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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 2017 Events

Academic Job Search Series

Graduate students and postdocs interested in exploring career options in academia can participate in the Academic Job Search Series throughout the 2017-18 academic year. The series addresses tenure-track faculty positions during the fall semester and broad career options in academia during the spring semester. You can find topics relevant to all students as well as specialized panels for two broad disciplinary areas: the humanities and social sciences, and sciences and engineering. This series is offered every two years and is co-sponsored with the Duke Career Center and the Office of Postdoctoral Services.

Visit the Academic Job Search Series webpage for a complete listing of events; an updated schedule of Fall 2017 events will go live in late August.

Core Competencies

An Introduction to Your Professional Development at Duke: A Workshop for Master's Students

Friday, September 8, 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm
Whether you’re a new master's student or about to finish your program, this workshop will help you familiarize yourself with the career and professional development resources, programs, and opportunities available at Duke and beyond. More information

Graduate Etiquette Workshop and Luncheon

Saturday, September 16, 11:00 am to 2:00 pm
Learn how to project a professional image and optimize your confidence in professional interactions. This workshop will be centered around a catered lunch to demonstrate the art of dining graciously. All attendees must register and pay $10 to reserve a seat by September 8, 4 pm. More information

Cultivating a Culture of Mentoring

Tuesday, September 12, 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm
How can you establish supportive mentoring relationships? What is the role of good mentoring in your success as a graduate student? Join in the conversation in this interactive workshop. More information

Preparing for Corporate America

Friday, September 22, 11:30 am to 1:00 pm
This talk will help you identify key skills and competencies that will help position you for a successful career launch and upward professional trajectory in corporate America. More information

How Do You Lead People Who are Not Like You? A Myers-Briggs Type Workshop

Tuesday, September 26, 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm
This interactive workshop will help you learn not only about your own behaviors and preferences but also how people with different personality types might perceive them, impacting your effectiveness as a leader.  More information

Cultivating Intercultural Communication for Collaboration

Friday, September 29, 12:00 to 2:00 pm
In this workshop, you will learn the three major cultural communication styles and how your preferences might interact with those of the people you work with; all participants must complete an assessment of communication preferences by September 20. More information

The Two-Hour Job Search, Featuring Steve Dalton

Tuesday, October 3, 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
In this workshop, Fuqua career coach and The 2-Hour Job Search author Steve Dalton offers an exact process – rather than a series of tips – for effectively turning strangers into advocates, leading to more internal referrals and more job interviews. The recording of this event is available here through 10/1/2018 to authenticated Duke users. More information

An Introduction to Your Professional Development at Duke: A Workshop for Ph.D. Students

Tuesday, October 3, 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm
Whether you’re a new PhD student or about to finish your program, this workshop will help you familiarize yourself with the career and professional development resources, programs, and opportunities available at Duke and beyond. More information

Presenting Your Research in U.S. Industry Culture

Friday, October 20, 2017, 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm
This workshop will help you prepare and present your research to appeal to audiences in the US corporate world. More information
Preparing Ph.D. Applications: A Workshop for Master’s Students
Tuesday, October 31, 12-1:30 pm
Gain insights into the decision-making processes of doctoral admissions committees with this workshop. More information

Ph.D. Career Paths

Translational Science Training Program

August 28 to August 29
The TSTP is an innovative training program that, in one two-day course, intertwines interdisciplinary scientific content, understanding of the drug development process, professional skills development, clinical trial terminology, and career exploration for graduate students and postdocs. Application deadline July 28. More information

Info Session: Duke DIscovering Career Options in Translational Science (DICOTS)

August 29, 9:30 am to 10:30 am
Learn about the DICOTS Network, which supports graduate students who are interested in exploring career options outside the traditional academic track, such as public policy, global health, industry, and regulatory affairs. Applications close 9/15. More information

Ask Me Anything with Dr. Desney Tan, Microsoft Health

September 6 to September 8 (online)
Join Desney Tan, Senior Director of Microsoft's Clinical Sensing and Analytics group, for an AMA hosted by Versatile PhD. More information

Insight Data Science Fellowship Info Session

October 3, 9:30 am to 10:30 am
Greg Antell, Program Director for Insight Data Science Boston, will discuss careers in data science and data engineering and will share information on the Insight Data Fellows Programs, tuition-free professional fellowships for students and postdocs looking to transition to these careers. More information

Ask Me Anything with Dr. Peter Fiske, Technology Entrepreneur

October 11 to October 13 (online)
Join Peter Fiske, author of the science careers classic "Put Your Science to WORK!", for an AMA hosted by Versatile PhD. More information

“Career Opportunities Beyond the Bench: One Man’s Journey through Big Pharma, Consulting, and Government” with Nader Halim, Ph.D., MPH, Senior Director, Pfizer

October 26, 9:30 am to 11:00 am
Nader Halim, Ph.D., MPH, will discuss how he made the leap from academia to industry, describe his job duties and what a typical day is like at Pfizer, and give first-hand advice to grad students and postdocs who are considering moving from academia to industry. More information

An Environmental Sciences Ph.D.’s Career Path in Research, Conservation, Education, and Public Policy

November 7, 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm
Join us for this limited-enrollment lunch for informal conversation with Dr. Hilary Swain, Executive Director and Senior Research Biologist at Archbold Biological Station, who has crafted a career that combines ecological research, conservation, and education. More information

Introduction to ImaginePhD: An Online Tool for Humanities and Social Sciences PhD Students and Postdocs

November 9, 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm and November 15, 12:30 pm to 1:00 pm
This workshop will introduce you to the ImaginePhD online tool, designed for humanities and social sciences PhD students, postdocs, and alumni. We’ll complete skills and interests assessments, explore the tool’s resources for careers of interest, and begin creating a plan for career exploration and professional development. More information for 11/9, more information for 11/15

Past Events


Melissa Bostrom, PhD
Assistant Dean for Graduate Student Professional Development
Duke University Graduate School