Class of 2023: MMS and Psychology Senior Finds Her Path to Business

Elizabeth Wise

Elizabeth Wise came to Duke like many students — excited to be in a place where academics and athletics blended, but unsure what she wanted her path to be.

“When I came to Duke kind of always thought I'd end up in the business world though,” she said.

While MMS was on her radar from the beginning, she spent her first couple of semesters trying courses before deciding on Psychology as her major.

“Spring of my freshman year I took Psych 101 and loved it and could tell it that would be applicable to anything I wanted to do in the business world, since I was so unsure at the time what exactly that would be, whether it be marketing or consulting or who knows what,” said Wise.

“I realized that I didn't really need my degree to be one of the main degrees that you end up going into business with — like economics or computer science. You can really do whatever you want with any degree, especially at a school like Duke where a liberal arts education is such a part of the foundation of everything.

So once I realized that, it was easy for me to make the shift to Psych because I knew I would enjoy it more, and it wouldn’t stop me from doing anything I wanted to do.”

By exploring the advantages of a liberal arts education through Duke, Wise was not only allowed to immerse herself in a major and certificate that fueled her interests both academically and personally, but she found ways to incorporate other interests at Duke as well.

She volunteered with Evolutionary Anthropology’s Canine Cognition Center and has now completed two independent studies on cognitive testing in the center’s lab.

Elizabeth Wise holding black lab from the Canine Cognition Center
Wise holds one of the black lab puppies that is part of Duke's Canine Cognition Lab.

“I’ve gotten really close with the lab members in the last year” she said.

Wise also found community through MMS.

“It’s a kind of unique community,” she said of the certificate program. “I was able to establish these strong relationships with professors. I feel like it's kind of unique to the MMS program or maybe certificate programs in general, because it feels like a smaller academic community. I think that is really valuable to establish both these faculty connections and other student connections.”

Wise had even more opportunities to make these connections to faculty and other students through serving as an MMS Ambassador. She spent three years as a representative, providing resources and advice to other undergraduate students about the certificate program.

“It definitely takes a while to transition completely to the college lifestyle. But once you're in it, you'll love it,” she said.

I never believed my parents when they said, ‘At some point you’re not going to want to come home for school breaks anymore.’ I always thought I would want to go home whenever I could. But that was just not true — I guess the point of the college experience is it grows on you in that sense, and you grow up within it too.”

Elizabeth will be joining L.E.K. Consulting in Boston as a consultant in the fall.