Cara August, Trinity Communications
In early 2022, the Duke Career Center proposed the idea to form a network of faculty and staff from across campus who are having meaningful conversations with students about career development. Through the network, additional tools and training can be provided to further expertise and the resource will help students identify Duke's campus leaders who are open and willing to talk about students' career goals.
After an initial call for nominations, an anonymous recommendation placed Natalia Silva Harwood, Career Specialist and Assistant to the Director of Undergraduate Studies in Psychology, as a member of the inaugural cohort of The Career Influencer Network.
Harwood, who has who has worked in her role for 10 years and who holds an M.A. in Education and Human Development from George Washington University, is excited to be a part of the newly formed network.
“It’s a great way to collaborate because I can have initial conversation with students and often direct them to the Career Center where they have all the resources. I usually recommend that students use those Career Hub resources to help guide our conversations,” Harwood said.
Two primary goals of Career Influencer Network are to empower faculty and staff to talk about career readiness and resources confidently and to eliminate barriers of access to career information and increase equity and access for all students.
When asked what students are looking for in career advising, Harwood shares that it really depends on where they are in their career development—and the level of clarity they have about their goals.
“I focus on breaking down the career development process in a way that students can relate to, help them identify the stage of career development they are in, and then direct them to resources on and off campus that will be the most helpful.”
Harwood enjoys helping guide Psychology undergraduate students in their career goals, stating that it is by far her favorite part of the job.
“Students I work with report that they most appreciate leaving our meetings with concrete, actionable items. I often hear the phrase: ‘Wow, this meeting has been way more helpful than I expected!’”