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Connections and Self-Understanding

Connections and Self-Understanding 

The Innovation and Entrepreneurship Certificate has taught me a new way of thinking. Through studying countless entrepreneurs and businesses and applying their lessons to my presentations and deliverables, my perspective on entrepreneurship has changed entirely. I have a far better understanding of what it truly takes to survive as an entrepreneur. I have learned a breadth of foundational knowledge around starting new ventures and what makes a venture viable. I have learned critical insights into why certain entrepreneurs fail and why others excel.

And most importantly, I have learned to approach my world differently. The certificate has taught me a variety of practices, from simple journaling to looking into the business behind a business. I discovered that innovation comes from recognizing a problem and discerning where, how, and if that problem can be solved.

The program allowed me to take what I have learned through classwork and apply it to real-life situations both within and beyond the classroom. I have learned how to best present myself and my ideas in front of a group, and organize my thoughts concisely. In leaving my comfort zone throughout multiple I&E classes, I have found myself more comfortable in situations presented in other courses and beyond the classroom. The certificate program substantially helped me prepare for and acquire a position at a consulting firm.

While initially, my pathway was more politically focused, I began to concentrate more vigorously on social innovation. I finally found that I discovered something I am passionate about: making positive change through social impact. The program led me to join the Duke Impact Investing Group, where I have put my foundational knowledge of entrepreneurship into action to help make an impact on our Durham community. Finally, the program has taught me that I am just getting started on a long road to discovering and inventing something that will positively change our world. Yet, the road is one that I am now better prepared to drive on.