Katie Wu

Class Year: 
Job Title / Company: 
Sustainability Graduate Intern / Lyft
  • Previous Education: BS with Distinction, Research in Animal Science; MS, Medical Science
  • Hometown: New York, NY

Before coming to Duke

Prior to attending Duke, I was an MD/PhD candidate within the Medical Scientist Training Program at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical School. In addition to studying medicine, I worked in biomedical research. My main projects focused on generating a transgenic zebrafish model of thyroid cancer designed for the rapid development of therapeutic agents and developing lentiviral-based shRNA knockdowns for Mediator Complex 14 in human leukemia cells.

Why I chose Duke’s MEM program

I chose the Master of Engineering Management degree at Duke because it provides a unique opportunity to develop business acumen alongside a strong understanding of technologically driven approaches. I was attracted to the program's interdisciplinary nature, which allows me to build domain knowledge in environmental and energy systems and understand business and technological strategies to address sustainability challenges.

My favorite courses

My favorite and most useful Duke MEM classes have been Competitive Strategy with Greg Hopper, and Sourcing Data for Analytics with Jon Reifschneider and Dan Egger.

Ways I gained leadership experience during MEM

In my first semester, I was an Outreach team lead for our annual Duke-wide Energy Week event and a cabinet member for the Duke MEM Energy Club. I am currently the Program Development Committee (PDC) Board President. I lead the MEM PDC, oversee the Professional and Activity Club Presidents, and act as student body liaison to administration.

After Duke MEM

I hope to act as a driver of science and technology, working to communicate a translatable narrative to major stakeholders beyond the scientific community. Ultimately, my career goal is to lead and implement innovative tech-driven solutions within the context of sustainability, renewable energy, and climate change.

My advice to students

I would tell a new MEM candidate to be flexible and explore different areas of interest instead of immediately narrowing in on one. Your interests might change in your first semester, so it's helpful to keep an open mind and look for new opportunities as well. I would also advise them to use their time in the program wisely and choose courses, projects, or extracurricular activities they're passionate about and willing to commit to fully.