Recent Duke Grads Talks Career Center Services

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By Keara Mageras, ‘13, Psychology Major, part of the Peer Advice Series

Thumbnail Senior year can be an overwhelming time. All of a sudden you have to focus on more than academics - you also have to begin thinking about the big, bad future. Your career. Your job. Your life. Luckily, Our Career Center offers the services you need to make the process a bit easier. The trick is knowing how to use them. Looking back on my senior year, I now recognize what tools are most helpful for a senior on the job prowl.

1. Career Counseling

This is by far the most important resource the Career Center has to offer. Whether you have no idea what you want to do, or you are looking for a specific industry insider, meeting with a Career Center counselor is always a good idea. It is important to remember that not everyone you meet with will offer the same advice or insight. Over the course of my senior year, I met with several different counselors. Everyone had good advice, but there was one counselor in particular that I felt I connected with. Turns out, she had worked in the field I was interested in and therefore understood its intricacies.

Schedule an appointment. Go in with an open mind and speak honestly about your goals, fears and experiences. If your first meeting is unsuccessful, schedule an appointment with a different counselor. Don’t be afraid to keep coming back until you make the connection you are looking for. If you are looking for someone with a specific background, say so!

Finally, stay in touch. Build a relationship with your counselor. As the year progresses, it will become more and more important that you have a mentor who knows your background. Shoot them an email update once in awhile and return to the Career Center to discuss your progress.

2. Resume and Cover Letter Workshops

For a number of industries, On-Campus Recruiting starts at the beginning of senior year. That means you need to have your resume and cover letters ready to go. The Career Center offers a plethora of resume and cover letter workshops. Don’t leave it to the last minute. Bring your resume and cover letters in right at the beginning of senior year so you won’t have to scramble to get your applications together. Not available during workshop hours? The Career Center has Drop-in Advising Monday through Friday (no appointment necessary).
Don’t be afraid to bring your resume/cover letter in more than once. Different people will have different advice–so you can pick and choose!

3. Career Center Event Calendar

Be sure to monitor the Career Center Event Calendar for recruiting events and information sessions. Fall semester is chock full of information sessions for companies specifically recruiting on campus. These events are a great way to learn more about the field and that particular employer. Check the calendar often and be sure to mark which events you are interested in.

While these events can be used for networking purposes, that is not their only function. Many students attend the events and it is therefore difficult to truly network and get the opportunity to speak with the employer representatives one-on-one. Don’t panic and don’t give up! Listening to the representatives and even speaking to them in a large group is still a great way to figure out whether that employer would be a good fit for you. What type of people are they hiring? What do they look for in their future employees? What’s the vibe? Culture? Benefits? Take it all in and begin to compare employers to help narrow down your search.

Keara Mageras is a 2013 Duke grad and is seeking a position in digital marketing in New York City.

About the Peer Advice Series
The number one complaint that we get in the Career Center is, “I wish I had learned earlier about all that the Career Center has to offer.”  Throughout the year, we will publish a series of blog posts from recent graduates and current students sharing what they found most helpful.  An easy way to know when a new post comes out is to subscribe to Career News or follow us on social media.