Ashley Immanuel

Ashley Immanuel

Self Employed Consultant, Detroit, Michigan area

"When I was an undergraduate, I had no idea whether I would pursue a career related to Sociology. I chose a major in Sociology because I found it interesting and thought it would help me develop core skills such as critical thinking and writing. This was true; I think that studying Sociology helped me understand complex problems from various angles and that my writing skills were strengthened. The ability to write well has been crucial in every job that I have had, and is something that I have consistently searched for when recruiting new employees for various organizations. I was actually surprised when I ended up using the content of my degree quite a bit once I was in a job that I loved, working for a non-profit organization that promotes financial inclusion in Nigeria. My Sociology courses had prepared me to conduct and synthesize implications of social research; to think about how society and institutions impact things like access to financial services for various groups; to understand how elements of social identity such as gender are important to consider when thinking about reducing barriers to financial access. This background gave me an advantage when working in a world of bankers."

Advice Ashley would give Duke Sociology students:

"My advice would be to take the classes that interest you the most, focus on developing core skills, and not worry too much about how Sociology will transfer to a career. When the time comes to start thinking seriously about next steps after Duke, I would suggest thinking broadly about possible careers and taking the time to do some research and speak with friends, family and alumni about what careers are available. I had a very limited view of potential careers based on the types of companies that recruited on-campus plus some positions that my older friends had taken. I ended up doing work that I loved, but I had no idea what sort of interesting careers existed when I was a senior applying to the firms that recruited on campus."