Alumni & Giving

Marcel Yang
Marcel Yang
Degree(s): 
AB in Chemistry (2008)
Employer: 
Program Manager, TransPerfect, New York, NY

How has being a Chemistry graduate from Duke helped shape your professional success?

"Immediately post-graduation, the Duke brand has been a very helpful point of differentiation when entering the post-financial-crisis job market to jump-start my professional career within the language services industry. The Chemistry degree specifically helped me stand out as someone that connects abstract concepts with concrete execution. This connection became a staple of my personal brand and identity within my organization. Over the years, I continued to draw on the Duke Chemistry experience when solving organizational problems in a process-oriented way. This helped accelerate my career in a corporate setting as a business unit manager that balances holistic continuous improvements of process and people with rapid experimentation of radical, forward-thinking concepts. Overall, the Duke Chemistry experience and degree has helped me look at things systemically when solving important business problems and helped launch and accelerate a career in management."

What advice would you give students in Chemistry?

"As the world moves more towards big data, artificial intelligence, and automation, our abilities to quickly experiment on new ideas, analyze vast amounts of data, and challenge fundamental assumptions behind every new idea, process, and technology will be critical to help us lead others in this new world, rather being led. The Duke Chemistry experience and degree transcend subject matter. The discipline in experiment, analysis, and questioning assumptions that the department demands is just as valuable, possibly even more so, when applied beyond the laboratory in a professional setting."