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From a Distance: Online Resources

Whatever their location, students in The Graduate School can remain engaged in their professional development. Below are links to online workshops and other resources, as well as archived videos of seminars and panel discussions held at Duke.

These resources are brought to you by the Office of Postdoctoral Services, Career Center, and the Graduate School’s Professional Development Series.

Online Introduction to LinkedIn workshop for Graduate Students

This workshop helps you polish your profile and leverage LinkedIn as a networking and career research tool. Designed specifically for Duke graduate students, this workshop is offered completely online and is available anytime. There are three video modules (approximately 10 minutes apiece) and two exercises. Students who complete the entire workshop can submit their profiles for review by a Career Center adviser and join a LinkedIn group of certified Duke users.

To join the workshop:

  1. Log in to Sakai with your NetID and password.
  2. Click the "Membership" button in My Workspace, then the "Joinable Sites" tab.
  3. Expand the list to display 200 items, then scroll down to find the space for LinkedIn for Grad Students.
  4. Click the "Join" link below the site title.

Video Recordings: Academic Job Search Series and Careers Beyond Academia Series

Throughout the year, Duke offers a variety of professional development topics of interest to graduate students and postdocs. The Office of Postdoctoral Services has archived videos of many of these seminars and workshops, where you get to hear from experts and professionals in a variety of career fields.

To find videos for any sessions that were recorded, visit the Academic Job Series and Careers Beyond Academia Series webpages and look for the red links. New videos will be added as they become available.

You can also visit the Duke Postdoctoral Services YouTube Channel to access recordings of past series, including:

The Versatile PhD

The Versatile PhD is a website founded to help graduate students prepare for nonacademic careers. As a Duke student, you can access premium content (go to the access portal, sign in with your Duke NetID, and follow the on-screen instructions). If you’re contemplating a job search beyond the tenure track, The Versatile PhD can demystify the process and possibilities. Here is just a sampling of what you can find:

  • The Ph.D. Career Finder helps you explore possible career options and features first-person stories of Ph.D.s and A.B.D.s working in those professions. They share their experiences of pursuing a nonacademic career as well as actual résumés and cover letters that they used in landing their jobs.
  • Online panel discussions, which run for five consecutive days, focus on a particular career path and feature Ph.D.s currently working in that industry. You can find upcoming VPhD panel discussions by visiting the Duke Professional Development Series webpage. Past discussions are also archived on the VPhD site.
  • Forums allow you to join networking groups, learn about the career paths of other Ph.D.s, and ask questions to a diverse, sympathetic, and knowledgeable community. There are two forums, one for Humanities/Social Sciences scholars and another for researchers in STEM fields.

Webinar: Five Actionable Steps for Transitioning Smoothly to a Non-faculty Career

In this free webinar, presented by Bitesize Bio, Duke Ph.D. alumna Heidi Scott Giusto, owner and founder of Career Path Writing Solutions, discusses how she forged her own career path outside of academia as well as five steps you can begin taking NOW that will help you transition when you are ready.

The current state of the academic job market has come under scrutiny in recent years, largely because of the shrinking number of tenure-track jobs available. This situation has forced graduate students and postdocs to reconsider their employment options. Other scholars may realize that academia is no longer a good fit for them but are unsure of how to land a non-faculty position. This process of self-reflection and job searching can be filled with anxiety and fear. But it doesn’t have to be.

The presenter shares how she came to terms with something unexpected: after many years spent pursuing a PhD, she realized she didn’t want to be a professor or researcher.

Principles and Techniques for Developing and Delivering Effective Scientific Presentations

Duke Presenting Clinical and Translational Science (PCATS) experts Kevin Weinfurt, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry and behavioral science, and Steve Grambow, Ph.D., vice-chair of Education and assistant professor in the Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, created a series of videos to assist other scientists in developing effective presentations. The series comprises four sections: Telling Your Story, Creating Slides, Presenting Data, and Giving Your Presentation. Find the PCATS YouTube Channel to watch the videos.