by Alex Shapanka
College is one giant crossroads. Every decision we make has far-reaching consequences, developing our interests, habits and personalities. Not every choice is easy, so we seek counsel. We talk to seniors about worthwhile courses and professors. We speak to the Career Center and professionals about our intended career path. But why are we asking in the first place?
Fear of failure. We as Duke students like to do well and hate it when we don’t. We take every precaution to guarantee we achieve. We solicit advice from others to confirm our decisions, as if third party validation were a guarantor of success.
The Editorial Board of The (Duke) Chronicle invited our director, Bill Wright-Swadel, to a conversation about careerism and student culture. Their editorial includes these pieces of advice:
The dreams of many a female politics/policy wonk were fulfilled this past week when Ellen Moran, former White House Communications Director and Michèle Flournoy, former Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, visited Duke.
Moran’s talk on September 20th, cosponsored by the Baldwin Scholars Program and the Women’s Studies Department, focused on how the upcoming election is significant for women candidates and voters.
Flournoy’s lecture tonight will be on how American Grand Strategy is affected by fiscal constraints; however, I was fortunate to sit in on her ladies’ breakfast this morning in which she also discussed work-life balance, being a woman in the national security field and career trajectories.
Ethical conduct is one of the most meaningful ways you will build and sustain a credible professional reputation. When questionable choices are made, Duke students are often surprised just how well-networked professionals in industries and companies are, and that news of bad choices often travels fast.
Use these guidelines to understand expectations others have of you while searching for a job or internship. Should you have questions about the right thing to do in a given situation, please contact the Career Center. We are here to help clarify and explain, or to help you think through the best course of action in your specific circumstance. If you are in a pinch, always err on the side of caution.