Breaking Ice

Duke/Yale Environmental Career Fair 2015
by Megan Hayes -- February 20th, 2015

The Duke/Yale Environmental Career Fair is an event that is hosted annually by the masterminds in the career and professional development offices of these two environmental schools programs.

Over 31 recruiters from a wide range of sectors participated in the event last Friday; this year the coordinators fully pulled out the stops to make it a success adding three career treks the day before and numerous opportunities to meet with with professionals and alumni. The purpose of these events and interactions are to not only learn about current openings, and possible career options but also to glean advice on how to start or for many of our students restart our careers.


MEM’s checking out the interview schedules! Here is where you can find last minute opportunities to squeeze in more interviews.


This year was the 20th anniversary of the fair and my second year as a participant.

As a first year, the greatest value from the event came from connecting with the alumni base in DC. Alumni that I met at the Coastal Conversations event and then later at the Duke Alumni Social become incredibly helpful connections who I repeatedly run into at conferences and are in constant contact with  – these alums have fully welcomed the role of mentor.


Standing center is an Alumni casually speaking with students both from the Nicholas School and from Yale at the Coastal Conversation’s event.


Last year the Duke/Yale was an opportunity to test the waters and to test myself. A year ago my career interests were very disorganized and broad – Duke/Yale provided insight into the actual day-to-day work that possible career options entail.

As a second year student the fair has a different feel and a different purpose. I had targeted companies with whom I wanted to engage with, and armed with confidence in my resume and new experiences to chat about I didn’t feel so uneasy.


Group interviews can be daunting – or fun when you’re teamed with great conversationalists. Taking social cues to keep the conversation flowing between all participants makes for a great meeting.


It’s been a week since the event and I have been in constant contact with the recruiters whom I met and the alumni I shared drinks with. I’m following up on advice and sending linkedin connection invites. Who knows where I’ll be after May graduation – but I’m excited to find out!


It’s exciting to learn that many of the recruiters are alumni from one of the two programs! Here a current Nicholas School DEL student engages with a MEM student in the hopes of finding an intern!


Whether students come to find internships, full time jobs, to engage with alumni, or to find Masters Project clients the career fair is worth the trek. Best advice I could give to those participating in the years following is to be flexible and open minded. Some of my most interesting opportunities are coming from companies I wouldn’t have imagined working with a year ago.

Also, may I add, my classmates look damn good in suits.

DSC03031 DSC02945


Here are some more photo’s from both the Ocean Policy Working Group’s Coastal Conversation “career trek” event, and from the Duke/Yale fair.



Duke MEM's in


MEM Student engages with recruiters at the Informational Booths

Yale student speaking with a Yale Career Staff between interviews

Yale student speaking with a Yale Career Staff between interviews


Some of Duke’s finest Career and Professional Development Adviser’s


Here Glenda moderates the Coastal Conversations career panel with questions submitted by students prior to the event.


The relaxed and warm environment of the Coastal Conversation often leads to revealing recommendations on how to best utilize your time and efforts both in the program and when in your career search.


For many of our alumni – these events provide valuable opportunities to reconnect and catch up on lost time. The community of the Nicholas School and Hug Commons extends far beyond campus grounds.





To GIS or not to GIS, THAT is the question – and heavily debated both years!





The lineup of Alumni for the Ocean Policy Working Group’s second annual Coastal Conversations! Great job to the student’s who orchestrated this event!








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