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Embark: Navigating & Networking for Aspiring Policy Professionals

About a third of public policy undergraduates choose 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. The Embark program seeks to offer a wider range of options for students.

Embark 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.). Embark's 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.

embark navigating & networking for aspiring policy professionalsEmbark provides 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.

Justin Bryant headshotDuke 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 is open to all Duke students, even those who are not majoring in public policy. The Embark team includes Sanford Assistant Internship Director Suzanne Valdivia and 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 events.

Alumni Needed

We are always looking for alumni to help with the program! Bring your advice about job hunting to campus in a small, group setting.

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