4 Ways to Engage with the Career Center as a First-Year Student

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Jenny Johnson, Assistant Director, Pratt Professional Masters Programs
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As a first-year, you may think you won’t engage with the Career Center for at least another year.  We hope you’re wrong! Look below for ways to engage and think about how you can add to your experience here at Duke!

There are four ways to stay informed about excellent ways to engage:

1. Discovery Fair (Late Sept. or early Oct.)
Get introduced to the Career Center through an afternoon of games, time with the Career Center staff and refreshments! This fair is a “come as you are” event and you can stay for as short or long a time period as you like.  Play corn hole while learning about interviewing, see if you can correctly match alums to exciting careers and speak to the Career Center director.

While set to a fun tone, this event is aimed at introducing you to the Career Center space, the counselors here on staff and ways in which you can engage.  Whether you have two hours or 15 minutes, stop by Smith Warehouse, just across Main Street from East Campus, to learn more.

2. Launch Career Development Series
This certification program, offered exclusively to a small group of first-years in the spring, focuses on exploration of personal and professional strengths, values, plans and opportunities.

Launch is a great option for those of you who want to learn more about who they are, the skills and experiences you have brought to Duke and ways in which to make the most of your time here on campus and off.  More information and dates on LAUNCH to come soon!

3. First-Year Internship Program
Do you think you don’t have anything to include on your resume as a first-year student? Gain valuable experience and test out your interests with the First-Year Internship Program. 
This spring semester program allows you to gain experience (5 hours per week) working with mentors on projects on campus. Practice the job/internship search process by applying to positions and interviewing for those where the employer/mentor feels that you may be a good fit.  

Examples of Position Descriptions from Spring Semester:
     Data Analysis Intern
     Market & Assessment Intern
     Communication Intern
Examples of Employers from Spring Semester:
     The Graduate School
     Durham & Regional Affairs
     Office of Student Activities

Look for more information coming about this opportunity in late Fall 2013.

4. Internship Funding Program
Are you interested in an internship the summer after your first year that is low paying or doesn’t pay at all?  The Duke Career Center’s Internship Funding Program aims to reduce the financial challenges associated with these types of internships, enabling students to continue to have meaningful experiences. 

Through this program students can still participate in experiential career exploration and in turn expand the diversity of internship opportunities in which Duke students participate. Check out the deadlines and qualifications.

Bonus points: Look to this First-Year Student Checklist for additional ways to make the most of your first year here at Duke!

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