Are you looking for ways to build your online presence and professional portfolio? Do you know a  Graduate School alumnus/a with a great career story that you’d like to tell? Are you learning about professional development opportunities at Duke and interested in becoming a guest contributor to this blog? Keep reading to learn more.


The Professional Development blog offers current graduate students an opportunity to learn about professional development in a dynamic online format, to share their experiences through their own posts, and to build their career networks. It showcases professional development programming as well as profiling student successes, and is oriented toward current students, alumni networks, and potential employers.


You already know how important a polished, professional online presence can be to your career, no matter what your aspirations are. When you contribute to The Graduate School’s professional development blog, we will make sure that you have a professional-looking headshot that you can also use on LinkedIn, Twitter, and your other online profiles. You will have the opportunity to promote your accomplishments and research and provide links to your blog or website. Contributing to the professional development blog is an opportunity to grow and highlight your online communication portfolio.


Because this blog is focused specifically on graduate student professional development, most of our student posts fall into three main categories: profiles, resources, and personal reflections.

  •  A profile is an interview focusing on a Graduate School alumnus/a and the path of his or her professional development. Learn more about the alumni profiles series.
  •  A resources piece should describe some professional development resource that you have found useful: what is it, how did you use it, and why was it useful? The focus could be an on-campus speaker or workshop, a book, a blog or online tool, etc.
  • reflection focuses on your own experiences with professional development, especially at Duke. Have you attended Graduate School programming and come away with new insights or opportunities, or even published work to show for it? Did you land an exciting summer internship or a job, and want to share your story?

Regardless of the topic, your blog post will include your name and photo, and should also specify your department/program, year, and the degree you are seeking. You will want to be sure to properly introduce the subject (whether an individual or event) for an external audience and describe why it is interesting. Blogging is a great change of pace from your academic writing, because it allows you to communicate in a tone that expresses your personality while remaining professional, conversational, and jargon-free. You can read our guidelines for guest contributors for more details.


Deadlines are flexible and can be tailored to fit your schedule. We'll work with you to set a target due date for the first draft, and we'll partner throughout the editing and publishing process to ensure that your post represents you well as an example of writing for a broad audience in an online format.


The blog regularly features profiles of Duke graduate alumni who have followed interesting paths with their graduate degrees. We're always looking for students interested in contributing alumni profiles to our blog. (See our contributor guidelines.) By writing a profile, you will:

  • Connect with a Duke alum in a potential career of interest to you
  • Gain experience in informational interviews
  • Add to your online communication portfolio an example of writing for a broad audience
  • Demonstrate to potential employers your commitment to professional development

We can help you identify alumni of interest using the Duke Alumni Network, and we provide a list of questions to start the conversation and editing support to ensure that the resulting post represents you well. We are currently seeking students to write profiles of the following alums, who have already expressed their willingness to be interviewed for the series:

  • Biomedical Engineering Ph.D., vice president of client innovation at a digital healthcare company in Boston
  • Biomedical Engineering Ph.D., professor of biomedical engineering and administrative leader in teaching and learning in Pennsylvania
  • Chemistry Ph.D., associate professor of chemistry at large public university
  • Computational Biology Ph.D., senior scientist with a U.S. government agency
  • Economics Ph.D., senior director in real estate research and analytics in NYC
  • Economics M.A., institutional investor in Bay Area
  • Economics Ph.D., vice president for global asset manager based in Bay Area
  • Economics M.S., Managing Director of a Major Investment Firm, with a focus on technology investing, based in Palo Alto
  • English M.A., general counsel at Atlanta-area real estate firm
  • History Ph.D., lecturer in department of Afroamerican and African Studies in Michigan
  • History Ph.D., founder of Atlanta-area executive coaching firm
  • International Development master's, governor of a Philippines province
  • Mechanical Engineering and Material Science Ph.D., structural engineer with NASA in New Orleans
  • Molecular Genetics and Microbiology Ph.D., partner at a Boston-area law firm
  • Pharmacology Ph.D., professor of equine internal medicine in Alabama
  • Pharmacology PhD, program associate at Boston-area environmental health nonprofit
  • Pharmacology Ph.D., Senior Product Manager at Nashville software company
  • Physics Ph.D., CEO of an AI/ML company
  • Romance Studies Ph.D., associate professor of Spanish at private university near the Triangle
  • Romance Studies Ph.D., professor emeritus of French and interdisciplinary studies at Atlanta-area liberal arts college
  • Romance Studies Ph.D., instructor of Spanish and real estate at universities in Utah


If you already have an idea in mind for a blog post, we would love to hear about it. On the other hand, if you know you would like to take advantage of the opportunity to be a guest blogger, but you don’t know where to begin, we can help you develop a topic. Email the blog editors at to get started!

Note: We only accept guest contributions from current Duke Graduate School students, faculty, and staff.