5 Things I learned at the Career Center

Friday, December 7, 2018
By: Caitie Buteau, English Department 2018 Fall Digital Media Intern
Duke Career Center
  1. Having issues with your resume? Look no further!

    Part of the Career Center’s job is literally to help you tailor your resume to your field of interest. Even if you are starting from scratch and know nothing about resumes or where to start, they can help. The Career Advisers are patient and willing to coach you, but I learned quickly that you should come prepared to their advising sessions with ideas or avenues you want to explore. If you are just at a complete loss before your meeting, try to think of courses relevant to your interests, activities you’ve participated in on campus, and any sort of leadership role you have held in the past few years. Regardless of your content, you’ll use your time at the Career Center more efficiently if you think about these issues beforehand and come prepared to the meeting, just as you would any other meeting. And don’t forget to be courteous—a rule for life. 

  1. Take advantage of Career Connections

Career Connections are such an amazing resource. Anything and everything to do with career paths and recruiting on campus will be located here. I had no idea what Career Connections was until a few months ago (I’m a junior), and I have been using the service religiously ever since. The Career Connections interface itself is easy to navigate and allows you to search for internships, set notifications for upcoming events sponsored both by companies coming to Duke and the Career Center, and sign-up for advising sessions. They also have mock interview models, cover letter assistance, and anything else you to search for a job after college or an internship over the summer! And if they don’t, the advisers at the Career Center are more than happy to assist with any other additional questions you might have. 

  1. Go Early for Drop In-Advising

The Career Center is incredibly popular! So popular that I’m not quite sure how I didn’t know where it was until my third year at Duke. For those of you who need a spatial nudge: , it is located in Smith Warehouse Bay 5, level 2. Don’t be discouraged if you go online to book an adviser meeting only to find there are no time slots until several weeks later. The Career Center offers drop-in advising almost every day! However, there is a caveat to this. Since many students can’t meet with an adviser when they need one, lots of students appear for drop-in advising. So fear not, you are not alone! Just make sure you go earlier in the day rather than later. The first time I tried going, I went too late (at 3pm) and was told they were full until closing. So if you’ve learned anything here it’s this: earlier is always better.

  1. Remember they are there to help you.   

Again, Career Advisers’ jobs are to help you connect to  a career path. Treat them with respect and you will be better served!  Remember your manners. The advisers at the Career Center have been trained to assist you and many have been at this a long time. They have seen probably every job search scenario or disaster so don’t freak out when things don’t go as planned with an interview or internship. Tell them what’s happened, and they can help you fix it and move forward.

  1. Go with an open mind!

A lot of students at Duke stress their need for finance internships with only the largest firms such as Goldman Sachs or Deloitte. Regardless of your major, the Career Advisers can help students realize that there isn’t just one path to the career they want. Sometimes boutique firms will offer better experience in the field you want and sometimes those smaller platform will help you later get the job that you want. Or even if you take a job that’s not necessarily in the field you want, you could discover you have other interests and see that there’s no guarantee you will enjoy working in your major’s typical field.. I say typical because I’ve found that your major does not directly correlate with a type of work you will be performing in the workplace.  Use your time at Duke to explore all your interests and you might be surprised where you end up! Not getting the one internship you’ve been set on for the past year isn’t the sinking of the world, and the Career Advisers can advise you getting back on track if you are open to listening. Remember, you aren’t the first student and you won’t be the last to approach them with these issues—so listen to their experience with an open mind!