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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:

  • Biochemistry Ph.D., associate professor in the Triad
  • Biochemistry Ph.D., director of strategy and operations at a European pharmaceutical company
  • Biochemistry and Cell and Molecular Biology Ph.D., professor and chair of pharmacology at Triangle university
  • Business Administration Ph.D. working in credit risk in the Charlotte banking industry
  • Chemistry Ph.D., associate professor at a university in Virginia
  • Computer Science Ph.D., software engineer for IT startup in Santa Clara, CA
  • Economics Ph.D., managing director for litigation consulting in San Francisco
  • Economics Ph.D., senior scholar at a Triangle-area business school with a research focus on emerging financial markets
  • History Ph.D., assistant professor at Atlanta-area university
  • History Ph.D., assistant dean at a university in the San Francisco area
  • International Development master's, governor of a Philippines province
  • Mathematics Ph.D., software tester for a major analytics software company in the Triangle
  • Mechanical Engineering & Material Science Ph.D. who's transitioned from research to sales and business management in semiconductor industry
  • Microbiology and Immunology Ph.D., senior vice president of product development for a biotechnology company in the Triangle
  • Molecular Biology Ph.D., professor at Boston-area university
  • Music Ph.D., senior account manager for research and consulting firm in Charlotte
  • Pharmacology Ph.D., professor of equine internal medicine in Alabama
  • Romance Studies Ph.D., associate professor of Spanish at private university near the Triangle
  • Romance Studies Ph.D., graduate professional development director at Triangle-area university
  • Romance Studies Ph.D., associate professor of French and Francophone Studies at university in Washington, DC
  • 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
  • Sociology Ph.D., senior associate dean and professor in Austin, Texas
  • Statistical Sciences M.S., data scientist at Triangle-area machine-learning startup

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 the blog editors at grad-profdev@duke.edu to get started!

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