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DEMAN 101: Tips & Tricks for DEMAN Weekend and Beyond

Published By Duke Career Center, Duke Global Education Office, Hollywood Resumes, and Duke Arts / published on: October 10, 2019

Connecting with new people can seem tough—but it doesnʼt have to be! With the tips below from DEMAN 2019 panelist Angela Silak ’09 of Hollywood Resumes, you can make your experiences before, during, and after DEMAN Weekend (Nov. 1–2, 2019) fun, meaningful, and productive.

About DEMAN Weekend

DEMAN Arts & Media Weekend—hosted each year in November—brings together hundreds of students and alumni for alumni-led industry sessions, a keynote at the Nasher Museum of Art, the Duke’s Got Talent alumni showcase, student-alumni portfolio reviews and brunch hosted by President Price.

Before DEMAN Weekend

A picture of a pink donut drawing that says DEMAN & Donuts in black lettering.
DEMAN Tip! Attend DEMAN & Donuts throughout the year to get a headstart on meeting creatives. Learn more @DEMAN on Facebook.

1) Think about what youʼre hoping to get out of the weekend. What do you want to learn about the most? Are you exploring summer internships? Your first job? Learning about what types of opportunities are out there? Do you have questions about a specific topic? Let this inform how you approach the event.

2) Attend DEMAN 101 and more. Don’t miss DEMAN 101, DEMAN & Donuts, Guac & Talks, and Media-ville before DEMAN Weekend! Come up with a list of questions youʼll ask panelists and specific alumni you may meet. This is a great way to practice and meet more DEMAN Dukies!

3) Review the master schedule and identify topics and events of interest based on your weekend goals. Plan ahead and make time to attend! All DEMAN sessions are first-come, first-served, so we recommend arriving early. Click here to view the full schedule for DEMAN 2019.

4) Research speakers and panelists—click on bios to learn about potential future career paths. Make note of who youʼd like to hear more from and plan to attend their panels or meet them at one of the receptions. Click here to view the Saturday panelists for DEMAN 2019.

5) Come up with a list of questions youʼll ask panelists or others may meet over the weekend. Get ideas of helpful questions to ask alumni from Who’s DEMAN Q&As at the DEMAN Lounge.

6) If youʼre starting to think about the job or internship search, update your resume and/or portfolio. Sign up for resume/portfolio reviews by alumni at DEMAN Weekend.

7) Find a professional outfit. You donʼt have to wear a suit, but the sweatpants or torn jeans you usually wear to class wonʼt make a good impression.

8) Get a good nightʼs sleep—full day networking events can be exhausting!

During DEMAN Weekend

Students met with creative professionals and Career Center counselors to discuss their portfolios and resumes for DEMAN Weekend 2018. Photo taken by Ivy Shi.

1) Go in with a plan, but know itʼs okay to change it. You’ve probably identified a few “must attend” events. Try to make it to these, but if you hear about something interesting that you hadn’t previously considered, feel free to go with the flow.

2) Get out of your comfort zone and talk to new people (this is where your list of prepared questions can help). Donʼt be shy! Dukies love to help other Dukies!

3) Meet current students that are interested in arts and entertainment. These people will make up your network when you graduate. Youʼll likely know some people there, but try to meet people you donʼt know.

4) LISTEN to what alumni have to say. Thereʼs no need to brag about your accomplishments—you go to Duke, so everyone already knows youʼre awesome! State your interests, but spend your time asking good questions to help you make a good first impression.

5) Donʼt ask anyone for a job or internship or hand out your resume. This is a time to learn about possible career paths. Later on, youʼll be able to reach out regarding potential opportunities.

6) Ask for business cards! You might have a pleasant chat with an interesting alum, but itʼs not the same as an in-depth, one-on-one conversation. If you meet someone you want to learn more from or stay in touch with, make sure you have their contact info.

After DEMAN Weekend

Stay up-to-date with DEMAN and the arts at Duke by signing up for our newsletter at the bottom of this webpage. Photo by Chris Hildreth.

1) Use your newfound knowledge to make future plans. If you heard about something at DEMAN and would like to learn more, sign up for a course, join a club, take a DukeCreate workshop, apply for StudioDuke and Creative Arts Student Team, and/or do all of the above! Don’t forget to check out the DEMAN Lounge!

2) Follow up. Take all those business cards you’ve collected and send emails to those people to thank them for attending and remind them who you are. A LinkedIn request (with a message) is also a good idea.

3) See if you can set up informational interviews with your new contacts the next time youʼre going to be in the same city. A call is okay if necessary, but face time is the best way to ensure someone will remember you. Then, stay in touch with regular check ins.

4) When a job or internship becomes available at the company of someone you met (or any Duke alum—check LinkedIn), reach out and ask if they can pass your resume along. If you’ve been able to stay in regular contact, theyʼll even be able to give a personal referral!

With these tips in mind, you’ll be sure to have a successful and productive DEMAN Weekend. Email DEMAN@duke.edu with any follow up questions.