- MEM Primary Concentration: Management Concentration: Business & Environment (BE)
- MEM Secondary Concentration: Environment Concentration: Ecotoxicology and Environmental Health (EEH)
- Expected Graduation Date: May 2025
What is your previous work experience?
I started my career as a product development analyst in a leading Japanese cosmetics company. My role was to convert conceptual proposals into detailed product designs; for example, I would decide the critical ingredients, packaging materials, and clinical test plans. I coordinated the collaborations of multiple teams across the whole development stage. Later, my focus shifted to consumer studies which look into user behaviors and attitudes. I participated in and led multiple research projects that uncovered the unique characteristics of Chinese users at different life stages.
Why did you choose the Nicholas School?
I spent my undergraduate time in a liberal arts college where students were able to take any non-major courses as long as they were interested. And I see the same openness at the Nicholas School. I believe high flexibility in course selection allows more possibilities for students to explore and grow. The 1+1 concentration curriculum design at the Nicholas School is also unique for me for its coverage of both science and business. From my personal experiences, I find an interdisciplinary knowledge framework would be much more helpful in problem solving in this more and more complicated world.
What are you looking forward to as an incoming Nicholas School student?
I look forward to strengthening my skill sets that are transferrable in my future career and connecting with NSOE alumni to learn from their experiences. I am grateful that one alum actually reached out to me to share her experiences at Duke and all kinds of support she was able to access during her time. As an international student, I also look forward to meeting more people with all kinds of different backgrounds which evoke cross-cultural and inspiring discussions.
Do you have any areas of interest or special focus you will undertake during your time at the Nicholas School?
From my past working experiences, I frequently saw the conflicts between sustainability and profitability. Business decisions sometimes underestimate the long-term impacts on the environment and human health. Hence, I am particularly interested in understanding and analyzing the life cycle of resources and pollutants through the lens of chemistry. Since I worked multiple years in cosmetics industry, as a woman myself, I would always feel connected with women users and see their struggles. Women’s health and maternal health would be of my biggest research interest.
What are your current career aspirations?
I still plan to return to the personal care industry that I worked for multiple years. When I saw the real excitement from customers using our products, I saw the meaning of my job. This MEM degree would help me to act as an ESG specialist to identify potential environmental or human health risks and translate their significance in a business context. I look forward to helping businesses to develop its own sustainable business model and bring socially and environmentally responsible products to the consumers.