Career Center

Undergraduate Students

Welcome to the Career Center! The center is a place where you can learn to explore your interests, values, and strengths and use that self-knowledge to influence your decision making throughout your time here at Duke. This is also a great place for you to learn to navigate your Duke experience as well as intentional professional development skills.

Get caught up on our First-Year Blog    |    Attend a workshop or Drop-in Advising    |    See an adviser    |    Internships

alicia rhodes headshot and link to bio

First-Year Specific Information

Are you figuring out what to get involved in? Want to connect with people who are doing things you are interested in? Or, maybe figure out what your interests and strengths even are? Christina Plante and Alicia Rhodes are career counselors who lead the First-Year Initiative which teaches you how to Design Your Duke with the Career Center. We want to share with you how and why you should take advantage of your Career Center while at Duke.

christina plante headshot Design your Duke. First-year Initiative. Duke University Career Center

The purpose of this initiative is to help you discover what you are curious about and develop clarity and skills that will allow you to design your success at Duke and beyond.

The Career Center has created seven competencies which will guide you in how you can go from curiosity to clarity and work towards achieving your goals.  In the first year at Duke, students mainly focus on "Reflect" and "Connect", the two foundational competencies that will encourage you to think deeply about past experiences and connect with individuals who may share similar interests.
[Review all seven competencies

Career Development/Decision-Making Process

During advising appointments, we look at what you are interested in, explore your likes and dislikes, identify skills you prefer to use and ones you want to develop, and reflect on past experiences to guide future decisions. We also examine how your strengths can impact your interest areas, how your personality can direct certain work environments, and how your personal values guide your choices while you are at Duke as well as career decisions.

We will talk about some big questions like what is your purpose? What gives you energy? And what do you care about? This will most likely get you thinking critically and deeply about where and how you choose to spend your time.  We also address your specific job search related questions about resumes, cover letters, connecting with othersinterviewing, and more! Our best advice is that you focus on being open to opportunities, build a Board of Directors, learn how to talk about yourself and experiences to others, and not be afraid to fail along the way.

Events Designed With You In Mind

Career Fair Back Stage Pass
A bird’s eye view of the Career Fair from the second floor track in Wilson Gym. Get an idea of how to navigate the fair and introduce yourself to employers, along with other quick coaching tips and tricks. Offered a few times during major career fairs. (Sept, Jan)

Consulting Case Interviewing Clinic
Casual, fun way to understand and practice case interviewing. Hear from professionals and students who have successfully completed case interviews and work with professionals to polish case interview response skills. (Sept) 

Major Mixer
A first-year and sophomore mixer for students to chat with college advisors, peer advisors, alumni, employers, directors of undergraduate studies and career counselors for advice on choosing their major. (Sept)

Practice Interview Days (Online and In-Person) 
Brush up on interview skills as you begin applying for internships, campus jobs, and leadership roles. Practice interviews will last 30 minutes, and will include a post-interview discussion and critique. (Sept, Jan) 

PreHealth Check Up
A panel of health professionals will provide information on research, volunteering, shadowing, and health careers for first-year students. (Sept)

Secrets to Success
A first-year only event—David Ong, Senior Director of Corporate Recruiting at MAXIMUS Inc., and Bill Wright-Swadel, Assistant VP of Student Affairs and Fannie Mitchell Executive Director of the Duke Career Center will answer first year’s most frequently asked questions. (Oct)

Fun, informative workshop to help Dukies learn what to expect at DEMAN Arts & Media Weekend when they meet alumni from companies like HBO, NBCUni, iTunes, CBS, and Google. (Nov)

First-Year Alumni Career-Versations
An exploration event for first years in partnership with the Alumni Association. Sign up to have dinner with area alumni and learn more about their fields. (Mar)

Fannie Mitchell Expert in Residence Program
Visiting experts in a wide variety of fields give a campus talk and meet individually with students to provide career advice. (Ongoing)

Check out our First-Year Checklist below to learn more.

 _____    Focus on academics while getting to know Duke.  
Take time to acclimate to Duke’s curriculum. Attend classes, seek out resources that will help you be successful, and maintain communication with your college advisor. Get organized in a way that works for you and adapt your time management skills if something is not working.

_____    Research an organization, team, or club to get involved in on campus.

Begin by connecting with others and researching student groups and/or causes you would like to contribute to during your time at Duke. Start slow and select your activities carefully—aligning with your interests.  Be smart about your time commitments and remember that quality is better than quantity.
Browse DukeGroups.  

_____    Connect and add a faculty or staff member to your Board of Directors each semester.

Foster good relationships with your college advisor, career adviser, FAC, RA, residence coordinator, and professors. Attend office hours and campus programs. Be sure to ask questions and express your interests when possible. These individuals can serve as important sources of information and relevant events/workshops as well as provide encouragement and future recommendations.

_____    Get to know yourself.

Identify your personal and professional values, interests, and skills. Conduct self-assessment activities and reflect on your past and current experiences. This process takes time. Come in for an individual appointment with a career adviser in October to discuss who you are becoming and your goals. 

_____    Adapt your resume for student clubs, on-campus jobs, and eventually summer experiences.  

Whether this is your first time creating a resume, or you simply want to update the one you used during high school, we can help. Begin with the videos and samples on our website and then bring your resume to Drop-in Advising. Remember to update it with each new relevant experience.

_____    Research your major and career prospects.

Be curious and ask questions. Research majors, industries, companies, causes, products, etc. you believe in and ask yourself how can you find out more? Attend information sessions, internship events, and Fannie Mitchell Expert in Residence Programs to explore. Track what excites you as you are going through your classes and activities to see what energizes you. 

_____    Develop career management competencies at Duke to prepare yourself for the future.

Reflecting on your experiences and making new connections with faculty, staff, and peers should be a regular practice. Grow your self-awareness, research information about interest areas, adapt your plans as things change, communicate your story to different audiences, and implement your goals.
[More about our seven career management competencies]


We also recommend you know more about:

An Opportunity Buffet

Drop-in Advising

No appointment necessary! Bring quick questions or printed application documents (resumes, cover letters) to be reviewed by a career adviser or Career Ambassador Team member.  Drop-in Advising is available several weekdays at the Career Center from 1:00-4:00 p.m. in our Resource Room.

Career Advising Appointments

Our goal is to support you as you explore career options, interests, and opportunities. We look forward to meeting you! Schedule an appointment online in CareerConnections several days in advance. Scheduling in your first year at Duke is very beneficial.

Professional Development Workshops and Career Fairs

A number of workshops, discussions, career fairs and unique advising opportunities are offered each year to help you explore and make decisions.

Duke CareerConnections

View and apply for thousands of opportunities available around the world (offered especially for Duke students). On-Campus Interviews are managed through CareerConnections. You will want to keep an eye on CareerConnections for career events and opportunities. Log-in and update your profile today!

Mock Interviews

Want to learn more about interviewing and practice before applying to internships, on-campus jobs, and/or campus leadership roles?  The Career Center is here to help!  Talk to your adviser about it in your first appointment. We also offer a Practice Interview Day each semester.

Fannie Mitchell Expert-in-Residence Program

Gain information and inspiration from Duke alumni and other experts. The Fannie Mitchell Expert-in-Residence Program features accomplished professionals who come to Duke to share specialized knowledge and provide individual career advice to students. The program’s purpose is to stimulate new ideas and provide advising for students who are searching for career directions.

Stay Informed

Social Media
Learn about events at Duke, see our favorite career-related articles, a weekly featured opportunity, and more.
We post how-to videos, advice from guests we’ve invited to campus and your peers. Our library is always growing.
Learn what your fellow students are up to with some laughs and useful information thrown in for good measure.
We share all of our events, career-related articles, and an occasional live-tweet of a panel or presentation.
Student Affairs Blog
We add important, timely posts often— provided by experts with your interest in mind.