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Become A Contributor

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.

What is this blog, and who’s the intended audience?

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.

Why should I write a post for the professional development blog?

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.

What should I write about?

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.
  • A 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.

what is the time commitment?

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.

Alumni Profiles Series

The blog regularly features profiles of Duke graduate alumni who have followed interesting paths with their graduate degrees. We're looking for students interested in contributing alumni profiles to our blog.  By writing these profiles, you will:

  • Connect with Duke alumni in potential careers 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:

  • Genetics Ph.D., now working in university student affairs in the Triangle
  • Liberal Studies M.A., now working as a product manager in San Francisco
  • Music Ph.D. with a background as executive director of a nonprofit chamber ensemble now in audience education in Tulsa
  • Music Ph.D., now a senior account manager for a research and consulting firm in Charlotte
  • Physics Ph.D., now working as a software engineer at Google in NYC
  • Sociology Ph.D., now working as a senior associate dean and professor at the University of Texas at Austin

Who should I contact  to get involved?

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 us at grad-profdev@duke.edu to get started!

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