We are here to provide guidance, tools and resources to you, our important campus partners who are having career readiness conversations with students. We hope you feel better equipped when navigating these conversations, are able to quickly reference common career topics you encounter, and are knowledgeable about our services.
Expand Your Influence to Support Students' Career Success
About the Duke Career Center Career readiness conversations are happening daily across the Duke campus and beyond. Career Everywhere (for Everyone) is the belief and understanding that students are not only seeking advice about their career aspirations (and questions) from the staff at the Career Center, but also from faculty, staff, Duke alumni, our employer partners and more.
Career Everywhere helps to ensure that every one a student may interact with regarding career readiness is equipped with the tools and referral resources needed to create consistent messaging for all Duke students! Expanding the career readiness ecosystem is about equity, ensuring students do not fall through the cracks and have access to the tools, resources and support for life after Duke. The Career Center is the hub of this ecosystem, playing the role of consultant, creator, curator and collaborator.
It is our role to create and curate career content; identify and amplify career resources; consult and collaborate with campus colleagues; and set the vision for a campus committed to career readiness and success.
Learn more about us in this quick introductory video featuring Greg Victory, Fannie Mitchell Executive Director; Rachel Coleman, Director, Career Education & Development and Monique Turrentine, Associate Director, Employer Relations.
The Career Influencer Network recognizes faculty and staff across the Duke community who are having meaningful career conversations and provides support, training, and resources to further career advising expertise.
The goals of Career Influencer Network are to… –Acknowledge faculty and staff who are having significant and effective career conversations and provide tools and training to further expertise –Empower faculty and staff to talk about career readiness and resources confidently –Eliminate barriers of access to career information and increase equity and access for all students –Amplify career readiness and professional development resources –Help students identify helpful humans who are open and willing to talk about career goals
If you or someone at Duke that you know:
–Acts as a thought partner for students by encouraging reflection and promoting increased self-awareness –Helps students consider a variety of career options and think through next steps in the decision-making process –Engages in short-term and long-term life and professional goal conversations –Supports students in determining their own conclusions about careers through open-minded, nonjudgmental conversations –Encourages students to reach out to the Career Center as needed
Our Guiding Philosophy: Career Everywhere for Everyone
Career Everywhere for Everyone, is the belief and understanding that students are seeking advice about their career aspirations and the questions associated with those goals not only from the staff at the Career Center but from faculty and staff, Duke alumni, our employer partners, their peers and more. It is our role to create and curate career content, identify and amplify career resources, consult and collaborate with campus colleagues, and to set the vision for a campus committed to career readiness and career success. We are committed to ensuring that students do not fall through the cracks and have access to the tools, resources and support they deserve for a purpose driven life.
With that philosophy, we have three guiding principles–relevancy, visibility, and inclusivity.
Our Guiding Principles: Relevancy, Visibility and Inclusivity
Relevancy: Career services are designed to meet the needs dictated by the current job market and diverse student body in order to effectively engage with employers, alumni, and faculty/staff. Content is created/curated and distributed in a fashion(s) that reflects how students prefer to consume information. Career Communities make efforts to develop thorough industry knowledge in order to provide specific guidance and resources about related fields and employers’ current recruitment practices. Career educational material speaks to current events, a changing world of work, and information considered evergreen.
Visibility: As the Hub of the Career Everywhere model it is essential that we amplify the need for and support of career readiness for all students. Our resources and tools; programs and events; and communications must be scalable and reach the broadest audiences possible. Our staff should be recognizable and seen as collaborators by students, faculty, staff, alumni and our employer colleagues. We will be seen as the champions of a campus committed to career readiness and success.
Inclusivity: As we engage the Career Everywhere model, we will focus on creating equitable programs to meet the needs of all Duke students, and being inclusive of the Duke community, including staff, faculty, alumni and employers. Our inclusivity involves thoughtful consideration of all people as it relates to ensuring that all feel safe, welcome, respected and their voices are heard. We will be proactive in planning, creating and sharing resources, and designing programs and tools to enhance our engagement with all stakeholders in an inclusive and equitable manner.
What Does the Career Center do?
Often students and other members of the Duke community see the Career Center as a place for transactional engagement.A cover letter, CV/Resumeor personal statement review; developing job/internship strategies; practicing for interviews or enhancing your LinkedIn profile.Although our office offersallthose services and more, our focus is on coaching and advising students through their career journey and providing engagement opportunities with a variety of employers.
We help students explore purpose; reflect on their experiences; seek information about their interests; and expand their view of opportunities that exist. Our hope is that we help students make transformational decisions that have positive impacts on their Duke experience and their future.
Our office serves all Duke undergraduate students, certain Master’s programs, all doctoral students, and alumni from those programs up to one year after graduation.
The Career Development Process
The Duke Career Center believes career is a journey and not a destination. Actively managing a career pathway is a lifelong, dynamic process that incorporates the collection of a student’s experiences.
The Duke Career Development Process and accompanying skills were designed to help students explore options and take action on the steps necessary to pursue opportunities and also learn to articulate strengths relevant to opportunities. You can help your students navigate this process through active reflection and practicing career readiness skills that will prepare them for life after Duke.
The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE)defines career readiness as the attainment and demonstration of requisite competencies that broadly prepare college graduates for a successful transition into the workplace. In addition to a college/graduate degree and education, work/hands-on experience, transferable skills, and an overall awareness of personal career management is sought of in recent graduates.
Career Readiness Means That Duke Students:
Know how their interests, values and skills relate to career opportunities
Understand fundamental career decision-making processes
Make use of career exploration and job search resources
Engage professionals in their areas of interest (networking & community building)
Can articulate their ability to contribute in a work setting
Proactively pursue their career goals
As faculty and staff, you often help students develop these competencies throughout their time at Duke.
The Employer Relations Team in the Duke Career Center works to achieve the following:
• Cultivate relationships with employers & alumni for internships and full-time opportunities, guiding them to “develop a strategy” for their organization to recruit at Duke successfully.
• Facilitate virtual and in-person connections between students and employers through career fairs, networking events, and interviews.
• Provide funding support to undergraduate students completing low-paying or unpaid internships.
How You Can Help Your Students
• Job and Internship Search Process Commitments- students may be invited to travel for interviews or professional development opportunities, which may impact class attendance.
• Job and Internship Postings- the Career Center has a database called Handshake where employers can post jobs/internships and students can search/apply through our system. Opportunities are posted daily and students can sign up to receive alerts.
• Career Fairs and Events- students actively seeking opportunities or exploring career options are encouraged to attend career fairs and other employer-related events.
It is reported that 88 percent of graduates received at least some career advice from either faculty or career services. Graduates are often more likely to have received career advice from faculty or staff members than from the career services office (Mentoring Students to College Success, 2018 Strada Gallup Alumni Survey) You are an integral part of a student’s career development and we are excited that you’re having meaningful conversations about their values, interests, skills and career goals. For additional support, consider referring to the information in these frequently asked questions as you approach these crucial career conversations.
How can I start a career conversation with a student?
Asking open-ended, reflective questions is a great way to better understand their goals and determine how you might be a resource. Framing questions around short-term needs can help students feel supported in the present moment and inquiring about long-term goals can help them to be intentional about future decisions. While you can provide expertise, resources or contacts that would be helpful, you can also support students by teaching them about the Career Development Process, where/how to get information, weigh multiple perspectives and then make decisions that best align with their values, interests, skills and goals.
How can I work with a student who has unclear interests?
We recommend asking questions that can help them articulate aspects of their self-awareness. What are their values, interests, skills and goals? What problems do they want to solve? What issues do they want to work with? What do they enjoy doing? What have they experienced so far that they did not like? What energizes them? Depletes them? What do they do well and excel in? How might their family, culture or financial circumstances impact their choices? Students are less likely to feel overwhelmed by researching and exploring different industries if they spend time reflecting on questions like this beforehand. It also gives them a better sense of clarity and motivates them to find out more information.
How can I help students explore career paths?
Students are often looking for a place to start in a sea of opportunities and resources. Help them identify what part of their exploration feels the most pressing, what they would like to prioritize in their search or break down the process into smaller goals. Determine what resources or connections you might be able to provide based on their interests. Offer them specific names of people to talk to or, better yet, introduce them to a connection. When in doubt, refer them to the Career Center and other resources on campus (Academic Advising, Campus Life Centers, Interdisciplinary Departments, etc.) who are experts in that area to ensure they are getting the most accurate information.
How can I best connect students to people and resources?
You likely have advice on useful resources and perhaps even contacts at other institutions, companies, professional organizations or former students you’ve mentored that would be a welcome first connection. We encourage students to follow their curiosity and reach out to faculty, alumni and other professionals in order to build relationships, learn about their career journeys and ask questions. Our Networking and Informational Interviewing guides can help them get started in finding the right people and framing the questions they’d like to ask or advice they’re seeking.
How can I help students reflect or process their experiences and co-curricular activities?
Asking open-ended or “why” questions or how the experiences connect with their values, interests, skills and goals can help them to process. Consider paraphrasing or summarizing what students are sharing. This allows them to hear their experience through someone else’s lens, provides additional descriptive language that previously may not have been considered, and reaffirms how the experience may or may not connect with their values, interests, skills and goals. These types of prompts can also help students who are involved with too many co-curricular activities evaluate quality over quantity as well as students who are struggling to find experiences beyond their coursework or research.
How can I support students who are in transition or making a change from their previous career path or plan?
There are many careers that could fit a student’s interests, skills, and values and they will have more than one career throughout their lifetime. Discussing this fact can be reassuring and normalize their change and transition. This is an example of how staying open and being adaptable can actually get you closer to your goals even when it feels like a big shift to your plans. We encourage students to trust their decision and give themselves a chance to succeed on this new path. It takes courage to try something new and get outside of their comfort zone. Ask what would help them make this transition more seamless? What do they need to feel more confident on this new path? If you have changed your major/career path this might also be a great time for self-disclosure. If not, sharing other professional or student anecdotes can help normalize career transition.
How can I help students navigate decision-making?
It can be helpful to ask students what type of decision-maker they generally are (i.e., do they tend to make an analytical pro/con list or do they follow their “gut” or instincts more often) and also how they have made important decisions in the past. How has this worked or not worked for them? What internal and external factors are at play? What information do they still need to find out to help make this decision? Who else might they want to talk to? You can also engage them in a conversation about their short and long-term career goals, priorities and values to see how different options fit those. We’ve found that’s important for students to have agency in their decision-making rather than trying to solve decisions for them or offer what we think would be best.
How can I look up where alumni have gone from certain majors or programs?
When exploring career options, students often ask about the jobs and paths of alumni from their major/program or similar ones. You can view that data in our employment outcomes section, on many of the departmental admissions webpages, and also use the Duke Alumni Directory and LinkedIn to filter by major or program. You may want to remind them, though, that seeing where others have gone is just one data point to consider and not representative of all options. They should also think about how their own unique values, interests, skills and goals could lead to satisfying career paths.
Which skills and competencies are employers looking for?
Since desired skills and competencies may differ depending on the industry, role and even by organization, conducting thorough research (both online and with people) is the best way to learn which ones are valued most. Since students are already building these skills in the classroom and through their co-curricular experiences, you can help them reflect on how they are gaining these skills, which new ones they want to develop, and how to communicate them effectively. The Top 10 Skills Employers Are Seeking might be a useful starting point (notice how many of the essential skills are not technical).
How can I help undergraduates consider careers beyond finance, consulting, technology, law and prehealth?
Linear, well-known paths are very appealing to Duke students. They are often afraid to stray from these paths for fear of not knowing how other career trajectories work or recruit, or they might face familial pressure. It is important for students to know a liberal arts education can provide a wide variety of skills such as writing, communication, problem-solving, critical thinking, analytical reasoning, and cultural awareness. Liberal arts majors have the flexibility to use the Duke curriculum to design and configure the type of academic experience they want and select co-curricular experiences that broaden their interests. The versatile skills students will gain are highly marketable and make them qualified for a variety of jobs, industries, and fields.
How can I help undergraduates decide on a major?
Choosing a major should not limit or dictate a student’s career options. While there are a few fields that will require a particular major (i.e., an engineer), more often than not, employers and graduate/professional schools actually appreciate a wide range of majors. Students can major in music and go into data science or they can major in history and decide to pursue marketing. The most important factors are their interests and the transferable skills that they can take to an employer. Watch this video to see how Greg Victory, Fannie Mitchell Executive Director of the Career Center, answers the question, Does My Major Really Matter? and learn about the connections between major and career.
What are some of the top tools and resources for graduate students exploring careers outside academia?
–Networking and conducting informational interviews with alumni/professionals of interest is a very useful way to learn about and explore career options
–Refer to the response above on How can I look up where alumni have gone from certain majors/minors/departments/programs? –Encourage students to utilize our guides and mini courses to help them develop greater self-awareness and find careers that align with their values and interests, explore different industries, transform their CV to a resume and more.
–Attend panels and workshops in our Careers Beyond Academia Series including new Alum/HR Zooms
–Get experience and develop skills through student organizations, internships and other opportunities beyond their coursework or research –VersatilePhD helps PhDs explore and prepare for a variety of professional careers –ImaginePhD is another great career exploration and planning tool for grad students
How can I further support graduate students who are seeking positions in academia?
Students seeking academic positions can often use extra support in creating a plan to build necessary skills, communicating their research or work effectively, reviewing job application materials, interviewing, negotiating and more. Students can reference our extensive Academic Job Search Prep Guide and attend sessions in our Academic Job Search Series. Since the academic job market is especially difficult right now we encourage students to have multiple backup plans. They may need some guidance on thinking through different career options, both inside and outside of academia.
How can I best support Master’s students who are typically here for a short time?
Master’s students do not have as much time to explore careers or find internships/jobs, and they can benefit greatly from being intentional and prioritizing what is most important to them. We recommend these students utilize our services and resources even over the summer before they arrive so they can be informed, prioritize their goals and feel supported.
How can I support students who are unexpectedly leaving their doctoral program?
Leaving a doctoral program early can be stressful but that doesn’t mean one’s career options are limited. However, these students often need to find a job quickly and without much preparation. If you are able to connect them with anyone else who left early or make an introduction to someone in their desired career field that can go a long way. In addition to referring the student to us for an advising appointment, we’ve also put together a Job Search Checklist, which they can use to help guide them in an active job search.
Networking is not only an essential professional skill, it is also an important life skill. Our Networking and Informational Interviewing guides can help students get started on things like how to build their network, where to find people, what types of questions they might ask and how to create an online profile. Here are some tips we have especially for our faculty and staff partners:
–Share your own networking stories including how you maintain your connections over time.
–Remind students they can always grow their existing network, and that you’re one piece of that network already, along with their current Duke community (peers, faculty, staff, etc.).
–Share any of your own resources and strategies for connecting with other people.
–Facilitate a connection with someone in your own network.
–Encourage students to connect with alumni and friends of Duke via sites like the Duke Alumni Directory,LinkedIn and Ask a Blue Devil.
–Encourage students to check out Handshake the Career Center and Duke events calendars on a weekly basis to register for networking opportunities like career fairs, employer events, alumni speakers and more. And feel free to attend these events yourself!
Internship and Job Search Resources
We understand that clarifying career goals and searching for opportunities can be challenging in the best times. The current job market, which has been impacted by COVID-19, along with issues of racial injustice, difficulty for international students and additional stressors can make things even more challenging right now. We are here to support students through every step of the process.
Below are some of the most frequently utilized services and resources we recommend for students who are in an active search:
–We offer individual and group advising services to help students clarify their values, skills and interests, set goals, develop effective search strategies and more.
–Our guide to job searching provides a checklist and ideas to frame their search.
–Our collection of online mini courses and skills guides can be accessed 24/7 and cover helpful information like how to create a resume, write a cover letter, search tips, networking and more. –Handshake is our comprehensive career platform where students can schedule advising appointments, register for upcoming events and search for internships/jobs in our database.
–We have recently added new and improved tech tools like Big Interview to practice interview skills, as well as Interstride and Lockin China to support our international students.
–We have also curated diversity resources to assist students in their career development and job-related pursuits.
As a faculty or staff partner you can also:
–Share your own job search and career journey.
–Offer advice on the profession, field, industry, and/or academic requirements.
–Consider sharing previous Duke students or industry contacts that might be a helpful resource.
–Educate students on industry do’s and don’ts when possible.
–Check-in with students who are actively job searching to see how they are doing and show support.
Whether you are working with undergraduates, Master’s or doctoral students, one thing is the same no matter which degree or program- Duke students do remarkable things!
*Note:Outcomes data for undergraduate students at Duke has primarily been collected through the Senior Survey. This does not give us the robust data we should have related to first destination data for students. For the Class of 2021 a new approach to outcomes data collection is being implemented to significantly increase our knowledge rate.
Career Fairs and Events– We welcome faculty and staff who wish to attend our events to learn more about our work and to meet with employers. We partner frequently with Duke offices and consortiums of schools to connect students with employers. Or if you have organizations you think would be interested in recruiting Duke students, please let us know.You can contact us at email@example.com
Post a Job or Internship for Students–Do you get internship/job listings from professional associations, former students or other contacts?If so please share those with us so we can make sure students have access to these great opportunities. Faculty and staff who hire students for roles in your offices or labs, may request access to post opportunities in our system.
Internship Funding Program– You can refer undergraduate students with low-paying or unpaid summer internships apply for funding through our program.
Class Presentations and Projects- Seeking employer presenters for class? We can suggest employers and/or provide contact information.
Career Workshops and Programs- The Career Advising teams collaborate to offer career skill development and population-specific workshops. Direct students to Handshake to view and register for upcoming events.
Ideas for Engagement- We are open to scalable ideas around faculty and staff engagement with the Career Center and welcome an opportunity to discuss ideas.
Employer Referrals and Introductions- Do you have a relationship with an employer that would like to hire Duke students? We are glad to receive the introduction and assist the employer.
Student Referrals– At any point in your conversations, you can refer students to make an appointment with a career advisor through Handshake. You can also direct them to Career Community pages or our Our Team page to learn more about our advisors.
To receive monthly communication and be notified of relevant events and programs, keep an eye out for The Career Center Campus Partner Newsletter in your inbox.
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