Musicians are creative, but they don’t have business training, so I gave them the tools to grow their communities. I started in sales planning and analysis, because I was good at negotiating and licensing band and brand partnerships. (Everyone likes free clothes, right?) I’d negotiate getting a band’s song in a holiday commercial, stuff like that.
My son was 5 and loved hanging out with the bands, they were in the same creative space.
I started doing more and more of the live performance. I liked working with the bands directly. I ended up running shows, having to travel constantly, working 7 days a week, flying all around. I did South by Southwest, sent bands on Letterman, it was like herding cats.
My son was 7, and I was like, “I don’t want to miss his childhood.”
I always wanted to go back to school and do something that helped a broader community. So, in 2017, my son and I drove around looking at schools.
I walked into Duke Continuing Education. That same day, undergrads were moving on to campus, and I just walked in and said, “I want to go here. You accepted me a long time ago for the class of 2001, with a full scholarship, can I come now?”
And they were like, “OK, come in, sit down.” And that’s how I ended up coming back to Duke.
I thought I would go to law school after I finished my bachelor’s. But I just — public policy is my thing. I really took to Sanford.
I make the joke that I’m like Sanford’s courtyard cat, and I don’t want to leave! Sanford has given me the confidence and the tools to really know that I am going to make a difference.
Duke changed my life, and it changed my son’s life too. Like, he’s picking all these AP engineering courses that he maybe wouldn’t have taken if he hadn’t accompanied me to statistics and watched me go through the process.
Duke changed my life – and the experience of it changing two lives at once? That is an amazing feeling.
– Erin Regan T’21, MPP’23. Erin worked for music companies like Warner and DMX Music before coming to Duke. She was a bartender in Durham while getting her undergraduate degree. She is very thankful for scholarship funds she was awarded by Duke. #HumansofDukeSanford #MPP