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Professional Development

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Your Professional Development Begins Today

No matter what your career plans are, your graduate school experience must encompass more than just coursework, research, presentations, and publications. The Graduate School provides programs, resources, and events to help you with every step along the way—from identifying potential career paths, to developing skills to compete for them, to managing your career. These opportunities will help prepare you for success in academia, business, entrepreneurship, government, and nonprofits. Professional development is not one workshop or one course; it is something you do throughout your time at Duke. So get started now.

Overview of professional development offerings from The Graduate School (PDF)


  • Thursday, October 22, 2020
    3:00 pm to 4:30 pm

    Developing Business and Professional Skills for Graduate Students and Postdocs

    Business skills are necessary in most work settings and in a variety of roles. In this panel discussion with alumni, learn what skills are commonly sought by employers and why these skills are relevant. You will also leave with strategies for further developing these skills. This is part one of a two-part series.  This session will focus on business strategy, teamwork, and time management/delegation.

  • Thursday, October 22, 2020
    7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

    The 2-Hour Job Search Workshop with Steve Dalton

    In this workshop, Fuqua career coach and The 2-Hour Job Search author Steve Dalton offers an exact process–rather than a series of tips–for effectively turning strangers into advocates, leading to more internal referrals and more job interviews. This session proposes an efficient alternative to hopelessly applying to online job postings by turning the difficult topic of networking into something finite and replicable.


Alumni Profiles Series: Melissa Keenan

October 21, 2020
Melissa Keenan, Ph.D.

"I’m really glad that I took the time to make sure that a Ph.D. is what I wanted to do for my career. The experiences that I had outside of academia prior to graduate school were hugely beneficial for me because they helped me to better define my goals and understand how a graduate education would help me to achieve them. At this point, I feel confident about my professional standing, but I also wish I had conducted a more thorough job search in Durham. It’s a great place!"

Alumni Profiles Series: Amy Blawas

October 14, 2020
Amy Blawas, Ph.D.

"For me, the most important thing in my life was my family and my job was always supportive of that. Understand what your priorities are and make them happen. Don’t worry too much about levels or job titles, just do what makes you happy and the rewards will come."

Alumni Profiles Series: Virginie A. Duzer

October 6, 2020
Virginie A. Duzer

"With my undergraduates, I am handling diversity in all its complexity. It is my job to guide someone, with the help of French Arts and Literature, through this definitive moment in their life, whether or not we have anything in common. And that’s the beauty of it!"

Don’t Miss Out

Check out all the professional development programs and events we have to offer.