Reflection:

This is the final course of the Duke I&E certificate. I took this course during the second semester of my senior year and I think this was a great time to do so because I was able to focus on the project my team developed whole heartedly.

This was an amazing class because I was able to really feel like I was building a start-up and understand the ups and downs that go along with that process. The class tied together my whole I&E journey and allowed me to really test what I had learned over the past three and a half years.

Project

At the beginning of the class, we all chose which problems we would like to attack and I chose the problem revolving around the lack of peer-to-peer course reviews available at Duke. My team and I then worked throughout the semester to put together a venture that would allow us to address this problem and potentially find a solution. Ultimately, my group established the Facebook group “NavDuke” – an online platform that gives Duke students exclusive access to reviews on courses and a forum where they can ask any and all questions about how they can maximize their academic pathway at Duke.

NavDuke has taught me so much about how to successfully start and push a business forward. We hit several bumps along the way, mostly surrounding how to get people to engage with NavDuke and comment class reviews. However, after some time we realized we could engage in varying tactics ranging from different types of content marketing to encourage people to use NavDuke (see the video below!). Our biggest realization, however, was that we need to embrace the chaos. Coming to the understanding that all we needed was to bring people to the page and not have them comment in our exact outlined formatting was a higher priority that we learned along the way. The screenshot below shows some of the different types of posts that we have seen in our group.

Artifact

My artifacts for the capstone include our content marketing video that we posted in several Facebook groups such as All Duke and the Official Duke University Class pages. We produced two of these videos where we interviewed Duke seniors and asked them five questions with the goal of helping underclassmen. I also have included our final pitch presentation for NavDuke that starts with our pitch and then goes into our journey throughout the semester.

NavDuke Final Presentation

Takeaway

NavDuke is probably one of the coolest and most influential projects I have been a part of during my time at Duke. We have a total of 763 members and 96% of them have been actively engaging with the group. It was a fascinating and exciting process to work with different iterations of NavDuke and understand what makes more people want to engage. I also greatly developed my presentation skills as a result of this project. I learned how to effectively pitch a business and how to make NavDuke seem extremely attractive to customers and hypothetical investors.