I have had many wide-ranging experiences in the I&E certificate program, all of which I have absolutely loved. My biggest takeaway from the program is the depth and breadth the terms “innovation and entrepreneurship” can encompass. I entered the I&E certificate with the belief that I would learn how to start a company. I was correct, but I learned far more than just that. My experiences and classwork opened my eyes to a variety of types and ways to solve problems.
From my experience in Silicon Valley visiting start-ups and massive innovators, I got to see my classroom knowledge in action, and then was able to work at a LuckyDiem, a mobile marketing start-up in New York. Back in Durham my sophomore year, I was able to put the skills I’d learned on Duke in Silicon Valley into practice at work. During my sophomore year, I strengthened those skills in the Keystone class and was able to experience risk-taking in Learning to Fail, both classes were incredibly different but valuable in terms of hard skills and the psychology of entrepreneurship. After these key classes, I participated in DukeEngage in Detroit, where I interned at ProsperUS Detroit, a micro-lending and consulting firm for refugee, minority, and impoverished entrepreneurs, where I conducted many projects aimed at inspiring and helping local Detroit entrepreneurs. Back at Duke in my senior year, I completed the certificate with the capstone class, where I worked on a project to help teens’ improve their body dysmorphia, as a result of Instagram posts. Overall, my wildly diverse experiences and courses have pushed me in a variety of directions across business, innovation, and entrepreneurship.
While my path across the certificate was winding and wide-ranging, I was incredibly lucky to have the experience I did across all fronts. I am not pigeonholed into one type of industry or business, and as I enter into my full-time consulting position at Accenture Strategy next year upon graduation, I look froward to continue to broaden my horizons.