We're basically spies: we keep an eye on pretty much every unit at Duke, scouring their websites and social feeds for energy-ish stuff that might interest you. (Creepiness activated.) This helps us serve up alllll kinds of info about news, projects, events, courses, and other opportunities across Duke’s entire campus in our student newsletter (see a recent sample).
Want in on the email magic ASAP? If you're starting at Duke in fall 2020, go ahead and sign up as a student (even if you don't have your Duke email yet).
We know people: an extensive network of Duke alumni and energy industry contacts. They’re eager to tell you about their insights and lessons learned. We PROMISE we’ll keep making that happen even if it can’t be face-to-face. Want proof? In spring and summer 2020, we quickly pivoted to offer students a high-voltage lineup of virtual events. Some were student-only events, while others were also open to alumni and energy pros (see, for example, the Women in Energy and the Future of Transportation events). For fall 2020, we're testing virtual networking apps so we can keep connecting YOU to other students and to alumni and other professionals who share your interests.
We also help moderate a private LinkedIn group for Duke students and alumni interested in energy and sustainability and have worked with Duke Alumni Association to connect energy students and alumni with the new Ask A Blue Devil tool.
We help supplement the more comprehensive services of your school’s career center. You can contact Stacy Peterson (aka The Energy Job Whisperer) for advising appointments (in pandemic times, virtual ones!) 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 Initiative Internship Program, which features energy-related listings from companies especially interested in hiring Duke summer interns. (Check out how the energy network at Duke mobilized when some students' summer 2020 internships evaporated at the start of the pandemic!)
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 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 when we say that 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. 9-12, 2020!!!), consulting projects, club activities, participation in competitions, and more!
Basically, while there's a lot we don't know about 2020 will unfold, we can predict this much:
But don't just take our word for it...
Our end-of-year survey for 2019-2020 had a comments section and students' responses had us *blushing*. 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)
OK, so what do I do next?
1) MOST IMPORTANT: Sign up for the email list. (Be sure to ID yourself as a student!)
2) UM, ALSO KIND OF IMPORTANT: Actually open the emails & read them.
3) FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL if you like: Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.
4) FEEL LOW-KEY SMUG that now you're gonna be on top of all things energy at Duke!