Gaurav Sen, B.S. 2012

Lawyer (Associate), Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer – London, United Kingdom

2012 Major: Biology; minor in English

How has being a Biology graduate from Duke helped shape you personally and/or professionally?

"I loved studying biology. I was lucky to be able to major in something I truly enjoyed without worrying about how it would affect my career prospects. Unlike many of my biology classmates, I never wanted to pursue a career as a scientist or attending medical school. I just wanted to study something that I found interesting before entering the business world. Duke biology made that possible. Duke's biology program is so widely respected that I was able to secure internship and job interviews in a wide variety of fields, from strategy consulting firms to investment banks, private equity firms and tech companies. I ultimately ended up in strategy consulting, working in New York and Hong Kong, followed by a JD/MBA and a second career as a corporate lawyer in London. I have been well-prepared for that journey by the rigor of Duke's biology program and the evidence-based scientific approach we follow. Moreover, I have been able to impress my non-scientifically educated colleagues with lots of fun analogies to the biological world."

What advice would you give students in Duke's Biology programs? 

"Three things: (1) Only study biology if you truly enjoy it. In America, you are lucky to be in one of the only countries where you can get a job in any corporate field (be it consulting, investment banking, tech or private equity) with any college major. So choose a major that energizes you and makes you excited to attend class. (2) Your post-Duke career can be anything you want it to be. Just because people around you might want to be medical doctors, research scientists or professors doesn't mean that you have to. With a Duke biology degree, you can get any job you want after you graduate. Go for whatever excites you. (3) As part of the recruiting team at my old consulting firm and my current law firm, whenever we see a candidate with a science background, it is always a big plus. We love to bring in people who have diverse perspectives (not the usual econ majors, business majors or political science majors), so having a science background sets you apart from the crowd. It is a huge plus."

Gaurav Sen