Dealing With Rejection and Silence in Your Search

The weeks after fall break are a common time for students to feel some burnout or worry about their search process. Perhaps you’ve submitted some (or many!) applications and are not getting the response you expect. This is totally normal and the career coaches are here to support you. You’ve also got loads of support at Duke.

A short storytime moment: In 2019 we partnered with a group of students and alums who had had successful searches. Our task was to identify each of the tasks that made up a full job or internship search and categorize them into a set of steps. From this emerged the “Eight Steps for Search Success”, which exists now to help you to design, execute, and troubleshoot your search.

While steps like “clarify what you want” and “find and apply for opportunities” might be completely obvious, a few meaningful surprises emerged. One is the category, “stay positive and motivated”.

Just like you prepare for step 7, “interview”, there are tasks and steps that the students knew were essential for staying motivated. To stay positive in your search you will:

Please use these resources to support your progress, especially when it’s hard. Coaches are here to support you, especially when it’s hard.

In addition to our core support, here are two more resources to help you feel confident, resilient, and capable even if it’s a season of silence and rejection right now.

By Cameo Hartz
Cameo Hartz Assistant Director, Engineering Master's Career Services & Professional Development Cameo Hartz