Alumni Profiles

Mikhal Ben-Joseph

Campus: UNC
Hometown: Cooper City, FL
High School: American Heritage School

What drew you to the Robertson Program?

My number one priority during the college search process (and in life generally) was to find a place with as many open doors as possible. I needed an environment that would help me turn my crazy dreams into reality: a community of extremely inspiring and unique individuals, the security of a college education that wouldn’t be a financial burden on my family, and the assurance that my experience would prepare me for a meaningful career and life after graduation. After learning more about the program, talking to current scholars, and attending Finalist weekend, I became sure that Robertson’s “Dual Citizenship” between UNC and Duke, limitless potential for leadership adventures, and cohort of students who are as excited about life as I am makes it the college experience of my dreams. I am beyond grateful to be a part of it.

How has your experience with the Robertson shaped your goals and career path?

From LEAD grants to NOLS Spring Break to Colloquium, from involvement and classes at my sister school to my remote Community Summer internship, my college experience has been deeply influenced by Robertson providing me the unfettered ability to chase my interests and passions wherever they may lead. Beyond these opportunities, the unique perspectives and strengths of each scholar in the community inspires me to do and be more. I barely know what I’ll eat for breakfast tomorrow, but I am positive that because of the Robertson, the values of intentional leadership through discomfort and impact-oriented action will guide my long-term career planning.

What has been your favorite Robertson moment so far?

NOLS Spring Break Trip, 2020. While the world came to a grinding halt in mid-March of 2020 due to Covid-19, I was climbing up (and subsequently rappelling down) the canyons in what used to be Bears Ears National Park, Utah. I remember the first day, when our packs were heaviest and I was least confident in my ability to actually complete the backpacking trip, we had to make a steep canyon exit. The overwhelming support I received from my fellow Robertsons in pushing through the scariest thing I’d ever done encapsulates the Robertson experience for me: pushed out of my comfort zone, but constantly surrounded by people and resources who inspire me to reach life’s mountaintop moments.


Robertson Scholars, Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021, at Duke UniversityÕs Smith Warehouse in Durham, N.C.  

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