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Professional Development Series

Events in the Professional Development Series can help students evaluate and prepare for the range of career options open to master's- and PhD-prepared professionals. This series is designed to broaden graduate students’ career perspectives and develop competencies in communication, self-awareness, professional adaptability, leadership, and professionalism.

Programming is offered on a two-year cycle and change each semester; over the course of two years, the series includes opportunities to learn about career paths in each of the five major career sectors available to alumni of The Graduate School: academia, business, entrepreneurship, government, and nonprofit.

Fall 2020 Events

During Fall 2020, The Graduate School will partner with the Office of Postdoctoral Services and Duke Career Center to offer virtual programming in several series. Visit the websites for these series for a full list of events in each of these themes. New events will be added throughout the semester.

The Mentoring and Communication Series
Careers Beyond Academia Series
Alum & HR Zooms Series

Core Competencies

  • Friday, August 21, 2020
    2:00 pm to 2:45 pm

    What Can I Do with a Graduate Degree? Identifying My Transferable Skills

    This workshop will help you identify the transferable skills you’ve already developed in graduate school or your postdoc experience, brainstorm opportunities to continue growing your skills, and connect with tools to help you plan for further development.

  • Tuesday, September 1, 2020
    11:30 am to 1:00 pm

    RCR Forum: Moving From Mentee to Mentor (GS716.02)

    Congratulations! You are finishing your PhD or postdoctoral research and hoping to secure a faculty or industry position soon! You feel confident about your research, but you may have questions about building your lab personnel. How do you figure out whom to hire? How do you set up productive, working relationships with your mentees from the beginning? How can you give feedback? In this interactive session, discover how to successfully move from mentee to mentor.

  • Friday, September 4, 2020
    2:00 pm to 2:45 pm

    Self Assessments and Career Research Tools for Exploring Your Options

    This workshop will introduce several key tools that support you in assessing your skills, interests, and values as you consider possible career alignment. In addition, you’ll learn about two important resources for further career exploration.

  • Thursday, September 10, 2020
    2:00 pm to 3:15 pm

    Presenting Yourself in a Virtual Environment: A Workshop - Cancelled

    This workshop aims to help graduate students and postdocs build confidence in virtual environments, including class discussions, individual and group presentations, and technical and behavioral interviews. We’ll begin the session with an overview of best practices, followed by opportunities to put your learning into practice and get peer feedback in small-group breakouts. Get individualized tips on how to improve your online presence in this camera-on Zoom workshop. This workshop has been cancelled due to low enrollment.

  • Friday, September 11, 2020
    2:00 pm to 2:45 pm

    Making the Most of LinkedIn, the Duke Alumni Network, and Informational Interviews

    Learn how to leverage the Duke Alumni Network together with LinkedIn to maximize your career research and possibilities for connections. Find out how you can put that knowledge into action through informational interviews with professionals in organizations and careers of interest.

  • Tuesday, September 22, 2020
    2:00 pm to 3:30 pm

    Expressing Yourself: Improving Communication by Understanding Preferences - Cancelled

    Have you ever wondered why a colleague always wants an agenda to prepare for a meeting or needs to know the big picture in order to work on the small details of a project? Using a free online assessment to explore your Myers-Briggs personality preferences, we’ll focus on how you can leverage a better understanding of others’ preferences to improve your communication with your research colleagues. This workshop has been cancelled.

  • Thursday, September 24, 2020
    10:00 am to 11:30 am

    RCR Forum: Managing Your Research Career Using an Individual Development Plan (GS717.02)

    For better or for worse, your experiences and the training you receive as graduate students and postdoctoral researchers can greatly impact and shape the rest of your career. However, there are strategies and resources that can enhance your chances of getting what you came for. During this program participants will learn how to develop clear and specific goals and objectives, along with a plan for executing them.

  • Wednesday, September 30, 2020
    2:00 pm to 3:00 pm

    Faculty Job Search Q and A Hosted by Duke Graduate School and Penn Career Services

    Please join Melissa Bostrom, PhD, Assistant Dean for Graduate Student Professional Development at Duke University Graduate School, and Helen Pho, PhD, Associate Director at Career Services at the University of Pennsylvania, for a Q&A conversation on the faculty job search. We’ll discuss some of the most commonly asked questions related to applying for faculty jobs this year and share advice for navigating through the application process. Please come with questions for us related to any aspect of the academic job search!

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Careers Beyond Academia Series

  • Tuesday, August 18, 2020
    11:00 am to 11:30 am

    Alum Zoom: 5 Career Questions with a Duke Ph.D.

    Please join us for a series of short, focused career conversations with former Duke PhD students and postdocs. On August 18, our guest is Ryan Overcash, PhD, Principal Clinical Research Scientist and Head of the Medical Writing Fellowship Program (currently accepting applications!) at Impact Pharmaceutical Services.

  • Tuesday, August 25, 2020
    4:00 pm to 4:45 pm

    Preparing for Virtual Career Fairs and Employer Events

    Career Fairs and employer events are great ways to explore opportunities, practice communication skills, and network with recruiters and hiring managers. This fall all Career Center employer events will be online, and preparation for this format will be helpful in order to have a successful experience.  This workshop will focus on the strategies and tools you can incorporate in order to prepare for these events and stand out as a candidate.

  • Tuesday, August 25, 2020
    11:00 am to 11:30 am

    HR Zoom: 5 Career Questions with a Human Resources Professional

    Want to get the inside scoop on hiring? Wondering what companies are looking for when evaluating PhDs? Join us for a series of short, focused career conversations with Human Resources professionals about the recruiting and hiring practices at their organizations. Our guest on August 25 is Stacy Schnieber, VP of People and Culture at Camargo Pharmaceutical Services.

  • Wednesday, September 2, 2020
    1:00 pm to 1:30 pm

    Alum Zoom: 5 Career Questions with a Duke Ph.D.

    Please join us for a series of short, focused career conversations with former Duke PhD students and postdocs. On September 2, our guest is Erin Parish, Ph.D. '15 (Cultural Anthropology), Design Strategist for the City of Durham.

  • Wednesday, September 9, 2020
    1:00 pm to 1:30 pm

    HR Zoom: 5 Career Questions with a Human Resources Professional

    Want to get the inside scoop on hiring? Wondering what companies are looking for when evaluating PhDs? Join us for a series of short, focused career conversations with Human Resources professionals about the recruiting and hiring practices at their organizations. Our guest on September 9 is Jessica Keough, Recruiting and Onboarding Manager with Research Square.

  • Wednesday, September 9, 2020
    10:00 am to 10:45 am

    Virtual and Phone Interview Tips

    Internship and job interviews are an opportunity to tell your story while clearly conveying your skills and interest for a specific position and organization. Since interviews this fall will either be conducted online or via phone,  this workshop will help you learn useful strategies to prepare strong responses to some of the most common behavioral-style interview questions.

  • Tuesday, September 15, 2020
    12:30 pm to 1:00 pm

    HR Zoom: 5 Career Questions with Syneos Health

    Want to get the inside scoop on hiring? Wondering what companies are looking for when evaluating PhDs? Join us for a series of short, focused career conversations with Human Resources professionals about the recruiting and hiring practices at their organizations. Our guests on September 15 are Susan Akers-Smith, Sr. Vice President, Medical Management & Scientific Services and Christine Cantu, Global Leader, University and Early Career Programs from Syneos Health.

  • Wednesday, September 16, 2020
    4:00 pm to 4:45 pm

    Transforming Your CV to a Resume

    Non-academic employers typically request that applicants provide a focused 1-2 page resume instead of a more comprehensive CV.  What are the essential accomplishments to include in a resume? How do you identify the relevant qualifications that highlight the best of what you have to offer? In this workshop you’ll learn how to convert your CV into a focused, tailored resume that creates a compelling depiction of your significant skills and experiences. 

  • Thursday, September 17, 2020
    3:00 pm to 4:30 pm

    Developing Your Personal Leadership Brand

    In this workshop, you will learn how to determine your destination and create your map by defining your purpose, values and principles through development of a Leadership Brand.  Besides providing you with a “life compass,” this will differentiate you from others and allow you to present yourself in a consistent manner to everyone with whom you interact and lead.  Learn why you need a Leadership Brand and what it can do for you.

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Past Events

Contact

Melissa Bostrom, PhD
Assistant Dean for Graduate Student Professional Development
Duke University Graduate School
melissa.bostrom@duke.edu