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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.

Spring & Summer 2022 Events

During Spring and Summer 2022, The Graduate School will partner with the Office of Postdoctoral Services to offer programming in several series, and with the Duke Career Center on the Careers Beyond Academia series. Visit the websites for these series for a full list of events in each of these themes.

The Mentoring and Communication Series
The Academic Job Search Series
Careers Beyond Academia Series
Alum Zooms Series

Core Competencies

  • Friday, January 14, 2022
    1:00 pm to 2:30 pm

    RCR Forum: Becoming an Upstander (GS 715.02)

    The Race and Bias Conversations series kicks off spring 2022 with a highly interactive skill-building workshop. In order to help create a culture of respect and civility, we need to learn how to “step in” when we see harmful or disrespectful behaviors. Through presentation, discussion, and role plays, we’ll consider barriers to intervening, explore different ways we can intervene, and then share tips for moving forward.

  • Tuesday, January 18, 2022
    1:00 pm to 2:30 pm

    Advanced Time Management: A Workshop

    Start your new year off on the right foot! This workshop will equip you with strategies to understand your strengths in managing short- and long-term goals. You will also learn ways to build new habits and break with old ones to ensure your success.

  • Tuesday, January 18, 2022
    3:00 pm to 4:30 pm

    Advanced Time Management: A Workshop

    Start your new year off on the right foot! This workshop will equip you with strategies to understand your strengths in managing short- and long-term goals. You will also learn ways to build new habits and break with old ones to ensure your success.

  • Wednesday, January 26, 2022
    1:00 pm to 2:00 pm

    Understanding Professional Competency in Your Career Planning

    How can you demonstrate competency in job application materials or interviews? More importantly, how can you take advantage of your current opportunities as a graduate student or postdoc to build your competency and score your dream job?

  • Wednesday, February 2, 2022
    1:00 pm to 2:30 pm

    Assertiveness Training and Conflict Management: A Participatory Workshop

    The work environment is filled with conflict, often as a result of differences in work styles and passive-aggressive communication techniques. Minimizing or resolving conflict often means that you must engage in difficult conversations, which is challenging and requires both practice and competency. This workshop will begin with a grounding in assertiveness training, followed by the chance to practice assertiveness techniques in small groups where attendees can share their experiences, struggles, and successes in becoming more assertive.

  • Tuesday, February 22, 2022
    3:00 pm to 4:30 pm

    Building Your Skills in Intercultural Communication

    How can you communicate more effectively with colleagues and faculty from other cultures? In this workshop, you will learn the three major cultural communication styles. You’ll also build an understanding of how your preferences might interact with those of your team members. By the end, you will gain concrete strategies to collaborate more effectively with colleagues from other cultures. Registration closes Friday, February 18 at 11:00 am.

  • Thursday, March 17, 2022
    3:00 pm to 4:30 pm

    RCR Forum: Moving from Mentee to Mentor (GS 716.03)

    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.

  • Wednesday, April 6, 2022
    12:00 pm to 1:00 pm

    Beyond the Profile: Optimizing Your LinkedIn Use

    Join alumna Heidi Scott Giusto, Ph.D.’12 (History) for a Zoom-based workshop that will help you make the most of LinkedIn for your career research as well as building your network.

  • Tuesday, May 3, 2022
    10:00 am to 11:00 am

    Networking: How to Build Professional Relationships for Long-Term Career Success

    The world of work and how we navigate our professional lives have changed significantly due to the pandemic. However, networking remains one of the most effective approaches to getting your career on the fast track. This informative session will show you techniques for effective and tactful networking in this post-pandemic era.

  • Wednesday, May 11, 2022
    12:00 pm to 12:30 pm

    Alumni Profiles Information Session

    Are you interested in writing an alum profile, but you’d like to learn more before you make a commitment? In this interactive session, Assistant Dean Melissa Bostrom will share information about the overall process, demonstrate strategies to identify alumni of interest through LinkedIn and the Duke Alumni Network, and answer your questions.

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The Academic Job Search Series

  • Wednesday, January 19, 2022
    1:00 pm to 2:00 pm

    Understanding University Structure and the Tenure Process

    Congratulations–you got a tenure-track position at your dream institution! Now you just have to get tenure. But what does that really mean? Join this presentation for an exploration of university structure and how faculty members drive the mission of an educational institution so that you can ultimately understand what your school means when it says "tenure."

  • Tuesday, February 22, 2022
    1:00 pm to 1:30 pm

    Senior Leadership Insights: A Conversation with Tomiko Brown-Nagin, J.D., Ph.D., Dean of Harvard Radcliffe Institute

    How can scholars both succeed in academia and influence broader conversations as public intellectuals? Tomiko Brown-Nagin, J.D., A.M. '93, Ph.D. '02 has carved a distinctive path through Constitutional Law and History as a faculty member at Harvard University and is now Dean of Harvard Radcliffe Institute, where she leads an interdisciplinary community of scholars, artists, practitioners and students in addressing complex questions and challenges.  Dean Brown-Nagin will share her insights with Dr. Adriane Lentz-Smith, Associate Professor of History and Associate Chair of the Department of History.

  • Wednesday, March 16, 2022
    1:00 pm to 1:30 pm

    Alum Zoom: Five Career Questions with Mark Dudley, Ph.D., Director of Duke’s Merit Scholarship Programs

    As part of a series of short, focused career conversations with former Duke PhD students and postdocs, we'll feature Mark Dudley, Ph.D.'16 (Political Science), Director of Merit Scholarship Programs with Duke's Office of University Scholars and Fellows. Mark began his career in academic administration as an Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions at Duke and assumed his current leadership role in November 2021.

Careers Beyond Academia

  • Wednesday, January 26, 2022
    8:00 pm to 9:00 pm

    An International Management Consulting Career: Insights from Jane Wang, Ph.D., Associate Partner at McKinsey and Company

    As an Associate Partner with McKinsey & Company, Jane Wang, Ph.D.’16 serves top global high-tech companies and “internet unicorns” in product development and new business building. She also serves top global pharma companies on digital transformation. In this session, Dr. Wang will share her leadership experience working in management consulting in the U.S. and China and reflect on how a graduate education has prepared her for a career in management consulting.

  • Thursday, February 3, 2022
    3:00 pm

    Beyond the Lab: The Exciting World of Medical Writing (Webinar)

    Are you someone passionate about teaching and effective communication? Have you explored positions in education, outreach, and science writing? This might surprise you, but you should also consider a career in the expanding field of medical writing. Hear from Dr. Anique Olivier-Mason, Medical Writer with DynaMed, in this free webinar available to students through The Graduate School's subscription to VersatilePhD.

  • Thursday, February 3, 2022
    11:00 am to 11:30 am

    Alum Zoom with Nathan Rudemiller, PhD, Associate Director, Bioagilytix

    As part of a series of short, focused career conversations with former Duke PhD students and postdocs, we'll feature Nathan Rudemiller, PhD, Associate Director and Hiring Manager at Bioagilytix. His role there is focused on Large Molecule/Gene & Cell Therapy Assay Development and Bioanalysis. In addition to sharing his own career path, he'll highlight open PhD-level positions at Bioagilytix for which he's the hiring manager.

  • Tuesday, February 8, 2022
    1:00 pm to 2:00 pm

    Adapting Your Academic Presentation to U.S. Industry Culture

    During your graduate school or postdoc career, you’ve become an expert at presenting in the conventions of your discipline for other academic researchers. But what should you change when you begin presenting your research in industry? Hear from a communications expert and pitch coach who works with MBA students and business executives about what they seek in presentations. This workshop will help you prepare and present your research to appeal to audiences in the U.S. corporate world.

  • Thursday, February 10, 2022
    11:00 am to 11:30 am

    Alum Zoom with Ashley Trama, Ph.D., Senior Director for Research and Development Program Management at Locus Biosciences

    As part of a series of short, focused career conversations with former Duke PhD students and postdocs, we'll feature Ashley Trama, PhD, Senior Director, Research and Development Program Management, at Locus Biosciences. Ashley joined Locus Biosciences in 2019, and currently leads the company’s Project Management Office, which is responsible for delivering all of Locus’ asset development programs and platform projects. She will also share about the open Project Manager positions at Locus.

  • Tuesday, February 15, 2022
    3:30 pm to 4:30 pm

    Careers in Business Development (BD): A Panel Discussion Featuring Takeda Pharmaceuticals

    What is Business Development (BD) and how can you pursue a career in this area? Since there are few entry points to start a career directly in BD, how can you build experiences that will help you transition into this industry role? A panel of BD professionals from Takeda Pharmaceuticals will share their career paths and opportunities to gain experience in BD, including through internship opportunities.

  • Friday, February 18, 2022
    6:00 pm

    A Journey from Shakespeare to EdTech (Webinar)

    In this PhD Pathways seminar, Dr. Christina M. Squitieri (Ph.D. English, NYU, 2019) will talk about the choice to leave academia, the multiple pathways she tried before finally deciding to move into EdTech, and the rewards of finding a job that values the teaching and research experience of a PhD program. She will also share some advice about accepting a non-academic job mid-semester. This free webinar is available to students through The Graduate School's subscription to VersatilePhD.

  • Thursday, February 24, 2022
    10:00 am to 11:00 am

    Leaving the Ivory Tower: Managing the Emotional Side of Career Change

    The overall loss of identity that we feel when we decide to leave academia is comparable to healing after the loss of a loved one and letting go can be difficult. In this informative session, participants will learn about the emotional obstacles that can keep us stuck in an academic career path that is no longer fulfilling. Participants will also learn how former graduate students and postdocs found the courage to follow a more rewarding career path.

  • Friday, February 25, 2022
    3:00 pm

    From Art History PhD to UX Research

    PhDs are often in high-demand for user experience (UX) positions across a range of industries. In this PhD Pathways seminar, Dr. Risha Lee (PhD in Art History, Columbia University, 2012) shares about her pathway and experience as a lecturer, academic researcher, and curator. Today she leads the UX Research Program for B2B Products and Services at American Express. This free webinar is available to students through The Graduate School's subscription to VersatilePhD.

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