India, Pakistan, Panama, Puerto Rico, Russia and all over the US.
ASD is traditionally held on a Friday and since several attendees arrive in Durham the day before, our current students organize an informal gathering with them on Thursday night at a restaurant in downtown Durham. This gives the attendees an opportunity to experience some amazing local Durham culture and cuisine as well as get introduced to the diverse student body in the MEM and MEng Programs.
ASD kicks off the next day with an early morning check-in that is accompanied by some coffee and breakfast. At the check-in, students are handed out an agenda and several brochures which provide valuable information about the program such as descriptions of the courses offered, career options, contact information of the faculty and staff and much more. The prospective students are then ushered into an auditorium where they are given a warm welcome by the Directors of the programs. During this introduction and program overview, several attendees have testified that they truly saw the value proposition of joining the MEM and MEng Programs at Duke. This is then followed by a short sample class on Management and Business that is taught by one of our esteemed faculty members and is a mandatory course for students in the program.
After a short break, the prospective students are lead to one of our faculty halls where several tables are set up for one of the favorite sessions of our attendees – the lunch with faculty. During this session, prospective students are assigned lunch tables. Seated at each table is a member of our faculty or staff as well as a current student. This gives our attendees a distinct advantage of getting the viewpoint of a professor as well as a student who has experienced the program. During the session, each professor also gives a short introduction to all students about themselves, the course(s) they teach and the value proposition and industry relevance for students interested in the course. The session usually ends with a break out where attendees can network with faculty, staff and current students to learn more and ask specific questions which they have in mind.
Lunch is followed by three short but very important sessions. The first one is a short session on Housing where several current students brief prospective students about where most MEMP and MEng students tend to stay and how they can go about searching for and acquiring accommodation for their duration in the program. This session is particularly useful for international students and students who are not local to the area. One of the key indicators of the success of this session is that most attendees end up living in one or two of the apartment complexes that current students suggest. As a result, most students in the program live very close by which creates a good platform for social activities during their time in the program. This session is followed up by a session on Career Services. During this time, our Career Services Team which is dedicated to only students in the MEM and MEng Programs, give students a glimpse into the variety of resources they have available in order to look for jobs and internships. During this session, prospective students truly understand the value of the network and opportunity for professional, personal and career development that they have available at Duke University. The last in the series of these sessions is the Student Panel. A diverse panel of current students is gathered into the auditorium where prospective students can ask questions to the current students about anything they have in their mind. Traditionally, questions range from housing, courses, career opportunities, the network at Duke, social activities and much more. The session adds value to the ASD experience since our attendees get an opportunity to learn about the experiences of several current students who are currently in the program.
Up next is one of the other highlights of ASD – The Campus Tour. Duke has a large and beautiful campus and the campus tour is an opportunity for students to immerse themselves into the culture at Duke University. Prospective student are split into small groups where they can get to know each other. Each tour group is led by one or two current students. Attendees get the opportunity to visit several places on West Campus which is where MEMP and MEng students spend most of their time. Some of the places include the classrooms where classes are held such as CIEMAS, Hudson and Teer, Perkins and Bostock Library, the local West Campus Hangout – the Bryan Center, the Duke Chapel, Fuqua School of Business and The Law School where MEMP and MEng students can take classes and the legendary Cameron Indoor Basketball Stadium. Prospective students enjoy the tour which usually takes about an hour. However, this can be extended by the number of pictures that students tend to take on this tour.
As we approach the end of ASD, students are led to our Seminar Hall to experience a core requirement of the programs – Seminar. Every week, the program brings in an industry speaker to share some insights about their experiences in diverse industries and this relates to how the MEM and MEng Programs can position students to succeed and excel in their career. The seminar is usually followed by another great part of the programs – the Cultural Presentation. Every year, the MEM and MEng Programs have a diverse student body from over 20 countries of the world. Every Friday, after Seminar, a student from a particular country delivers a short and fun presentation about their culture. This creates an excellent platform for inter-cultural learning which is crucial in today’s business environment of diverse and global teams. The presentation is followed by food from that culture and short message from the Program Director thanking the prospective students for their attendance.
While it may seem that ASD has come to an end, current students do not call it quits so early on a Friday. Our current students offer to show attendees around Durham and organize a social event in Durham. Quite often, as it happened during ASD 2013, there is a Duke Basketball game on that Friday night. This gives prospective students an opportunity to experience Duke Basketball and meet with almost all current students in the program. Friday nights are an integral part of the social activities at Duke and this gives prospective students an opportunity to truly experience life as a Duke student.
With that, a fun-filled day comes to an end where we tell our prospective students that we look forward to seeing them in Fall when they accept their offers. And, for the most part, we see most of these students enter the program. ASD gives prospective students the unique opportunity to truly experience Duke as if they were an MEMP or MEng student. Several prospective students have personally testified how instrumental ASD was in helping them make their choice to accept their offer of admission from the MEM or MEng Program at Duke University. ASD has been a vital contributor in helping these students embark on and succeed in their journey as an MEMer or MEnger.
By Erin Degerman, Admissions Officer
Dr. Brad Fox, Associate Dean and Executive Director of the Master of Engineering and Master of Engineering Management programs, and I travelled to South America September 2013 to promote the programs to South American students and universities.
We travelled with other university representatives to several stops along the EducationUSA Fair Circuit in South America. EducationUSA is a part of the U.S. Department of State. Its mission is to advise “international students with accurate, comprehensive, and current information about how to apply to U.S. colleges and universities”. As part of fulfilling that mission, they host educational institutions to join in recruiting fairs.
Dr. Fox and I were able to join in 5 cities on the EducationUSA circuit.
To start off with, Dr. Fox and I went to São Paulo, in southeast Brazil. While there, we were able to meet with representatives from University of São Paulo (USP). We were warmly welcomed by Guilherme Santos Grise Serviço de Relações Internacionais Escola Politécnica da Universidade de São Paulo (USP) Prof. Dr. Marcio Lobo Netto Associate Professor Electronic Systems Engineering.
From Sao Paulo we travelled to Campinas to visit University of Campinas (UNICAMP) visit recap where one of their alumni, Renato Mourao, attended for his undergraduate studies. We were hosted by Dr. Laura Ward and Peter Schulz from the School of Applied Sciences at UNICAMP Limeria nearby.
In meeting with representatives, we were able to better understand the education system in Brazil as well as explain our programs that we offer at Duke and how graduate engineering education in the United States is structured. We discussed how things specifically at Duke University are structured within Engineering. Both universities were gracious in hosting meetings with us and showed off Brazilian hospitality to us as their guests.
With EducationUSA we were able to speak to Brazilian students exploring their options for studying in the United States. Pictured is Dr. Fox explaining some of our material to an eager student. The Education Fairs were set up similar to Career Fairs and interested potential students went and visited booths of those institutions and programs.
The second stop was in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Here we enjoyed meeting with the Fulbright commission in the city. The Fulbright Commission in Argentina explained to us about the opportunities that Argentine students have studying in the United States.
We met with interested students at the Education Fair. There was even a current Duke University undergraduate student studying abroad who volunteered at the Education Fair who introduced herself to us- Duke love everywhere you go!
Over the weekend we were fortunate to get to visit the Pink House and see the obelisk. It was great for us, since a tour is only offered on the weekend as the Pink House is still in use for governmental operations.
Then it was on to Lima, Peru. Unfortunately, it was a brief visit to such a beautiful and industrious country. We were hosted by Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (PUCP) and enjoyed speaking with interested students both there and at the fair itself. We even ran out of our brochures at the fair!
Peru has an abundance of unique fruits and vegetables; one of the unique drinks we were able to try was Chirimoya Cremolada and it was quite refreshing.
Our next stop was beautiful Santiago, Chile. Again, some of our current students offered help and advice to set up a university visit with Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile. We met with Dr. Mauricio Lopez, and Dr. Jorge Vera Andreo. In talking with them we were better able to understand the process for engineering education in Chile.
At the fair we were able to meet several interested students and tell them about engineering opportunities at Duke University. One student, Serjio Hinojosa, won a roundtrip flight in a drawing at the fair. He was convinced we were part of his good luck in winning- he is pictured with Dr. Fox.
The EducationUSA staff took the school representatives out to a Chilean restaurant that featured traditional folk songs and dancing. The Easter Island dance was quite a contrast to the mainland ones! The natural beauty of the city was wonderful snow capped mountains, gorgeous sunsets and was a sharp contrast to the modern, sleek city.
Our last stop was in Quito, Ecuador. We met with Dr. Cesar Zambrano and undergraduate students at Universidad de San Francisco as well as the scholarship granting organization, Secretaría Nacional de Educación Superior, Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación (SENESCYT). This scholarship organization provides funding for Ecuadorian students who want to study at universities in the United States and other countries.
In Ecuador we were able to meet up with Duke Law alumna, Johanna Roldan, who gave an informative tour around Quito. My favorite view was from the top of the mountain overlooking the city. We were less than 100 km from the Equator but didn’t get the chance to visit the monument.
We often stress to our students about the power of networking, and this trip to South America is no different. EducationUSA staff, current students, alumni from the MEM program, Duke alumni, and many others all made this recruiting trip possible. We hope that many more South American students will come and study at Duke University and enrich us with their perspectives.