My Story

Hey there! My name is Quentin Harris and I’m from the quaint, small town of Wilton, Connecticut, about a forty-five-minute drive away from New York City. Wilton wasn’t a very diverse place to grow up, as I was one of two people of color in my entire grade throughout my childhood. I began to realize the importance of diversity, inclusion, and collaboration when I attended boarding school in central Connecticut for my high school years. Going to class with individuals from all around the globe made me very appreciative for the varying insights of others and taught me how to effectively work with others toward a common goal.

I come from a long lineage of collegiate athletes, as my grandfather, father, numerous uncles, and two first cousins have all played collegiate football. During the fall, my Saturdays consisted of long hours spent on the couch alongside my dad and aunt, watching any game we came across. We loved watching and debating which teams we thought were the best and from those moments, I knew I wanted to one day earn a scholarship and follow in the footsteps of dad. Connecticut isn’t exactly known as a hotbed for collegiate athletes, nonetheless division I football prospects, but I was able to attract the attention of a few schools. I ultimately made the decision to attend Duke because I felt it gave me a chance to receive an elite education while playing at the highest level of collegiate athletics. It was also an added bonus as a quarterback from the north that I wouldn’t have to account for snow the last few games of the season moving forward.

I came to Duke with aspirations of obtaining a degree in Economics but quickly realized that I didn’t want to limit myself to such a quant-heavy course load. Although I remain interested in a career within finance, I thoroughly enjoyed taking a variety of classes my first two years and ultimately decided to major in Public Policy with a minor in Economics. I believe a degree in Public Policy will provide me with a broad, general base of knowledge that will equip me for any occupational endeavor I eventually decide upon, whether that be in finance, real-estate development and investment, marketing, or entrepreneurship. I wanted to obtain a minor in Economics because I’ve always been a business-oriented person and wanted a better understanding of the numbers that go into running a business. My interest in one day taking over for my father’s sporting goods and apparel company or potentially owning my own business has also led me to pursue a certificate in innovation and entrepreneurship. I am confident the knowledge and experiences I gain through the innovation and entrepreneurship certificate program will prepare me well for any and all entrepreneurial endeavors I find myself in.

The past two summers, I interned for Austin Lawrence Partners (ALP), a boutique and entrepreneurial real estate development firm located in downtown Durham. ALP was entrepreneurial because they were not solely concerned with monetary return but rather which development would generate the most social welfare and address an underserved niche in a community. Being with entrepreneurial real-estate development firm in ALP provided the perfect mix of my interests in public policy and innovation & entrepreneurship. I learned the importance of conducting market research and really listening to the people in the community and taking their needs and opinions into account when planning a new commercial development.

One thing all of my previous coaches have always reiterated to me growing up was to leave a place better than I found it. I’ve incorporated these words into all facets of my life and strive to enhance any community I become a part of. I hope to have this same impact on the world one day in whichever career I embark on after graduation. I desire to enhance the lives of others while also reaching my fullest personal potential and working diligently and tirelessly to continually reach new goals throughout my career.