By Katie Jansen | Photo by Pilar Timpane
After taking four courses and participating in two immersive experiences, 29 students who have completed the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Certificate are ready to share their achievements with the Duke community.
The students will be sharing their e-portfolios at an E-Portfolio Fair Friday, April 14. The fair will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. in the lobby of Gross Hall, and those interested in viewing the e-portfolios can drop by at any time.
Students interested in pursuing the I&E Certificate who want to learn more are encouraged to attend. Students who visit at least 10 student booths will be entered into a raffle for an Amazon giftcard.
Faculty and staff are also invited.
“The I&E Certificate E-Portfolio Fair is truly the culmination of our students’ hard work through their time at Duke,” said Emilie Dye, Duke I&E’s senior program coordinator for education. “They have spent the past few years taking classes, participating in co-curricular experiences, and building relationships – and this is the chance for them to showcase the synthesis of these things.”
The event will be set up in a research-symposium style.
Computer science major Matt Alston ’17 is one of the students who will be prepared to present at the fair.
During his involvement with Duke I&E, Alston has participated in Duke in Silicon Valley, interned for a small education tech startup there and worked for Goldman Sachs in New York.
After graduation, he’s heading back to Silicon Valley to work as an associate product manager for Uber.
“The e-portfolio actually became one of my most valuable assets in recruiting for jobs,” he said. “It gives you a 20-page resume that you can then show to companies, which sets you apart from other candidates.”
Anna Miyajima ’17 came to Duke intending to study social sciences but changed her major to computer science after realizing that quantitative subjects came more intuitively to her.
Miyajima heard about the I&E Certificate during her sophomore year, but she was on the fence because she wasn’t yet interested in starting her own venture.
However, she also felt a bit uncomfortable in her new field of study, as if she had to compete to be the most technical person and was expected to churn out web and mobile apps to prove she belonged.
After spending a semester abroad, Miyajima decided to take an I&E class to gauge her interest. Since then, she hasn’t looked back.
“I realized the skills I learn here can be applied to any role I took in a larger company but will also help me start my own venture,” she said.
The I&E classes, Miyajima said, gave her perspective and helped her realize that she could focus on the part of tech that interested her most.
“My interest in tech stems from the breadth of possible applications and the amount of potential it has to do good and change people’s behaviors,” she said.
Miyajima is headed to work at Google as a software engineer after graduation but sees herself starting her own venture in the next five years. Her ultimate goal is to have a role in product management or venture capital.
Miyajima said she’s excited to show her work to former professors and friends at the I&E E-Portfolio Fair, as well as learn about other classmates’ journeys and experiences.
Daniel Woldorff ’17, a public policy major who also completed the I&E Certificate, said interesting stories and amazing accomplishments are “across the board” among his peers at Duke I&E.
“The I&E Certificate is unique among all the programs at Duke I’ve had experience with,” Woldorff said. “It teaches you to think differently and apply hypothesis-driven testing to get things done. It’s not just research and understanding things, but about doing things – the certificate program encourages translation of great ideas into great actions.”
Woldorff completed both of his certificate experiences at Seal the Seasons, a local frozen food startup at which he was the first employee and has since worn many hats. After graduation, he will join Seal the Seasons full-time as its director of impact.
“Sharing their e-portfolios with fellow classmates, faculty, staff, and friends provides the opportunity for the students to say thank you those who have played a part in their success over the past four years,” Dye said. “These students demonstrate why innovation & entrepreneurship matter – both during a student’s tenure at Duke, and as part of their pathway beyond graduation.”