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Your career questions answered by Duke experts

Is now an okay time to be reaching out to alumni for career advice?

  • Yes! Check in with alumni and ask how they are doing. Many alumni in creative industries have shared that they want to be helpful to students during this time and are continuing to work.
  • Alumni in your area(s) of interest can be helpful resources and provide advice about how to navigate your goals and think outside the box to further your professional development during this time.
  • Informational interviews with alumni are a good use of your time right now and might even lead to an opportunity in the near or long term.

Should I be applying to jobs that are in major cities and/or out of state?

  • Yes! Just be prepared for the possibility that they might not be available or you might not be able to move/travel by the time you’d originally planned to start.
  • Many companies are proceeding with the hiring process in a cautious, conditional manner, just as you are proceeding with your job hunts.
  • Feel free to submit application materials and begin conversations with professional contacts and potential employers— just know that it may take some time before those conversations lead to actual, sustainable employment opportunities. See answer above about reaching out to alumni at this time.

Will not having an internship the summer of my junior year hurt my chances for getting a job senior year?

It will help your chances if you take initiative and focus on what you can do this summer, including seeking out remote opportunities and skill and relationship building:

  • Pick up new skill sets through online courses and tutorials
  • Learn another language
  • Create a website or online portfolio
  • Ask professors if you can help with their research
  • Volunteer (virtually) in the community
  • Manage a website or social media for a local organization
  • Create sample communications and marketing materials
  • Conduct informational interviews with alumni to build relationships

Are TV/film production and writing-related internships/jobs still available?

  • Many productions (TV/film) are on hiatus due to COVID-19. A lot will depend on stay-at-home orders state by state to see what is possible in terms of shooting.
  • Connect with alumni working in production listed on the DEMAN Weekend 2019 link under “Creative Industries Panelists” on the DEMAN Lounge. See answer to question 1.

I am having trouble locating museum/gallery internships outside of prominent institutions. Any advice?

  • Email Ellen Raimond ( at Duke University’s Nasher Museum of Art for suggestions regarding cultural institutions and opportunities at this time.
  • Use the Duke Alumni Directory to search for alums in the industry using the “Museums and Institutions” professional filter.
  • Connect with alumni working in fine arts listed on the DEMAN Weekend 2019 link under “Creative Industries Panelists” on the DEMAN Lounge. See answer to question 1.

My summer research plans were canceled by Duke in response to the virus, and now I have no funding/means of doing research that was pivotal to my graduate school applications. Any advice?

  • First step is to talk with your faculty advisor in your major about what kind of research is feasible in this time of no travel or on-site options (in terms of archives or other primary source engagement). If you are a rising senior, please talk with your faculty advisor about your options for extending the timeline for research or reconfiguring your project to account for the uncertainty of this summer.
  • Secondary research may be the most feasible option this summer. Reading/annotating articles and books you can access digitally or have in your possession; preliminary planning (in the case of creative scholarships in the performing arts) that can be done virtually/teleconference style which also includes how to prepare in case distancing is somehow put into place again. These are forms of research that take time but less physical resources/travel.
  • You may also want to make an appointment with your Duke Financial Aid Counselor if applicable to see if there are any options.

Are there more career opportunities in journalism/digital media right now?

  • Formal opportunities are scarce all over. Content consumption is at an all-time high, but that doesn’t necessarily correspond with subscriptions and revenue for news/media.
  • Consider creating a website/portfolio that shows your skills in research and writing. Build a readership/following that may be helpful for seeking future employment and receiving feedback from alumni and faculty (email professors at Duke’s DeWitt Wallace Center).
  • Keep track of the journalism that you find helpful, factual and inspiring and set a Google Alert to follow their work.
  • Connect with alumni working in journalism listed on the DEMAN Weekend 2019 link under “Creative Industries Panelists” on the DEMAN Lounge. See answer to question 1.

How do we know if companies and organizations will continue their internship programs remotely?

  • Check individual websites of companies to see if they’ve posted any information on remote internships. Informational interviews with alumni could lead to a remote internship opportunity.
  • Many TV/film production companies are actively developing projects and could use development interns to help read/cover scripts and perform research.