Senior Michael Mandl highlights his breadth of business experience and passion for Duke as he vies to become Young Trustee.
Mandl drew from his experiences as former president of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity and former CEO of Campus Enterprises, a student-run company that provides services such as laundry delivery, screen printing and catering, and formerly operated under the name Devil’s Delivery Service. An economics and history double major, Mandl also sat on the Business and Finance Committee of the Board of Trustees.
“My experiences [on the Board of Trustees committee] have provided me with insight into pressing challenges that Trustees face and how they process their decisions,” Mandl said.
Mandl said the three largest issues that the Board will face in the short term are the implementation of large capital construction projects on campus, Duke’s programming and expansion overseas and the maintenance of the Duke brand. Although international expansion is crucial for the future of the University, Mandl added that people need to remember that the Durham campus should remain a top priority.
“Duke should work hard to be the best possible University that Duke can be, without trying to be another place,” he said.
Regarding the West Union Building renovations, Mandl said the next step is to determine how best to implement changes to serve students.
Mandl noted that his background in business would be particularly valuable as Young Trustee because he would be well positioned to interact with the numerous Board members who come from the field.
“Sitting in the boardroom can be a little daunting, but... I’m prepared to take it on and be confident that I could make a difference from day one,” Mandl said.
Senior Chelsea Sassouni, who worked with Mandl on Campus Enterprises, believes that his real-world perspective from working in finance and other industries will set him apart from other candidates. She also highlighted his desire to leave a positive legacy at Duke.
“Michael has a certain drive and motivation that pushes him to incite change in any environment that he’s in, whether it’s Duke or a future job,” Sassouni said.
Serving as president of ATO gave him the privilege of leading a diverse group of students, Mandl said, adding that the position forced him to critically examine campus issues—such as the new house model—and analyze how best to address those issues. He added that he has had the opportunity to interact with campus administrators in various settings
Todd Adams, senior associate dean of students, first met Mandl at a student leadership retreat at the beginning of Mandl’s junior year. Adams noted that since then, they have frequently discussed issues related to some of the leadership positions Mandl has held during his time on campus.
“Michael does not look at leadership in a vacuum,” Adams said. “He realizes that it’s a relationship among people, and this is the approach he takes.... He likes to look at things from a macro perspective and that helps him understand the landscape around him.”
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