Elaine Hsieh

Elaine Hsieh
Class Year: 
1998
Job Title / Company: 
VERGE Program Director and Senior Analyst, GreenBiz Group

Undergraduate Degree: BSE, Biomedical Engineering, Duke University

Why did you choose your program and area of study?

I am a cross-disciplinary thinker, and this program was one of the few cross-disciplinary grad programs relevant to me coming out of an engineering undergrad degree.

Briefly describe your Duke Experience.

I loved Duke while I was there as an undergrad and as a grad student. They were very different experiences though. As a grad student, I was more confident in my independence and felt more camaraderie in the MEM Program (which at that time was smaller than my biomedical undergrad class).

What impact has the degree had on your career?

Certainly a Masters degree from Duke opens doors. The Engineering Management curriculum was just in its formative years when I graduated (I was in the first class), so employers were not as familiar with it. The value of the degree was really in what I learned while I was there - general IP law, marketing, business cases, and higher level engineering. I may have benefitted more from the MEM program if I had some more industry experience between my undergrad and grad school. (I went straight from undergrad to the MEM program.)

What advice would you give to prospective applicants - those who are just beginning to explore graduate options at Duke?

Get some industry experience after your undergrad in order to better contextualize your MEM experience. You’ll get more out of the MEM curriculum if you understand more about how business and industry works.

What advice would you give to admitted students who are considering Duke?

Maximize your time learning from your stellar professors across the schools (engineering, law, business). They are amazing mentors, and your peers are pretty great too. Some may be your friends for life.