Entrepreneurship has always been something that I’ve had a strong interest in, and I like to think of myself as an “entrepreneur in training.”

While I was a student at Fuqua, I found a number of resources to support my dream, both through Fuqua itself and the broader Duke community. These included start-up competitions, speaking with alumni and students who were entrepreneurs, and interacting with professors with industry experience.

After graduating in May, I was worried that not being on campus would make it more difficult for me to be able to continue to build upon the knowledge and network I had begun to accumulate. I found though, that it has been the exact opposite.

I recently attended a DukeGEN networking event facilitated by the Duke Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Washington D.C., where I currently live. Though I didn’t meet anyone that I already knew, it was a great opportunity to not only meet new Dukies, but also learn more about what it’s like to be an entrepreneur. I heard about both positive and negative experiences, but the recurring themes of the evening were:

  1. Persistence – Nothing happens overnight
  2. Networking – Many people out there are willing to help, they just don’t know who needs their help
  3. Learning and Flexibility – Things change, so keep your ears and your options open

The event was a two-hour happy hour and as such it was fairly informal. Having this kind of set-up though made it much easier to mingle with the other entrepreneurs and learn more about their backgrounds. I would encourage all Dukies, both alumni and current students to take advantage of what Duke has to offer on and off campus. You never know what you’ll find!