I first joined the Career Ambassador (CA) Team at the Career Center as a rising sophomore that really marked the beginning of my career development journey at Duke. I came across someone tabling for CA application in front of marketplace during freshman spring semester and out of whim, I applied and was later accepted as a CA. It has been a journey full of surprises and growth.
As an international student from Taiwan. I came into Duke knowing that career opportunities in the US are very limited for international students, despite my aspiration to develop my career after Duke with my education here. In addition, navigating the job market in the US was unfamiliar and intimidating to me. I am a STEM (neuroscience) major, so my definition of possible careers was limited to the more obvious options such as research or academia. Yet as I leave Duke and reflect on my CA experience, I truly ventured out of my comfort zone which developed my confidence in my capabilities and using my background as a strength rather than a limitation.
As CAs, we assist with drop-in advising to help students with document editing and discuss navigating academic and professional opportunities. I was able to learn about different industries, which encouraged me to pursue a full-time opportunity to learn about business practices driving the healthcare industry and to gain work experience rather than applying directly to graduate school after graduation. In these 1-on-1 discussions with students from different backgrounds and different aspirations, I enjoyed every opportunity to hear about how they decided on their majors, came across an internship, and their Duke experience overall! I truly solidified a passion in working directly with people. In some occasions, I was able to leverage my personal experience when an international student came in for drop-in advising to ask about how to start their job search. I realized that my capabilities can expand beyond academics and translate into communication, innovation, and relational skillsets that are applicable across industries. Moreover, I always felt comfortable to reach out to my mentor if I have any questions and enjoyed just talking about life! The career counselors always asked for our feedback on student perspectives, and they care deeply about our personal development. I felt very supported by their mentorship in guiding me in my personal career trajectory.
Lastly, I would like to especially thank Teri and our Career Ambassador director Sandra for their mentorship and supporting my personal and career development at Duke. Being a CA is definitely one of my most memorable experiences at Duke!
---Joyce has been a rock star at the Career Center and we miss her this year.
You can meet our Career Ambassadors in Drop-in Career Advising --all over campus. Think about applying to be a Career Ambassador so you can get all of the training and support while assisting your fellow students. We will begin recruiting late fall, early spring semester.