Why Duke is Doubly Important to These Twins

Miranda and Hayley Young followed love of Duke into workforce


Miranda Young, left, and Hayley Young, right, both 25, found that when it was time to enter the workforce, Duke was the only place they wanted to be. Photo by Bryan Roth.

There are many similarities between sisters Hayley and Miranda Young that go beyond the fact that they look alike. They're identical twins, after all.

The most prominent likeness may be a shared love of Duke. Both attended University of California-Irvine for undergraduate degrees and Hayley received a master's degree in education from Harvard University. But it was the year they spent in the Master of Management Studies program at Duke's Fuqua School of Business that had a strong influence on them.

When it came time to enter the workforce, they found there was nowhere they'd rather be than Duke. Miranda started in May 2012 and Hayley came to Duke in 2013, right after she finished her degree at Harvard.

"Fuqua was a really special place and it offered us a life-changing program," said Miranda, now a program manager with the Master of Management Studies program. "For us, the chance to work here just felt special because of our strong connection."

For the sisters, who are 25, the intimate connection to a place of employment isn't uncommon. In fact, in Working@Duke's look into the Duke’s Millennial employee population, the publication found connecting intrinsic passions to a job to be a common theme.

"If your heart isn't into what you're doing, you're not going to get better and improve over time," said Steve Dalton, senior associate director of Fuqua's Career Management Center. "You're better off identifying passions up front and following those."

That's what the Youngs did. Instead of returning home to California, they decided Durham was the place to be.

"Being so far from home while we were studying here, Duke became our home away from home," said Hayley, research analyst and educational program director at the Duke Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative. "There wasn't the same indescribable spirit anywhere else that we felt while we were at Duke."

As young professionals, they found strong support from their supervisors and believed their best chance to grow came from working at Duke.

"You can see a trajectory when you work here and that's why people stay for so long," Hayley said.

Added Miranda, "Starting early, you know you can grow into any sort of role because Duke wants to maintain institutional knowledge and passion. That's why there’s value to invest time and effort into people like us."

Read more about Millennials' role at Duke in Working@Duke's story, The Future of Duke's Workforce.