Nidhi Pathak: Improving Robotic Consumer Products

January 31, 2023

The December 2022 master's graduate interned with NinjaShark

Hometown: Pune, India
Graduation: December 2022

“The programs and connections that Duke offers are incredible and unmatchable when it comes to any other school.”

Nidhi Pathak | Master of Engineering Management

What has been your best experience at the Pratt School of Engineering?

I took 542: Competitive Strategy in Technology-Related Organizations from Tony O’Driscoll. In that course, we split up into teams for a management simulation. My team and I simulated being CEO, CFO and CTO. We worked with other teams to reach the goals set by the facilitators. I really enjoyed the process because it let us be creative. It was super fast-paced, and we had to plan our moves in advance. The simulation’s speed had us on our feet at every moment, always having to think about the next step!

What was your favorite course?

My favorite course was 576: Design Thinking and Innovation taught by Kathie Amato. It was my favorite because it really changed the way I think. Moreover, I had the opportunity to work on a design challenge and apply the concepts learned in class. I even got the opportunity to attend her class twice, the second time as a teaching assistant!

Where did you do your internship?

I worked as a product manager at SharkNinja over the summer in Boston. They build smart home products, and I was on their robotics team. I worked on enhancing the minimum viable product (MVP) approach, and chalked out a product vision using consumer insights. I supported the hardware and software sides and was able to work on two product development cycles. My favorite part of the internship was analyzing gaps in the user onboarding flow and strategizing improvements.

What are your career aspirations?

Apart from my master’s degree, I worked toward Duke's Graduate & Professional Certificate in Innovation & Entrepreneurship. This really helped me understand my interests better and helped shape my interests and goals going forward. After Duke, I realized I would like to work as a product manager in a tech company. In the future, I hope to run a company that has a societal impact on the world!

What advice would you give to students considering Duke Engineering?

Leverage your Duke network to learn more about opportunities you are interested in, and go out of your way to meet students outside your program to understand and learn how they do things! The programs and connections that Duke offers are incredible and unmatchable when it comes to any other school. You can always find someone to help you, whether a faculty member or a student, when in need.

The Master of Engineering Management is a degree program in Duke Engineering's Institute for Enterprise Engineering. To explore all our education programs, visit »