Shannon Connelly

Shannon Connelly
Class Year: 
2009
Job Title / Company: 
Senior Engineer - Development, Illumina

Undergraduate Degree: BS in Chemical Engineering, Tufts University

Why did you choose your program and area of study?

After completing my Chemical Engineering degree, I wanted to expand my knowledge base into business. My chemical engineering program, like most engineering programs, did not leave much time for classes outside of the major.

Briefly describe your Duke Experience.

I really enjoyed the MEM program - the classes, people and overall atmosphere at Duke. It was great to be in a program with like-minded engineers - people that were interested in more than just the extremely technical.

What impact has the degree had on your career?

I think that the program has positively impacted my career in a significant way. Learning about finance, project management, and IP gave me a very different perspective than what I had when I completed my undergraduate degree. We also had to work collaboratively on teams in many classes, which is a skill that is essential in almost any career. Even a workshop as simple as resume writing was a great addition - I referenced that workshop for years to come.

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

I think broad knowledge is essential in today's global business world. If you have aspirations beyond the very technical (and even then), I highly recommend completing a program like the MEM. Your network of people beyond undergrad will also grow, which could lead to future career opportunities.

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

The program was excellent! I highly recommend taking the time to complete the MEM degree either at the beginning of your career or if you're looking for jump start to learn more about business.