Launch of Interstride

UChicagoGRAD is announcing the launch of Interstride – a platform that offers support for international students and postdocs on their U.S and international job search process. It is an interactive portal that provides insights, community, and job opportunities. Both domestic and international students can find resources for living and working abroad – whether for study abroad, a summer internship, or a full-time job in 80+ countries.

 

To access the platform, go to https://www.interstride.com/university-of-chicago/ and click on student login. That will bring you to shibboleth and you can proceed to create an account directly from there. Contact josephinecai@uchicago.edu if you have questions.

Get Actionable Career Advice from Alumni at GRADUCon 2022

Register now to attend GRADUCon—UChicagoGRAD’s annual career exploration conference—and learn from alumni pursuing a variety of career paths.

Are you contemplating your next steps after finishing your graduate program or postdoc? It can be challenging to decide on a career path and break into a new field, but these challenges are easier when you have allies on your side. At GRADUCon—UChicago’s annual career exploration conference exclusively for graduate students and postdocs—you can meet and receive advice from alumni who have been in your shoes.

The conference, which takes place virtually on March 31 and April 1, 2022, features career-themed panels and opportunities to chat in small groups with 60+ professionals working in a wide range of fields. These mentors can answer your questions about their day-to-day work and provide wisdom for following similar paths.

To join the small group conversations, you must first RSVP for GRADUCon and register for any panels that interest you. When you join a panel on March 31 or April 1, you will first enjoy 50 minutes of moderated discussion among the alumni panelists. Then, during the final 25 minutes of each panel, you will be invited to join a breakout room to learn more from a panelist of your choosing. Click here to view the list of panels and participating alumni. Want to update your headshot before the event? Register here for a free headshot.

Don’t enter the job search alone. Seek mentorship from those who’ve been there before at GRADUCon 2022.

GRADUCON 2022 SCHEDULE (All Times CDT)

Thursday, March 31, 2022

12:30 PM – 1:15 PM: Welcome Address from President Paul Alivisatos and Vice Provost Jason Merchant

1:30 PM – 2:45 PM: Panel Discussions, Session I

  • Careers in Data Science
  • Curatorial Careers
  • Careers in U.S. Government

3:00 PM – 4:15 PM: Panel Discussions, Session II

  • Careers in Sustainable Science
  • Careers in Quantitative Finance
  • Careers in Boutique Consulting Firms

Friday, April 1, 2022

9:00 AM – 10:15 AM: Panel Discussions, Session III

  • Careers at Startups
  • Careers in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • U.S. Job Search for International Students/Postdocs

10:30 AM – 11:45 PM: Panel Discussions, Session IV

  • Careers in Gaming
  • Industry Research Careers (STEM)
  • Careers in Think Tanks

12:00 PM – 1:15 PM: Panel Discussions, Session V

  • Careers in Publishing
  • Industry Research Careers (Social Sciences)
  • Careers in Strategy Consulting

GRADTalk

GRADTalk is a suite of programs and resources designed to help graduate students and postdocs increase the impact of their scholarship and public speaking. We provide one-on-one consultations on topics ranging from interview preparation to making comments in class.  Right now, many graduate students and postdocs are utilizing GRADTalk appointments to practice their faculty job talks and discuss the campus interview process. GRADTalk also offers a range of quarterly workshops. Join us this quarter for a workshop titled “Public Speaking 101.” Whether you’re speaking to an audience of one or one hundred, public speaking can be a difficult and nerve-wracking experience. This workshop will help you to change that. You will learn some effective strategies for honing your public speaking skills, engaging and motivating your audience, and managing anxieties about public speaking. By the end of the workshop you will have some concrete tips for becoming a more confident and engaging speaker. You can RSVP for the event here.

Fellowships for Language Learning and Research Abroad

Graduate students working toward advanced proficiency in second languages are sure to be interested two fellowship opportunities with upcoming deadlines: Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) and the Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Award (DDRA).

FLAS Fellowships are awards for graduate students concentrating on modern foreign language and international or area studies. In the 2022-2023 competition cycle, UChicago will accept applications for languages in three world areas: East Asia, East Europe, and Middle East. All applicants must be U.S. citizens, nationals, or permanent residents, and cannot be beyond the fifth year of graduate study while holding the award. FLAS Fellowships provide two kinds of awards:

  • Academic Year Fellowships for language and area studies coursework on campus during the 2022-23 academic year, and
  • Summer FLAS Fellowships for language study on campus, domestically, or abroad during summer 2022.

Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Award (DDRA) fellowships, supported by the United States Department of Education, provide opportunities to doctoral candidates to engage in dissertation research abroad in modern foreign languages and area studies. Projects deepen research knowledge on and help the nation develop capability in areas of the world not generally included in U.S. curricula. Doctoral candidates can propose 6-12 months of research in non-Western countries on this fellowship. Applicants must have the necessary language skills to carry out research. Multi-country proposals are accepted. Interested University of Chicago applicants MUST apply through UChicagoGRAD. Students should reach out to Kevin Doherty (kevdoh@uchicago.edu) to initiate their candidacy and schedule an advising meeting to discuss their application. An information session will be held on February 9, 2022 at 12pm, and workshops will be announced soon.

GRAD Global Impact (GGI) “Pitch Your Own Internship”

The GGI “Pitch” program is an opportunity for graduate students to create unique, individually tailored summer internships and have them funded with a $6,000 stipend through UChicagoGRAD. Full-time students in all disciplines are eligible to apply for funding for internship projects that they develop in collaboration with host organizations that:

  • Draw on their academic work
  • Advance their professional goals
  • Allow them to develop new professional skills
  • Make a meaningful impact toward the mission of the organization

Interested in learning more? Visit the GGI Pitch page on our website and consider attending our virtual info session on January 14 to get more details on what makes a standout proposal, the application process, eligibility, and more. If you can’t make it, please email Deborah Blumenthal for a recording.

UChicago Student Wellness Offering COVID Booster Vaccines

UChicago Student Wellness has added a limited number of COVID-19 booster vaccine appointments for students. All appointments must be made online via the my.WellnessPortal. Act quickly, as appointments are limited. If there are no available time slots in the portal, the appointments are fully booked. Due to high call volumes, please do not call to inquire about the further availability of booster shots. However, check the portal regularly, as additional appointments may be added.

Additional information is available here.

Tax Resources

While we are already squarely in 2022, the 2021 tax filing process is just getting started. The final 2021 Quarterly Estimated Tax Deadline is January 18, 2022. Whether this is your first time paying estimated taxes or your tenth, you may have questions. Please take some time to watch our 2021 Estimated Tax Workshop along with our other Financial Wellness resources, and reach out to gradhelp@uchicago.edu with your questions related to taxes and University payments.

 

Covid-19 Updates

Students are reminded to check the university’s GoForward website to find updated information regarding the Covid-19 pandemic.

2022 Career Event Preview

As you head into the new year, jump-start your job search by attending UChicagoGRAD’s flagship career exploration and employer events. Here’s what you can look forward to:

February 2022

The Nonprofit and Social Impact Career Forum, scheduled for February 3, 2022, offers students and postdocs a chance to hear from professionals through presentations and 1:1 chats. Attendees can expect to learn about how their academic training sets them up for mission-driven work in fields such as arts and culture, media, policy, and community impact. This is a great event for grad students and postdocs in Humanities, Divinity, Social Science, as well as those at Harris and Crown; however, it is open to all. To learn more about this year’s participating organizations, please visit the GRAD Gargoyle page for this event, which will be updated soon.

The Data Science and Business Analytics Career Fair will take place on February 24, 2022 and will be virtual. Each year, we welcome employers across industries to this fair intended specifically for graduate students and postdocs in computational and quantitative fields who are interested in careers in data science and analytics. Student registration for this event will open in GRAD Gargoyle in January, at which time an up-to-date list of registered employers will be available. Lists of past employer participants can be found here.

April 2022

On April 1, 2022, GRADUCON will take place in-person at Ida Noyes Hall. GRADUCon is an annual career exploration conference – a day of panels of alumni speakers discussing their work in a wide variety of industries (consulting, data science, publishing, quant finance, UX, to name a few) and meeting 1:1 with students and postdocs. GRADUCon is a great opportunity to hear from UChicago alumni about their career paths in fields you may be exploring. Panel topics differ slightly from year to year, but past panel topics and speakers can be found here.

June 2022

Consulting Summer Camp is a week-long event series for graduate students and postdocs interested in careers in consulting. We kick off with a session on the landscape of the consulting industry; offer workshops on resumes and cover letters, behavioral interviews, and case interviews; and finish out the week with “Meet the Firms,” an opportunity for attendees to connect with recruiters and consultants from a variety of consulting firms. Whether you’re just starting to explore consulting or are working on job applications, this series can help you prepare for the next step in your process.

July 2022

Are you planning to apply for academic jobs this fall?  Put your best foot forward by attending UChicagoGRAD’s Academic Job Market Summer Camp. You’ll receive advice from UChicagoGRAD and CCT advisors as well as faculty from a wide range of institutions. Camp topics include document best practices (CVs, cover letters, research statements, teaching portfolios, and diversity statements); interview best practices (first-round and on-campus interviews); and decision-making (navigating identity, getting a postdoc, and considering international, lecturer, and visiting positions).

As always, UChicagoGRAD will be offering our monthly resume and cover letter workshops, along with additional programming to help you feel prepared for your job search, interviews, and every other step along the way. Keep an eye out in GRAD Gargoyle for the most up-to-date schedule of events.

Sounding Board Advising

UChicagoGrad wants to extend our support to the UChicago student community as you continue to navigate this on-going difficult time. Whether you are worried about yourself, a friend, or a family member there are extensive support resources and services provided by the UChicago community that can assist you with your mental health concerns.

Sounding Board Advising is a resource for helping graduate students and postdocs negotiate work/life balance issues, navigate relationships, and create strategies for having difficult conversations with peers, faculty, and others. Sounding Board currently functions as general support services for challenged graduate students.

UChicago Student Wellness provides access to student mental health with virtual sessions staffed by clinicians, in addition to virtual drop-in sessions and workshops. Their calendar of events is here.

Wellness Coaching is a free service that teaches you how to create goals for navigating transitions and overcoming challenges that come your way. Schedule your Wellness Coaching session today.

There is a therapist-on-call available 24/7 that students can reach at 773-702-3625.

On Purpose: Getting Ready for PhD Program Application Season

By Sasha Warren, UChicagoGRAD Career Advising Intern

Application deadlines for many PhD programs in the United States are coming up in December. So, whether you’re an aspiring cancer biologist or an up-and-coming theologian, now is a great time to make sure your application materials are in the works.

One document you’ll need to apply to almost any U.S. PhD program is a Statement of Purpose (SoP), and I’ll be honest – when I started my Planetary Science PhD applications, I had no idea what this meant. The SoP is essentially a description of the research you intend to do: it should draw from the research and learning experiences you’ve had so far, with an eye toward what you hope to do in the future.

Most SoPs follow the same “three act structure”:

Act 1: Who are you, and what research do you want to do? You might address what questions you want to ask, how you intend to pursue them, and why they are important in your field of study.

Act 2: What experiences have prepared you to do this research? Be sure to include how you want to build on your experiences through the research plans outlined in Act 1.

Act 3: Why are this particular program and its faculty a fit for you and your work?

You’ll only have a few pages for all of this, so taking the time to refine and polish your SoP is worth the effort. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Make sure to read the prompt carefully for each program. Schools may ask for different lengths, content, and formatting, so you need to tailor your SoP to each one.
  • The balance of each “act” in your SoP depends on your field of study.
    • For STEM PhD applications: The main focus of the SoP is Act 2 – aim to make about 70% of the SoP about the methods and subject areas you’re most thoroughly versed in (and excited by) through giving concrete examples of research projects and related experiences.
    • For Humanities & Social Sciences: Acts 1 and 2 should each make up about equal portions of your SoP, with more of a focus on defining the research you want to do during your PhD rather than your past experience.
  • The Statement of Purpose is also a writing sample. Writing clearly and concisely is an important skill for all PhD students, so be intentional and specific with your sentences and word choices.
  • First impressions count. Check and re-check your spelling and grammar, then have a friend proofread your SoP for you.

UChicagoGRAD offers a variety of PhD application support resources. For feedback on your SoP or CV, consider making an appointment with one of the UChicagoGRAD career advisors (including me, if you’re a STEM Masters student). If you’re looking for help with writing samples, you can set up a Graduate Writing Consultation. For feedback on diversity, equity, and inclusion statements, consider meeting with our Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Dana Bozeman. It’s also a good idea to work with your faculty advisor on content and norms specific to your field.

For more information on PhD applications, you may refer to:

  1. UChicagoGRAD’s PhD Application Guide
  2. The Chronicle of Higher Education’s Gentle Guide for Applying to Graduate School

About Sasha:

Sasha is a 4th-year PhD candidate in Geophysical Sciences researching the evolution of rocky planet atmospheres over geological time. At UChicagoGRAD, they help STEM masters students explore their academic and professional goals, and prepare documents for PhD program applications.

 

 

 

UChicago’s Family Resource Center

The Family Resource Center (FRC) is a welcoming play and community space where University families can access resources, information, supportive services, and enrichment programming. Membership is free.  Any university affiliated family is welcome: Students, post-docs, faculty, staff, and alumni.

The multi-age FRC playroom and playground is located in the Woodlawn Social Services Center at 950 East 61st St, and we just re-opened this fall.  Our current hours are Mon-Fri from 10-4. In pre-pandemic times, we offered children’s classes, family parties and student-parent write-ins: a free babysitting service for student parents. In lieu of classes, for Fall Quarter we have offered a daily themed activity in our art room with stories, crafts and related games. We have a great big playground. Come visit and play!

For more information, visit us online. Or better yet, drop by and see us in person!