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Philosophy Student Builds Expertise in Marketing and Data Analysis

A woman smiles

Philosophy doctoral student Adela Deanova completed a series of online courses in digital marketing in order to contribute to Project Vox, a digital initiative that recovers the lost voices of female philosophers in the early modern era.

She was among 19 Duke students who received Graduate Student Training Enhancement Grants in 2016-17 for training beyond their core disciplines. Her faculty mentor was Andrew Janiak. She shared an overview of her experience:

The Graduate Student Training Enhancement Grant allowed me to complete a Coursera Digital Marketing Certificate, which consists of six courses and is one of the top-ranked business MOOCs on Coursera. In 2016, this was one of the top 10 specializations in terms of enrollments on Coursera, and the course was ranked among the top five courses across multiple MOOC providers. The specialization is a part of the University of Illinois MBA program.

The experience proved to be very valuable for me, not only because I learned about leading-edge business marketing practices in theory, but also because it allowed me to apply the theoretical insights to three practical projects: the Capstone Project for the Digital Marketing certification; the user experience strategy for Project Vox; and the Story+ project for RTI International. I had anticipated that I would apply the knowledge only to Project Vox, so it’s fantastic that I have been able to use it on other projects as well.

I have been able to apply the knowledge acquired to business, academic and hybrid academic-business projects, which is really a unique combination of professional experience. As a result, I have developed digital marketing and data analysis skills that I would not have otherwise acquired in a humanities Ph.D. program, and I am now in a much better position to pursue career opportunities both in academia and other professions.

This internal funding mechanism from the Office of the Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies encourages graduate students to step away from their core research and training to acquire skills, knowledge or co-curricular experiences that will give them new perspectives on their research agendas. Graduate Student Training Enhancement Grants are intended to deepen preparation for academic positions and other career trajectories.

Images: Philosopher Anne Conway by Samuel van Hoogstraten, c. 1662-1667 (detail); Adela Deanova