Students and Alumni Meet while Home for the Holidays

Every year, many of our Nicholas School students head home to spend time with family and old friends. They share exciting news about their research, the information they are learning, and the fun adventures they are having with new friends.

Parents aren’t the only ones who are interested in hearing this information. Many Nicholas School alums also want to know what’s happening back at their alma mater, and they are excited to engage with current students and to hear the latest scoop.

This past holiday season, the Office of Development and Alumni Relations helped students and alumni meet up while the students were back in their home towns. Alumni had the chance to learn about updates at the Nicholas School, such as the renaming of Environmental Hall to Grainger Hall, the recovery efforts at the Marine Lab after Hurricane Florence, and the selection of a new director for the Career and Professional Development Center, Allison Besch, MEM’05. Meanwhile, students got the chance to share news about student life at the Nicholas School and Duke, as well as to talk to alums about what was new in their home town.

Home for the Holidays banner - house in a snowy landscape

“It was a nice and easy way to meet with a current student,” said alum Miranda Chien-Hale, MEM’15. “We exchanged a lot of fun stories and updates about life, the Nic School, and so on.”

Nick Wildman, MEM’05, said the experience was “very fun. And a great way to meet MEMs with similar interests!”

Sam Hile, MEM’15, said, “I think this program is a great idea, and was very convenient on my end. The student I was paired with was very nice and bright, but didn’t really have that many questions for me. She seemed on top of her game and didn’t really need any mentoring, but was great to connect with anyway.”

Students also benefited from the meet ups by talking to alums about professional life, learning about potential job and internship opportunities, and asking for advice.

“The meeting with my alumni was great! He works in a very different field than what I’m interested in, but it was still nice to talk to an established alumni about their time at Duke and their path afterwards,” said Ben McCormack, MEM’20. “I was also able to connect him to a good MEM friend who the alum told me to put in touch with about jobs after graduation.”

“I think the program is excellent and is a great driver of communications between students and alumni,” said Sarah Vondracek, MEM/MBA’20. “I felt that I had many things to talk to my alumni about, and they were curious to see what was going on at Duke.”

For more information about the Home for the Holidays program, or to indicate your interest for next year’s program, please visit the program page.