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Welcome to the Road Map

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Ask faculty in my department or program for recommendations of leadership opportunities relevant to my research and career interests.

Talk to advanced graduate students and postdocs in my department or program for recommendations of leadership opportunities relevant to my research and career interests.

Connect with alumni from my department or program in diverse career fields to seek their advice on finding leadership opportunities. To find contacts, ask my DGSA, talk to graduate student colleagues, use the LinkedIn Alumni tool, or use the Duke Alumni Network.

Based on recommendations from faculty and alumni, find relevant professional associations for my discipline and explore their websites.  If available, read leadership success stories highlighted on the websites.

Look at The Graduate School’s professional development calendar to begin to identify the types of leadership skills I could be developing throughout my program. Watch my inbox for the weekly Professional Development Events email from The Graduate School, and follow other relevant mailing lists recommended in that message.

Learn from graduate student colleagues about opportunities to get involved at the department, program, or school level.

Sign up for discipline-specific listservs on campus and beyond that may advertise potential leadership opportunities. Ask faculty, advanced graduate students, and postdocs for recommendations.

Join department- or program-specific graduate-student groups, councils, and committees (e.g., Economics Graduate Student Council, Duke’s Biomedical Engineering Society Graduate Chapter, etc.). Find groups aligned with my academic interests at Duke Groups by filtering by the category Academics.

Teach or serve as a teaching assistant (TA). Talk with my Director of Graduate Studies or Director of Graduate Studies Assistant to learn about the opportunities available in my department or program.

Join professional associations in my discipline and related to my career interests, and explore ways to get involved in leadership roles.

Explore student groups on campus where I could develop and demonstrate leadership skills. Opportunities include the Graduate and Professional Student Council, Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE), Bouchet Society, Hurston-James Society, PhD Plus in Pratt, APD Consulting Club, DukeOUT, GradParents, GradVets, Duke SACNAS, and Black Graduate and Professional Student Association (BGPSA). A full list of campus student groups is available at Duke Groups (filter organizations by the category Cultural to find relevant organizations).

Explore opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration across campus. Versatile Humanists @ Duke  provides an excellent overview of campus sites and resources for collaborative research.

Join science outreach groups. For example, BOOST works with Durham Public School students in grades 5-12, and STEM in the Park facilitates sustained, hands-on mentoring and engagement opportunities for underrepresented minorities, girls, and students from low-income backgrounds in grades 5-12.  WiSE (Women in Science and Engineering) runs an active listserv with many science outreach opportunities for both women and men, as does the Office of Postdoctoral Services (yes, grad students can subscribe!).

Apply to participate in the Emerging Leaders Institute held each spring in order to develop communication, leadership, self-awareness, professional adaptability, and interdisciplinary teamwork skills. Applications are due in early to mid-January.

For a team-based project management experience with fellow graduate and professional students sharing their expertise to benefit Durham-area nonprofits, apply to participate in DISI (Duke Interdisciplinary Social Innovators). Applications open about two months before the beginning of each semester, and once I’ve participated, I can apply to take on positions of increasing leadership. 

For experience in interdisciplinary problem-based research, apply to join a Bass Connections team; most teams take applications in the spring semester.  For experience mentoring an undergraduate research team during the summer, apply to the Story+ (bringing academic research to life through dynamic storytelling) or Data+ (exploring data-driven approaches to interdisciplinary challenges) initiatives. Applications for Story+ and Data+ are generally due in early March.

For support in building or extending my networks and to integrate collaborative, cross-school experiences into my program, apply to the Duke Support for Interdisciplinary Graduate Network (D-SIGN) Grants. Applications are generally due in late March.

To gain experience interning at cultural and nonprofit organizations, apply for an internship through the Versatile Humanists at Duke initiative. I can select from a slate of opportunities or design my own. Applications are generally due in late October for internships in the spring, summer, or following fall. The VH@Duke internships are open to students in the humanities and interpretive social sciences.

Use Duke List to search for on- and off-campus employment opportunities and social networks that could help me enhance my leadership skills.

Seek advice on ways to develop leadership skills through the Versatile Humanists @ Duke initiative. Students in the humanities and interpretive social sciences can set up advising appointments with Dr. Maria LaMonaca Wisdom.

Schedule an individual advising appointment with Duke Career Center staff to discuss opportunities for leadership development appropriate to my discipline and career interests, or meet with an advisor during drop-in hours.