We're basically spies: we keep an eye on units across Duke, scouring their websites and social media feeds for energy-ish stuff. This helps us serve up alllll kinds of info about news, projects, events, courses, and other opportunities across Duke’s campus in our student newsletter (see a recent sample).
We know people: an extensive network of Duke alumni and energy industry contacts. They are eager to connect with you and share advice and insights.
We’ll feature plenty of guest experts in our high-voltage lineup of face-to-face and virtual events in 2021-2022. In addition to panels and other public events, you'll be able to attend small Power Lunches where energy professionals will share their career journeys, insights on industry trends, and advice for YOU. We are excited to connect in-person this year... and to keep offering up virtual learning and networking opportunities that expose you to far-flung, busy experts unlikely to travel to Durham. (Want to see what our events are like? While Power Lunches and many other student-only experiences are private, you can view some past public events on YouTube!)
Another tool for building your network is our private LinkedIn group for Duke students and alumni interested in energy and sustainability.
We help supplement the more comprehensive services of your school’s career center. You can contact Stacy Peterson for advising appointments to help you strategize about rocking your career objectives. We also publish job listings, share career tips (like this article on pursuing career opportunities during a pandemic), and connect students with alumni for informational interviews.
Internships are clutch, of course. That’s why we run the Energy Internship Program! Every year we work with Duke alumni and industry contacts to collect dozens of energy-related listings from companies interested in hiring Duke summer interns.
Thanks to the generosity of Duke alumni, we also offer supplementary funding so students can pursue unique internship opportunities that are low-paying or unpaid. Even in summer 2020 and summer 2021, we helped students find (and fund) plenty of remote internships!
Each semester, we track all the energy courses on offer at Duke (~60/year!) to help you choose. But we also know that learning happens outside the classroom, too. (And that you're eager for opportunities to contribute to a better energy future!)
That's why we host all kinds of panels and interactive events (see #2 above) and Power Trips that let you tour energy facilities and businesses. It’s why we work with Duke's unique Bass Connections program to cultivate energy and environment research projects open to all Duke students. It's why we fund research assistantships for Duke undergrads to work alongside rockstar energy faculty. And it's why we develop energy options for Duke summer research and service programs like Data+, Story+, Duke Engage, and the Duke Global Policy Program in Geneva.
Look, if it’s not clear yet, let us state directly: we are excited to know you, enrich your experience at Duke, and celebrate your accomplishments! As part of our community, you'll have plenty of chances to get to know students, faculty, and staff across Duke (not just in your degree program) who are interested in energy and climate issues. Trust us: this extended network will benefit you not just now ... but long after you've graduated!
And we invite YOU to help shape our community. We offer funding, advice, and promotional support for all sorts of student-led efforts, including Energy Week at Duke (SAVE THE DATES, Y'ALL - Nov. 8-11, 2021!!!), consulting projects, club activities, participation in competitions, and more!
P.S. We recently announced big news: we’re merging with Duke’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions! What does that mean for you? Even more opportunities to deepen your exploration of energy and climate—YAY! You’re gonna love “The New Us” even more.
Ok, so what do I do next?
1) Sign up for the email list. (Be sure to ID yourself as a student!) You can also opt into the Nicholas Institute’s email there!
2) Actually open the emails & read them.
3) Follow us on social if you like: Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. Ooh, and don’t forget to join the private LinkedIn group for Duke students and alumni.
4) Feel smug that now you're gonna be on top of all things energy at Duke!
On the fence about joining yet another email list?
Student responses to our end-of-year surveys always make us *blush*. Just a few selections:
“Thank you to the Energy Initiative team for all the awesome opportunities you provide to faculty and students. My Duke experience would not have been nearly as awesome without y'all (and your punny newsletters, which I look forward to reading as an alumna)."
- Jessica Siegel (MEM ’20)
“Though I'm not going straight into the energy sector as a mechanical engineer, I'm planning on learning product management to work in the cleantech startup space. This is where my passion lies and I wouldn't have discovered it without you all.”
- Gaurav Uppal (E ’20)
"So much love for the Energy Initiative. You guys have been so helpful at providing information, opportunities, and guidance as I craft my Duke career!
- Anna Smirnova (T ’22)
“My particular thanks to Stacy Peterson for her cheerful competence, for connecting us to alumni resources and funding, and for making time to serve as a sounding board for our half-formed ideas whenever we wanted to meet. The Energy Initiative is a remarkable resource for Duke, and I'm glad it exists.”
- Dan Stevenson (MPP ‘20)
"Great job on keeping the Energy Initiative programming up and running through COVID!"
- Sarah Vondracek (MEM/MBA '20)
“It's really nice to have a campus group that cares so much about its students.”
- Ben Williams (E ’21)
“I just want to thank the Energy Initiative for making my Duke experience awesome. MEM students are greatly benefited by the Energy Initiative's awesome presence and ongoing efforts to connect us with professionals, organize events to enhance our knowledge, and perfect us to go in the real world as energy professionals. Big thanks!”
- Monica Raphita Simarmata (MEM ’20)