More than 1,200 Duke students curious about life after graduation--helped by some 150 returning alumni--took part in an expanded Career Week, which began January 23. The schedule was packed, including everything from an improv comedy show to an etiquette-education dinner and a keynote address from a Mount Everest climber.
Duke University Improv (DUI) kicked off the week with skits on networking and the perils of the job hunt. One skit told the story of a Duke graduate who had two majors, two certificates, two concentrations, and zero luck finding a job. After months of futile searching, he was finally hired as a career counselor at Duke. Somewhat more serious sessions centered on how students might "sell" themselves and leverage their Duke experiences. One concentrated on the transition from school to work, bringing into the discussion tips on handling taxes, insurance, and landlords.
A particularly popular event for seniors was a night of wine tasting and etiquette; proper social dining skills can be important in impressing employers, according to etiquette consultant Cecilia Grimes A.M. '91, who led the session. Students dressed in style and learned the value of a well-folded napkin, food placement, and wine selection.
Workshops on specific careers spanned a wide range, including business, edu-cation, engineering, entertainment, government, and science. Alison Levine M.B.A. '00 delivered the keynote address, drawing ties between her mountain-climbing adventures and the skills needed to succeed in corporate culture--leadership, teamwork, and determination.