In undergrad whenever I’d visit a career counselor, he or she would give me generic advice that wasn’t particularly helpful to my specific situation and goals:

“Make a list of target companies and network within the firm,” one said.

“Attend the career fairs and go to info sessions,” another insisted.

I went through my entire undergraduate career without attending a single career fair or info session, and I still managed to land an internship at JP Morgan Chase and several other, smaller places.

I came to Duke thinking that career services wouldn’t be very helpful. I thought a career center should be judged on the employers actively recruiting students and the type of positions they recruit for.

However, after 4 months of immersion with the Fuqua Career Management Center (CMC), I am very impressed with their work. Sure, the companies that recruit here are great, but I have actually learned many great strategies for attacking the job search.

No one person better embodies these ideas than Fuqua CMC Associate Director Steve Dalton. He has lectured to the MMS class several times. He hasn’t come in and given the same old stuff, but he has actually LECTURED us on studies he has conducted.

A former consultant for A.T. Kearney and marketing manager at General Mills, Dalton earned his B.S. in chemical engineering and then an MBA from Fuqua. If there were such a thing as someone having a PhD in job-hunting, Dalton would have one. His lectures are almost academic – he analyzes minute details about human behavior that the average person wouldn’t even notice. His background in engineering and consulting certainly give him this unique perspective, for he has come up with matchless principles and theories on the networking and interviewing process.

Come March, the world can have the chance to see and read what I’m talking about. Randomhouse is releasing Dalton’s first book, titled “THE 2-HOUR JOB SEARCH: Using Technology to Get the Right Job Faster.”

He gave the MMS class his “2-Hour Job Search” lecture, and it certainly did open up an entirely new worldview on seeking jobs. Although my job hunt is going relatively smoothly, I’m glad I know Dalton and his work.

I think many of my friends will find his advice useful, and older professionals will probably benefit even more than college students. Dalton’s book isn’t just for landing the first job: it teaches life skills that anyone can use at any point in his or her life.