The Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program has been a strong compliment to my Mechanical Engineering major at Duke. Along with giving me diverse coursework, it incorporated meaningful experiences outside of the classroom. The program gave me basic business knowledge, from understanding financial reports to recognizing opportunities for innovation. Overall, this program increased my confidence in discovering and developing potential entrepreneurial ventures. It has helped me think differently about the world around me and peaked my interest in building some kind of business.
The I&E certificate was a strong player in my overall learning experience at Duke. It gave me a taste of economics, sociology, and consumer psychology through the courses I took. It allowed me to step away from the very literal and physical thinking of mechanical engineering and look at things with a creative, innovative lens. Additionally, it allowed me to grow my business acumen and introduced me to the entrepreneurial process.
Throughout my time in the certificate program my pathway has shifted and expanded. I have no clear path to an entrepreneurial venture, however I feel like I have more tools in my toolbox to tackle an opportunity when I see it. I initially came in to this program looking for a creative supplement to engineering, and was focused on the “innovation” aspect of this certificate. However, as I have gone through college I have been more intrigued by the entrepreneurial experience. I hope one day I will get to build a business (or businesses!) that will be beneficial to many people and have a positive impact on my community.