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.
Spring 2021 Events
During Spring 2021, 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.
- Tuesday, January 19, 202111:00 am to 12:00 pm
Graduate students and postdocs are integral parts of multidisciplinary research teams at Duke. Like faculty, they work closely with and mentor undergraduate researchers. Undeterred by the pandemic, graduate students and postdocs found new ways to connect with students last summer. At this virtual roundtable, we will hear from graduate students and a postdoctoral researcher who took collaborative research online. Panelists will reflect on their experiences organizing remote symposia and serving on remote research teams such as Bass Connections, Data+, and Story+. Panelists will reflect on their experiences serving on remote research and symposium teams in summer 2020 and participate in an informal discussion on mentorship and teamwork during these uncertain times.
- Thursday, January 21, 20211:30 pm to 2:15 pm
Seeking a fellowship or grant to support your research? Need dissertation support? Take this opportunity to learn how to search for funding by using Duke's subscription to Pivot. In the workshop you'll create an account, update your profile, and plan a search strategy, leading to a short-list of likely funders. This workshop is offered by the Office of Research Support.
- Monday, January 25, 20212:00 pm to 2:45 pm
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.
- Wednesday, January 27, 20211:00 pm to 1:45 pm
This workshop will help you make the most of your master's experience at Duke by connecting you with the most important campus resources and strategies to build your career and professional development.
- Monday, February 1, 20212:00 pm to 2:45 pm
Turn your research acumen to the task of exploring your career options. This workshop will introduce key tools that help you identify potential career alignment opportunities and learn about them in depth.
- Tuesday, February 2, 20211:30 pm to 3:00 pm
Have you ever wondered how your personality preferences shape the way you interact with other people? If you prefer quiet time alone to interacting with a group, might that preference shape your style as a leader—and the way it’s received by those with the opposite preference? What if you like to be highly organized with checklists but your colleagues prefer to fly by the seat of their pants? This interactive workshop will help you learn about your behaviors and preferences by considering the way that people with the opposite personality preferences might perceive you, impacting your effectiveness as a leader.
- Friday, February 5, 20211:30 pm to 3:00 pm
Do you ever question your role in your lab? Do you hesitate to address issues with your mentor? Do you wonder how to be successful during this step in your career? In this interactive session, learn how to navigate the mentoring relationship, including how to promote open communication, work more productively with your mentor, and get the most out of your training experience.
- Monday, February 8, 20212:00 pm to 2:45 pm
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.
- Friday, February 19, 20211:30 pm to 3:00 pm
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, February 26, 20211:45 pm to 3:00 pm
Whether you're interested in meeting professionals in industry, startup, government, or academia, you'll find leaders in these sectors among Duke alumni. Take advantage of this unique opportunity to meet Duke alumni in a virtual speed-networking context. Registration closes Wednesday, February 24 at 9:00 am ET.
Careers Beyond Academia Series
- Wednesday, January 27, 20219:00 am to 9:45 am
Career Fairs and employer events are great ways to explore opportunities, practice communication skills and network with recruiters and hiring managers. This spring all of our 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.
- Thursday, February 4, 20214:30 pm to 6:00 pm
Talking about academic work with people outside your field is hard--and it often gets harder as you become more expert. For the vast majority of scholars, this problem is bigger than surviving an awkward holiday dinner. Most of us eventually hawk our academic wares to employers who have little understanding of what work in the lab or library is like. In this talk, Christopher Caterine, author of Leaving Academia: A Practical Guide, will discuss how you can use informational interviews to explore new careers, practice translating your skills, and prepare to convey your value to employers beyond the professoriate.
- Thursday, February 4, 202110:00 am to 11:30 am
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.
- Friday, February 5, 202111:00 am to 11:30 am
As part of a series of short, focused career conversations with former Duke PhD students and postdocs, we'll feature Anh Do, PhD '19 (Political Science), Data Scientist with Nielsen. Nielsen is a global measurement and data analytics company that provides the most complete and trusted view available of consumers and markets worldwide. Dr. Do participated in an Insight Data Science fellowship following completion of her Ph.D. and began working for Nielsen in 2019.
- Tuesday, February 9, 20214:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Spend an hour getting to know yourself better with ImaginePhD, a free online tool that helps you assess your skills and interests as well as examine your values. ImaginePhD can help you surface gaps between your skills—the things you’re good at doing—and your interests—the activities that bring you satisfaction. Armed with that self-knowledge, you can make a plan to grow in the skills that matter to you.
- Wednesday, February 10, 202111:00 am to 11:30 am
Alum Zoom: Five Career Questions with Devin Bridgen, Ph.D.’15, Associate Director, Exploratory Research, SQZ Biotech
As part of a series of short, focused career conversations with former Duke PhD students and postdocs, we'll feature Devin Bridgen, PhD'15 (Biomedical Engineering), Associate Director, Exploratory Research at SQZ Biotechnologies. SQZ Biotech is working to create a new generation of cell therapies, with a current focus on modulating specific immune responses for oncology, infectious diseases, and autoimmune diseases. Dr. Bridgen began his career at SQZ as a Scientist after completing his Ph.D. and has been steadily promoted through roles in Exploratory Research and Strategy & Corporate Development.
- Thursday, February 11, 20214:30 pm to 6:00 pm
Take Your Teaching Skills Anywhere: How to Talk about your Teaching Experiences to Employers Beyond Academia
In this interactive workshop you will uncover how your teaching experiences can help potential employers understand the crucial skills you’ve learned in graduate school—skills that are transferable to a variety of careers beyond faculty positions.
- Wednesday, February 24, 20214:00 pm to 5:30 pm
For students going on the job market this year, it can be a confusing time filled with uncertainty and many changes. Join the Duke University Career Center and a panel of Duke alumni to hear how others have navigated challenging times in their career journeys and tips for how to approach a job search this year.
- Thursday, February 25, 20211:00 pm to 1:45 pm
Advice about optimizing your LinkedIn profile is readily available online. Attend this session to make sense of the advice for your specific field and goals, take advantage of recent product changes, and get feedback from other attendees.
- Tuesday, March 2, 202111:00 am to 11:30 am
Alum/HR Zoom with Maria Kousi, Ph.D., Senior Associate, Third Rock Ventures, and Ali Baker, Director, Talent and Portfolio Recruiting, Third Rock Ventures
As part of a series of short, focused career conversations, we'll feature Maria Kousi, Ph.D., Senior Associate, Third Rock Ventures, and Ali Baker, Director, Talent & Portfolio Recruiting, Third Rock Ventures. Third Rock Ventures is a venture capital firm based in Boston that invests in biotechnology startups. Third Rock works with scientific founders and expert advisors to develop a vision and strategy for a company.
Ph.D. Career Paths
- Wednesday, February 3, 202111:00 am to 11:30 am
Alum Zoom with Shweta Krishnan, Ph.D.’14, Assistant Director of Life Sciences, Duke Office of Licensing and Ventures
On February 3, our guest is Shweta Krishnan, PhD'14 (Pharmacology and Cancer Biology). Shweta joined Duke’s Office of Licensing and Ventures in 2016. As Assistant Director of Life Sciences, Shweta works with Duke innovators to evaluate the market opportunity, competitive and patent landscape of Duke technologies in the therapeutics, diagnostics and devices space, negotiates licensing deals with industry partners, and catalyzes the formation of Duke start-ups.
- Wednesday, February 17, 202111:00 am to 11:30 pm
Alum Zoom: Five Career Questions with Dan Ruccia, Ph.D.’13, Marketing Designer for Duke University Press
As part of a series of short, focused career conversations with former Duke PhD students and postdocs, we'll feature Dan Ruccia, Ph.D.'13 (Music), Marketing Designer at Duke University Press.
- Tuesday, February 23, 202111:00 am to 11:30 am
On February 23, our guest is Kelly Lindblom, PhD'15 (Pharmacology), RAC. Kelly is a Senior Regulatory Affairs Scientist in the Office of Regulatory Affairs and Quality (ORAQ) within the Duke University School of Medicine. In this role, Dr. Lindblom is responsible for providing support and guidance to investigators and regulatory study coordinators regarding the regulatory requirements relevant to their research study activities. She performs a variety of services including regulatory education, regulatory consultation, and support for regulatory submissions. Dr. Lindblom is also involved in the implementation of educational initiatives within ORAQ.
- Wednesday, March 17, 202111:30 am to 12:00 pm
Alum Zoom: Five Career Questions with Sarah Crittenden Fuller, Ph.D.’13, Research Associate Professor, UNC Education Policy Initiative
As part of a series of short, focused career conversations with former Duke PhD students and postdocs, we'll feature Sarah Crittenden Fuller, Ph.D.'13 (Public Policy), Research Associate Professor at UNC's Education Policy Initiative.
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Melissa Bostrom, PhD
Assistant Dean for Graduate Student Professional Development
Duke University Graduate School