Hello from the Career Center

By Sheryle Dirks, Associate Dean of the Career Management Center.

Guest Blogger: Sheryle Dirks, Associate Dean of the Career Management Center

As Associate Dean of Fuqua’s Career Management Center (CMC), I work with my team and other members of the Fuqua and Duke communities to build and enhance Fuqua’s presence in the global employment marketplace. What that means is I focus on maximizing the school’s efforts and resources toward the career preparation, recruitment, employment, and success of Fuqua students and alumni.

After relocating from the Chicago area, I started working in the Fuqua “CSO” (Career Services Office) as a career counselor in 1998. Our team consisted of 7 staff members at the time, and I’ve enjoyed helping to grow the department — now called the Career Management Center (CMC) — and its role within Fuqua.

In honor of this year’s admissions essay, here are 5 random things about myself:

  1. I grew up on a farm and had a variety of pets, including dogs, cats, and even a duck. I loved feeding young calves with a baby bottle and was befriended by a particularly patient cow that let me ride on her back like a horse.
  2. An only child, I made up an imaginary brother named Alan when I was 5 years old and he was “with me” for several years.
  3. I have played “Taps” at over 25 military funerals and veteran memorial services.
  4. I almost delayed/skipped college to join a touring children’s theatre group.
  5. My son, Cole, was born in February 2009. I found out later that students from that year’s graduating class thought he’d been named for Fuqua’s Center on Leadership and Ethics (COLE). Despite the coincidence, the names are unrelated.

About the Career Management Center

Last year, Fuqua’s Career Management Center (CMC) went through a significant re-organization as part of a broader effort to better align the school’s strategy, resources, and activities. The CMC now consists of 30 staff members operating in 3 work groups — recruiting and operations, student and alumni career services, and sector (corporate) engagement — as well as a small group of executive coaches who serve as adjunct staff, and a part-time student staff of over 60, who provide peer reviews of first-year students’ resumes, cover letters, and mock interviews. We’re excited about the new model and the role that each team plays in the student career experience.

CMC Goals and Responsibilities

The Career Management Center’s primary focus is to enhance Fuqua’s national and global presence as a top-tier business school through delivery of a comprehensive career services and recruiting program for students and alumni. What we do to achieve this objective and how we approach our work evolves with stakeholder needs, which include students, employers, alumni, and the Fuqua and Duke communities, but our purpose is quite singular and largely unchanging.

Career Consulting and Advising

We review resumes and conduct mock interviews, but we do a lot more as well! While each person’s needs are unique, we partner with job-seeking students and alumni to assist them in:

If you find the MBA career process of interest, I hope you enjoyed this brief introduction and will read my future posts. If you have any specific questions you’d like me to address, please send a note to me at sheryle.dirks@duke.edu.

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