Stephanie M. Taylor

Class: 2006
Major: Public Policy Studies
After Graduation: I am currently an attorney at The Lanier Law Firm in Los Angeles, CA.

How  was the MMS certificate program helpful when deciding on a career path? 
I knew that I wanted to go to law school after I graduated from Duke, but I did not know what specific field of law I might go into.  Because Duke did not offer an undergraduate degree in business, I decided that the MMS certificate program would be a good choice for me.  The MMS certificate program offered a wide variety of classes that allowed me to learn about different fields.  I took classes in many different business-related areas, which allowed me to then figure out what fields I liked, and just as importantly, what fields I did not like.  In addition, the professors that I interacted with that were a part of the MMS certificate program changed my viewpoint on business, markets and management.  The professors in the program really care about the students and are willing to give advice and meet with students, as you search for a field that might interest you for a long-term career.  One of the professors I still keep in touch with to this day.   

How did the MMS certificate help you prepare for your current position? 
While at first glance it might seem that a certificate in markets and management would not be helpful at a law firm, I  have found the exact opposite to be true.  You cannot have a successful firm if you do not know how to properly manage not only the business side of things, but also your employees as well.  Since becoming an attorney and working at The Lanier Law Firm, I have taken the skills that I learned in the MMS certificate program and used them to manage my staff, in settlement negotiations for cases headed to trial, and I have even used the skills I learned to research a particular market/venue in evaluating its worth with regard to filing a case there or the types of jurors that will be pulled from a particular area for litigation.