Networking Nights and Career Services

January 31, 2006

With graduation and the inevitable job search looming, many students didn't waste any time during summer vacation. A series of Networking Nights brought career seekers and career advisers together in Washington, New York, and Los Angeles. In the fall, Boston alumni got their chance with a Networking Night arranged by the Duke Club of Boston, in concert with Ivy Plus, a consortium of alumni clubs.

These free events, sponsored by the Duke Alumni Association and the Career Center at Duke, took place in locations provided by alumni. Emmett "Buzz" Lewis '64, J.D. '67 provided the law office of his firm Miller & Chevalier in D.C. for nearly 100 participants. In New York, Tom Clark '69 was host at U.S. Trust Townhouse for 75, and literary agent Hugh Fitzpatrick '93 was host to 150 at the Endeavor Agency in Beverly Hills.

This outreach is a concerted effort by the Office of Alumni Affairs "to create a vibrant and broad-based career-mentoring community for alumni and students," says Racquel Williams, director of alumni careers services, who works jointly with the Career Center and the alumni office. In addition to the successful Career Week, where students meet on campus with nearly 200 alumni in various fields for discussions and networking, Williams is refining DukeConnect, a database of nearly 2,000 alumni, parents, and friends of Duke who have volunteered to assist students with information about majors, fields of study, and career paths.

"My job is dedicated solely to alumni--and not just recent graduates--who are considering a career move," she says. "Job seekers can sign up for an e-mail list that sends job postings, or they can explore Duke eProNet, a jobs database for alumni who already have several years of work experience."