I’ve always been creative. During my childhood, my creativity took the form of fiction writing. Later, I used my creativity to tell the stories of communities as a reporter. In the back of my mind, I always thought it would be cool to create my own media relations and marketing business, but I didn’t know where even to start. Fuqua gave me the tools I needed and, more importantly, a community to lean on.
Fuqua offers a number of entrepreneurship-focused classes that helped me hone my entrepreneurial skills. All full-time MBA students are required to take the Entrepreneurial Mindset and Action course, which helped me learn about entrepreneurship through hands-on exercises with my classmates. I greatly enjoyed completing our innovation project and presenting it at the end of the class to my section. I also took Entrepreneurial Strategy, where the final project involved pitching our classmates using carefully crafted business plans for our venture ideas. Getting feedback from my peers has been invaluable. Additionally, I took New Ventures: Discovery this year, which is a course designed to expose students to different methodologies behind innovation. One of the coolest parts of the course is that any student at Duke can take the class. I loved learning from others with different perspectives on entrepreneurship and was inspired by their entrepreneurial goals.
All of these classes, along with being surrounded by other tech innovators during my summer internship at Microsoft, inspired me to get started in creating my own media relations and marketing firm. Throughout the school year, I continued to work part-time with an agency and loved helping my clients get media coverage in outlets such as Bloomberg and Forbes. The next step was creating a limited liability corporation (LLC) for my business.
That’s when I learned about the Duke University Law School Start-Up Ventures Clinic through a classmate and fellow entrepreneur Michelle Addison, who founded the startup Allergood. The clinic pairs law students with entrepreneurs from all corners of Duke and the local community seeking advice on a wide array of legal issues, from company formation to intellectual property protection to commercialization strategies. Supervising professors at the Duke Law School also give their guidance to participants of the program by advising the law students working with the entrepreneurs.
Through the program, I worked with a third-year law student on some trademark issues regarding what I should name my company and how to form an LCC. With that guidance, I was able to formalize the creation of my company MAV Media & Messaging in November 2022.
I am so thankful to attend Duke due to all of the resources available throughout the school as well as the supportive community. I couldn’t have created my business without the support of my fellow Duke students!