Hello! My name is Abigail Farley and I am a Duke student from New Canaan, Connecticut. Having spent my whole life in New Canaan, I was excited to attend Duke not only because of its stimulating intellectual environment but also to meet diverse people from around the world. I was drawn to both Duke’s liberal art education and its interdisciplinary philosophy. I believe a liberal arts education is fundamental in the development of lifelong problem-solving skills. Such adaptable skills are crucial in our ever-changing global society.

I am an Economics major, which has helped me develop an understanding of both our modern world and human behavior. Beyond developing crucial analytical skills, studying economics has helped me learn how to think critically outside of academia. In addition to my Economics major, I am pursuing a certificate in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. This certificate captured my attention because it allows me to explore my various academic interests and a variety of disciplines through an I&E lens. Beyond this, the Innovation and Entrepreneurship certificate has allowed me to gain hands-on experience by applying what I have learned in my certificate curriculum.

One of my long-term goals is to be involved in social innovation addressing international economic development in some capacity, whether that means starting my own social enterprise or working with a large organization like the World Bank or the Poverty Action Lab. I was able to take a Social Innovation course as part of my certificate, which allowed me to further explore this pathway. This course gave me a framework for assessing the complex global issues that I am passionate about. By examining a variety of issues, including education, healthy, children, poverty, and the environment, I was able to really think about what problems I found most compelling and brainstorm solutions. Ultimately, through this coursework, I was able to learn the process of effective innovation and further engage with the global problems of today.

My second Innovation and Entrepreneurship elective I took was Technology Commercialization. I chose this course because while I was always interested and passionate about Social Innovation, I did not have as much exposure or knowledge of innovation in the technology sector. While I was able to realize that my interests still lie in social innovation, I was able to learn so much about innovative technologies, particularly in the biomedical industry. This course compelled me to consider how our world is changing in the digital age, and thus made me a better problem-solver.

I interned at Citi the summer after my sophomore year in their Sophomore Leadership Program. Through this program, I was able to see what it is like to innovate within a large corporation. Throughout the internship, I was in a team that was tasked with creating new ideas and adapting old practices to better Citi’s relationship with an important client.  My team researched the different ways Citi is able to support the client throughout its Institutional Clients Group divisions, such as offering treasury solutions, lending them money, and providing capital markets services. My team was able to start from a high-level overview of Citi’s relationship with the client and ultimately present specific innovative solutions that Citi could develop to better service the client.

When I am not in class at Duke, I enjoy being active in different clubs, such as the Duke Business Oriented Women. I also enjoy hiking with friends, yoga, and cooking. Ultimately, I hope to be able to make a positive impact on the world both through my personal actions as well as my career. I would like to have a meaningful and fulfilling career that aims to help develop solutions to the complex issues in our world.