Dean Paula D. McClain chats with the recipient of the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award about his memories growing at Duke, his time as a Duke doctoral student, and his controversial ideas about the discipline of social psychology.
"The skills I gained as a teacher are absolutely crucial to my success in industry. Simply put, when you are a teacher you have to communicate complex subjects to people who don’t know anything about them. Being a consultant is like being a teacher in that the people you are working with do not know your jargon, so you have to find another way to connect with them."
How often do you worry about yesterday or tomorrow? Developing a practice of mindfulness can help create a lens through which you view your life – its joys, its challenges, and everything in between – with more clarity and less judgment.
"When I first thought of starting my own company, I was worried about not having the necessary skills to be successful. That really wasn’t an issue. The thing I needed to be more concerned about was whether I had the right attitude."
Many Duke Ph.D. students aspire to a faculty position. But simply securing a position is not the final career goal of a faculty member. What resources are available at Duke to support PhD students who want to thrive in academia?
"I strongly believe that having good mentors is important to one’s career. Good advisors will have high expectations but will also help you understand the larger context of how your research addresses gaps in knowledge and where you can make the most impactful contribution."
Academia or industry? If you’re a STEM Ph.D. candidate, you’ve likely been asked this question countless times regarding your post-graduation plans. But how do you know what path is right for you? Read about how the Graduate Chemistry Council (GCC) has showcased non-traditional careers by hosting various professional development and networking events.