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Kaitlyn McCarthy is a Duke 2019 alum and a former Women’s Tennis team member. Five years ago, she participated in ACE in China 2017. Now working as a Digital Project Manager, McCarthy appreciates the role ACE played in helping her discover her own interpersonal skills and communication style. She also shares some of her favorite, fun memories from ACE that helped create lasting bonds between the ACE student-athletes.

What are you doing now? How did ACE influence your career?

I am a Digital Project Manager at a digital agency called Reingold. I manage developers and designers who build and redesign websites for a variety of clients. ACE helped me learn so much about my communication style and how much I enjoyed talking to people every single day. It has certainly influenced the careers I was considering and helped me find my path as a project manager, where I talk to different people all day, every day!

Who do you keep in touch with from ACE?

It has been amazing at how close the group of us that went to China got and has remained to this day. Despite being separated by thousands of miles and having had several years pass, I still chat with my fellow ACE peers. I even have one of the Stanford gals coming to visit me this summer! The friendships and bond really will last a lifetime.

Share a lesson you learned from your ACE experience that still holds true today:

What stood out to me the most of my time at ACE in China was the children that we worked with and the environment they grew up in. This is something that was so impactful during my time there that it is something I can vividly remember, even several years out from the program. It provided such a sense of perspective on all the details of my day-to-day life and has always helped me stay humble.

“ACE helped me learn so much about my communication style and how much I enjoyed talking to people every single day.”

– Kaitlyn McCarthy, ACE in China 2017

Share a fun ACE memory:

One of the first nights, the entire group sat around in this tiny, fully glass room. We laughed, played Would You Rather, and did facemasks (the guys included!). I had such a good time and felt like I had known the group for my entire life… and it was just one of our first nights together.

Describe your ACE experience in as few words as possible.

Incredible, a journey, once-in-a-lifetime experience.

What’s one thing you want people to know about ACE?

It is a way to build friendships, memories, and character.

What’s your hope for the future of ACE? What advice do you have for future ACE participants?

I hope that more and more students realize this and start getting interested! SIGN UP! You will not regret giving it a shot.