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Embark: Navigating & Networking for Aspiring Policy Professionals

“Duke needs a program like Embark because the breadth of opportunities and careers in policy are not greatly advertised, and students frame their expectations around what they see around them."—Justin Bryant, PPS' 17, Embark Student Team Member

Expanding The Conversation

The Embark program is a student-driven initiative that helps students navigate and network to find jobs and career paths in policy related areas (e.g., Public Affairs, Capitol Hill, Advocacy & Lobbying, City Government, etc.). Our aim is to connect students to alumni who work in organizations, think tanks or political offices that undergraduates are interested in. Embark also seeks to help create a sense of community among students interested in working in different policy areas.

About a third of public policy undergraduates choose first post-graduation jobs in finance and consulting, in part because banks and consulting firms recruit earlier in the academic year and are more visible on campus.

embark navigating & networking for aspiring policy professionalsEmbark exists to provide support for public policy majors who are interested in public service careers after graduation but are not sure how to approach the job search or what kinds of entry-level policy jobs they are equipped for. Embark provides students with strategies and networking opportunities to guide them on a trajectory that is much less defined than the on-campus interviewing job search common for consulting and management training positions.

Assistant Internship Director Suzanne Valdivia heads the Embark program and works with a student advisory committee.

Partnering with Duke Career Center and Alumni

The program is also open to Duke students who are not majoring in public policy. The Embark team includes Sandra Martinez Zuniga, assistant director at the Duke Career Center. The partnership between Sanford and the Duke Career Center makes it possible to reach a broader audience of students and to incorporate concrete job-seeking skills into the alumni-focused events being planned.

We are always looking for alumni to help with the program throughout the year by bringing their advice about job hunting in their specific areas to campus in a small, group setting.

2017-2018 Events

  • Embark Kickoff: Right-hand Men to Presidents Bush & Obama- PubPol Alums Reggie Love and Jared Weinstien
  • Embark DC Career Expo - networking with Duke alumni and other policy professionals in Washington, DC
  • Georgetown Non-Profit & Govt. Career Fair - meet public sector professionals and apply for jobs or internships
  • Embark Speed Networking Night and Alumni Reception: Careers With A Less Obvious Path - March 23, 2018,             3:00-6:00 PM at the J.B. Duke Hotel; 24 alumni will discuss entry-level careers in public policy, advocacy,                   communications, government, politics, and international development.

"Our goal is to expand the conversation about what’s possible."—Suzanne Valdivia, Embark Program Manager

D.C. Career Expo flyer

Find out more about the D.C. Career Expo here.