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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)


  • Tuesday, January 21, 2020
    9:30 am to 10:30 am

    Whitsell Innovations Medical Writing Internship Session: “The Scope of Medical Communications“

    Medical/Scientific Writing is one of the fastest-growing careers for PhDs in the sciences. The presentation will provide an overview of careers for PhDs who are interested in combining their scientific acumen and writing skills. Dr. Ann Winter-Vann (PhD '04), Senior Writer at Whitsell Communications, will address medical writing for pharmaceutical, biotech, and device companies as well as how industry clients use medical writers to share clinical data in manuscripts, training materials, and presentations.

  • Tuesday, January 21, 2020
    1:00 pm to 5:00 pm

    Spring Engineering + Computing Showcase

    The Spring Engineering + Computing Showcase is a unique networking event where graduate and undergraduate students share individual or team projects with leading tech-industry employers such as IBM, Microsoft, NetApp, SAP, NVIDIA, Stryker and Google. Register a project by December 13.

  • Tuesday, January 21, 2020
    2:00 pm to 3:30 pm

    Job Application Materials Lab

    In this hands-on lab, you will have the opportunity to work on common job application materials such as a resume, CV, cover letter, and/or statements. You will receive tips, examples, and feedback in order to enhance your documents during the session.


Alumni Profiles Series: Cynthia Hougum

January 15, 2020
Cynthia Hougum, Ph.D.

"The transition to industry is not as hard as you might expect because companies are looking for the same qualities that are important in graduate school. They are looking for strong foundational skills, a good work ethic, and the ability to meet deadlines and deliver projects. In some ways, it is actually easier to be successful in industry because the scope and goals of your research are more clearly defined."

A Golden Rule for Graduate School

January 8, 2020
Bernard Lamailloux, "femme debout sur une horloge - allégorie pour une personne qui attend"

“At the beginning of a new year, I implore you to resolve to take professional development seriously.  Start by practicing the habits of common decency, good manners and etiquette by attending events for which you register or RSVP!”

Alumni Profiles Series: Annie Jeong

December 4, 2019
Annie Jeong, Ph.D.

"I would advise students to be open to different types of opportunities, and don’t rule anything out. When people talk about their path, they often say things like, “Oh I got lucky and then this happened.” It’s not just that they got lucky. They were open and they tried different things. When an opportunity came up, they took it. You need to keep open and try different things before you rule them out."

Don’t Miss Out

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