5 Reasons Why You Should Consider an Internship in Graduate School

January is a great time to start thinking about summer internships, as many internship application cycles open this time of year. The right internship can have a lot to offer you as a graduate student. These short-term, hands-on experiences are a great way to explore potential career paths by trying out a role, organization, or industry. Internships can also be a strategic way to build the experience and connections needed to launch your career.

UChicagoGRAD’s GRAD Global Impact (GGI) “Pitch” internship program is one of the many internship programs with a winter application cycle. The pitch program allows UChicago graduate students to work with organizations of their choice to create custom, self-directed summer internship projects. Students then apply to receive $6,000 in funding from UChicagoGRAD to support their projects. UChicagoGRAD will be hosting information sessions about the pitch program on January 15 and 16, 2020. For more information on the program, please click here.

Still uncertain about whether an internship is right for you? Consider the unique benefits that graduate-level internships provide:

  1. You will have opportunities to use your academic training to make a broader impact. Unlike undergraduate internships that focus more on building general skills, graduate-level internships are typically project-based experiences that allow you to apply your theoretical knowledge to professional settings. An anthropologist could use their ethnographic training to design studies to help a company become more inclusive; an art historian could utilize their understanding of visual arts to assist with independent film production; or a linguist’s knowledge of multiple languages could help a publishing house translate their texts and grow their readership. At the end of any graduate-level internship, you will have used your academic skillset to contribute meaningfully to your host organization.
  2. You can become a better researcher/scholar. Are you hesitant about doing an internship because you think it will distract from your research? An internship can actually help you develop your research skills and expertise. Consider looking for internships that build upon the methodological or analytical skills that you are already developing via your disciplinary training. For example, if your research involves work with archives, an internship at a local research library or records repository might help you hone your archival research skills. Internships can also be a valuable way to understand the broader implications of your research, which might in turn affect how you pursue that research in the future. Finally, internships can deepen your expertise in a specific field of study. Whether you intern at a think tank, scientific institute, or museum, you can learn from and network with experts to gain new perspective on your work.
  3. You will build transferable professional skills. Employers representing over twenty industries recently created a list of key competencies of career readiness. These competencies include critical thinking, communication, teamwork/collaboration, leadership, and professionalism. Sometimes defined as “soft skills,” these professional skills are highly valued in many fields. Academic training helps you develop some of these competencies, but perhaps not all of them. Internships afford you excellent opportunities to round out your skillset. For instance, academic research can be independent, rather than collaborative, in nature. However, most careers outside of academia require you to work with a team of individuals with various strengths. The collaboration and teamwork experience you gain during an internship will help you show employers that you can work well with others at their organization.
  4. You will make yourself more attractive to a variety of future employers. Whether you currently plan to pursue careers in academia, industry, nonprofits, or government, you likely understand the benefits of having more than one viable option available to you upon graduation. While some internships lead to full-time job offers with host organizations, almost allinternships put you in a better position for attracting future employers. Having graduate-level internship experience on your resume signals a few important things to employers:(1) you have learned and applied skills that are relevant to their sector; (2) you have experience working and interacting in an (often team-based) environment that resembles most workplaces; and (3) you have—unlike some of your peers—put legitimate effort into branching out beyond your academic research.
  5. You will have opportunities to build your network. Internships are an easy way to establish valuable relationships with professionals in your field. You canmake excellent use of your internship time by conducting internal networking at your host organization. Introduce yourself to people you do not know by the water cooler and ask to learn more about their work over coffee. You can also ask your supervisor to introduce you to coworkers in other departments. And, of course, you can build relationships with your fellow interns. Even after finishing your internship, you can stay in touch with your new connections and perhaps be the first to know when your ideal job comes open. These kinds of professional connections can be an important source of support for everything from career advice to job recommendations in the years to come.

Winter Quarter Preview

Check out what’s happening at UChicagoGRAD this quarter!

Please note: dates and times are subject to change

For more details and to register, please visit GRAD Gargoyle


  • Wednesday, January 8 – Academic Job Market #1: Interviewing for Faculty Positions, GRAD HQ, 12:30-1:30pm
  • Tuesday, January 9 – DDRA Fellowship Info Session, GRAD HQ, 2-3pm
  • Tuesday, January 14 – Academic Job Market #2: International Academe, GRAD HQ, 4-5pm
  • Wednesday, January 15 – Academic Job Market #3: Preparing for Campus Visits, GRAD HQ, 12:30-1:30pm
  • Wednesday, January 15 – Point Foundation Scholarship Info Session, GRAD HQ, 1:30-2:30pm
  • Wednesday, January 15 – GRAD Global Impact “Pitch” Internship Info Session, GRAD HQ, 4-5pm
  • Thursday, January 16 – GRAD Global Impact “Pitch” Internship Info Session, GRAD HQ, 12:30-1:30pm 
  • Thursday, January 16 – DDRA Fellowship Writing Workshop #1, Fellowships Table, 1-3pm
  • Thursday, January 16 – FLAS Fellowship Info Session, GRAD HQ, 3:30-4:30pm
  • Friday, January 17 — LA Trek for Humanities PhDs Info Session, GRAD HQ, 12:30-1pm
  • Friday, January 17 – Diversifying Faculty in Illinois (DFI) Graduate FellowshipInfo Session, GRAD HQ, 1-2pm
  • Friday, January 17 – Quarterly Postdoc Workshop: Transferable Skills, GRAD HQ, 3:30-4:30pm
  • Tuesday, January 21 – Cover Letter Workshop, GRAD HQ, 12:30-1:30pm
  • Tuesday, January 21 – Careers in Higher Education Administration: Introduction/History, Context, Futures, GRAD Conference Room, 12:30-1:30pm
  • Wednesday, January 22 – Academic Job Market #4: Best Practices for Teaching Demonstrations, GRAD HQ, 12:30-1:30pm
  • Wednesday, January 22 – FLAS Fellowship Info Session, GRAD HQ, 2-3pm
  • Friday, January 24 – Resume Workshop, GRAD HQ, 12:30-1:30pm
  • Friday, January 24 – DDRA Fellowship Writing Workshop #2, Fellowships Table, 1-3pm
  • Monday, January 27 – Academic Job Market #5: Considering Contingency, GRAD HQ, 12:30-1:30pm
  • Wednesday, January 29 – Academic Job Market #6: Negotiation Best Practices for Faculty Jobs, GRAD HQ, 12:30-1:30pm
  • Thursday, January 30 – GRADTalkWorkshop: “Acing the First-Round Screening Interview (Industry, Non-Profits, Government),” GRAD HQ, 12:30-1:30pm
  • Thursday, January 30 – DDRA Fellowship Writing Workshop #3, Fellowships Table, 1-3pm


  • Wednesday, February 5 – Astellas Pharma Medical Writing Careers Info Session, GRAD HQ, 10:30-11:30am
  • Wednesday, February 5 – Careers in Higher Education Administration: Alumni Panel, GRAD HQ, 12:30-1:30pm 
  • Wednesday, February 5 – Postdoc Orientation and Mixer, GRAD HQ, 3-5pm 
  • Thursday, February 6 – GRADTalkWorkshop: “What Do You Work On? The Art of Introducing Your Research”, GRAD HQ, 12:30-1:30pm
  • Thursday, February 13 – Expand Your Perspective: Love, GRAD HQ, 4-6pm
  • Tuesday, February 18 – Resume Workshop, GRAD HQ, 12:30-1:30pm
  • Wednesday, February 19 – Cover Letter Workshop, GRAD HQ, 12:30-1:30pm
  • Thursday, February 27 – Data Science & Business Analytics Career Fair, Gleacher Center
  • Wednesday, February 26 – GRADTalkWorkshop: “Tell Me About Yourself: Crafting a Great Self-Introduction for Behavioral Interviews and Networking,” GRAD HQ, 12:30-1:30pm


  • Wednesday, March 4 – GRADTalkWorkshop: “Storytelling Strategies for Behavioral Interviews” GRAD HQ, 12:30-1:30pm
  • Wednesday, March 4 – Informational Interview Workshop, GRAD HQ, 3:30-4:30pm
  • Saturday and Sunday, March 7-8 – PATHS Data Analysis and Visualization Workshop, Logan Center Board Room, All Day
  • Wednesday, March 11 – LinkedIn Workshop, GRAD HQ, 3:30-4:30pm
  • Thursday, March 12 – English Career Conversation Hour, GRAD HQ, 3pm-4pm
  • Friday-Saturday, March 13-14 – PATHS Trade Publishing Workshop, Location TBD, Half-day Friday and All Day Saturday
  • Wednesday, March 18 – Resume Workshop, GRAD HQ, 12:30-1:30pm
  • Thursday, March 19 – Cover Letter Workshop, GRAD HQ, 12:30-1:30pm
  • Monday and Tuesday, March 23-24 – LA Trek, All Day

Happy Winter Break!

Staying in Chicago? Check out these free activities across the city.

Photo credit: chicago.gov




UChicago Food Security Program



Financial Wellness

Winter Quarter is coming! Be financially prepared.

Photo credit: winteriscoming.net

Along with snow, ice, and a wind so famously fierce it’s known as “the Hawk,” Winter Quarter brings an opportunity to review your funding and make sure you’re set to start of the New Year on solid financial footing. Get ready with three simple things to do in the coming month:

  1. Winter Quarter scholarships for tuition, fees, and/or insurance will post to your account on December 27, 2019. Mark the date and log in to your account to check your balance, make sure you understand your bill, and plan ahead to make any relevant payments.
  2. Are you still getting a paper check? Get your funds faster with direct deposit, which you can set up in your student account and your Workday profile. 98% of students have signed up for direct deposit and you should too.
  3. Students get paid many different ways. As you plan for Winter Quarter expenses, get a handle on your situation by reviewing what payments you can expect in Winter Quarter and when you can expect to receive them. Not sure? Your Dean of Students Office is a great resource to review and you’re always welcome to contact us at gradhelp@uchicago.edu for a quick overview,

And, keep email handy – gradhelp@uchicago.edu is the dedicated resource to help you manage you navigate your financial relationship with the University. Not sure who to check in with? Not sure what type of payment you’re receiving? Something doesn’t look right? Email us. We’re here to help.

More to come on the most wonderful time of the year. . .that’s right. . .tax season is right around the corner too! Don’t sweat it though – we have workshops to help you get everything filed efficiently and on time. Stay tuned and stay warm.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Staying in Chicago over Thanksgiving Break? Check out these free activities across the city.

Photo credit: https://www.chicago.gov/city/en.html

Thursday, November 28

Friday, November 29

Saturday, November 30

Sunday, December 1


UChicago Food Security Program

Volunteer Opportunities

5 Ways To Use Thanksgiving Break For Career Development

Whether you are traveling to visit friends and family, or taking a break in Chicago, these strategies can help you reach your career goals.



Photo credit: imbd.com

1. Build Local Connections

If you’re visiting an area that you might call home after UChicago, take advantage of being physically present by connecting with local professionals. Reach out to an interesting person at a local organization, and schedule a time to meet with them to chat about their career path. If you are actively applying to positions, you can also let potential employers know that you’ll be in town. You could include this information in the final paragraph of your cover letter or in an email to someone at the organization. Use language like “I will be visiting [CITY] on [DATE], and I would love to stop in and discuss this opportunity further.” Capitalize on your visit by intentionally building local connections.

2. Practice Your Elevator Pitch on Friends and Family

Have you ever faced a holiday party with dread because you know you’ll get questions like “So what are you doing at UChicago?” or “What exactlyare you studying again?” Whether you’re talking with a family member, old friend, or someone you’re meeting for the first time, these questions can be tough to answer. Why? Because we’re often thinking too much about ourselves and not enough about our audience. Tailoring your message to your audience is one of the key principles of preparing a good elevator pitch, which is a short, 30-60 second self-introduction to who you are or what you do. Preparing a good elevator pitch is essential for job fairs, networking, and interviews. Next time you’re at a holiday party, think of it as a chance to practice a few different versions of your self-introduction. But remember, always keep your audience in mind!

3. Talk to Friends and Family to Learn About Your Strengths

Knowing your strengths can help you figure out which careers may be a good fit. Often, people who know you well—family and friends—recognize and appreciate certain things about you. They may rely on you to organize get-togethers, or they may acknowledge you for your ability to help resolve disagreements. These and other qualities can translate into professional competencies, such as organization and communication skills. If you’re spending time with family and friends over the holidays, ask them, “What do you think my strengths are?” or “Which of my qualities stand out to you?” Use the insights they provide when you’re exploring careers. For example, when reading a job ad, ask yourself whether your strengths are a good fit for the position. Or, if you are conducting informational interviews, listen closely to what skills are needed to be effective in a role, and then consider whether those skills coincide with your strengths. Knowing your strengths is the foundation of career exploration and development.

4. Spend Some Time in Quiet Self-Reflection

One perk of the Thanksgiving break is the opportunity for quiet time—a chance to step off the graduate school or postdoctoral treadmill and just be. If you find yourself with a few spare minutes, consider using that time to engage in some quiet self-reflection related to your career goals. Grab a pen and paper and spend some time writing about what has made you happy or unhappy during your graduate or postdoctoral studies. Which problems, tasks, or assignments do you most enjoy? When do you feel energized? Alternatively, which problems, tasks, or assignments leave you feeling depleted or bored? Ask these same questions of your previous jobs, internships, or voluntary positions. Once you’ve finished writing, reread your work and see if any patterns emerge. Perhaps you notice that you seem to feel most engaged whenever you are working with undergraduates. This is good information to have—it points to interests and values that can guide your career search.

5. Chat with Fellow Travelers—or Just Relax!

If you’re traveling for the holidays, why not consider chatting with your fellow passengers? Networking with strangers may seem daunting—especially if you’re shy—but think of it as a way to spread holiday cheer. When you reach your designated seat on an airplane, for instance, try employing simple gestures like smiling and saying “hi” to your neighbor. If your neighbor doesn’t acknowledge you, don’t worry; they’re someone you wouldn’t want to talk to anyway!  If your neighbor says “hello” and then puts on headphones or buries their nose in a book, then hey, at least you tried. It’s likely, though, that your neighbor will be up for a few pleasantries. There’s always a chance that a wildly wonderful scenario will unfold in which the two of you really hit it off. You may spend the flight conducting a career-related informational interview or gaining a new friend. If all else fails, you can press the eject button—mentally, that is—and simply focus on recharging yourself. Look forward to all of the love, wine, and merrymaking that the holidays are, after all, traditionally about.

Finding the Perfect Fellowship

The Fellowships advising team in UChicago GRAD starts the academic year promoting a variety of fellowship deadlines, disseminating information about searching and applying for fellowships, and advising students on the AAUW, DAAD, SSRC IDRF, NSF GRFP, NDSEG, CLS and myriad other awards with and without confusing acronyms attached.

When the dust settles in mid-November, there is a lull before the next series of deadlines picks up. This is the perfect time to find your perfect fellowship!

How to find your PERFECT fellowships:

  • Prepare your mind by adding an ‘s’- “Fellowships.” You should be seeking more than one fellowship because there are likely a variety of awards that will help you reach your goals, and you enhance your chances for funding with more than one targeted, strong application.
  • Explore ALL of the resources you can find that might offer fellowship information:
    • Departmental bulletin boards
    • Professional organization websites -these groups often have their own fellowships and may compile lists for students in the field.
    • University and other listservs:
  • Research the awards that look like a good fit. What are the eligibility requirements? The deadline? The materials needed for submission? Also recognize as you search that it will take time to find fellowships that fit you and set aside several hours -all at once, or at several sittings -to thoroughly explore the listservs, organizations, and websites that detail the awards that look interesting to you. When you find them, become an expert on what they are seeking.
  • Find a calendar and write down the deadline(s). Work backward from the deadlines to give yourself adequate time to prepare. Aim to start 3-6 months in advance of the deadline depending on the requirements of the award and your schedule. Reach out to us at UChicago GRAD and see if we have worked with past candidates for the award. Set up a time to meet if you would like to talk through applying.  (Use the Gargoyle:  https://grad-uchicago-csm.symplicity.com/)
  • Edit…well, first you have to write a draft, but give yourself time to go through several drafts with the Fellowships staff, your mentors and others who know you and give good advice. No one gets it perfect with a first draft, NO ONE!
  • Contact your recommenders and request transcripts and test scores early, at least 6 weeks before the deadline. These are things that involve someone else’s behavior and calendar and to be sure that you don’t end up missing critical application pieces, start early and send polite reminders closer to the date.
  • Take time to put together a strong application! UChicago graduate students have a great history of success with fellowships and with time and effort you can be a strong candidate for fellowships!

UChicago GRAD Fellowships Access:

For general questions about Fellowships, contact Beth Powers at bpowers@uchicago.edu

Sounding Board

Optimize your work/life balance with GRAD Sounding Board

Feeling overwhelmed by grad school?

Perhaps you need to address relationship issues in your department, lab or life?

Maybe you want to prepare for a tough conversation with your advisor?

Suppose you are struggling to balance the many demands of your program with your own exceedingly high expectations and want some support?

UChicagoGRAD Sounding Board advising provides a trained counseling professional with whom you can unload some stress, address concerns or conflicts, explore options for solving your problem and will also connect you with appropriate resources.

Make a Sounding Board appointment here

Discover UChicago

Discover UChicago is a pre-admissions program organized by the Graduate Enrollment team in collaboration with University divisions and professional schools.

Discover UChicago offers talented individuals from traditionally underrepresented populations an opportunity to explore graduate education at the University of Chicago. Students will visit for two days of workshops, conversations with faculty and graduate students, and informal social events to expose prospective candidates to our vibrant campus community.

We invite current graduate students to meet with DU participants at the DU Graduate Student Mixer on Friday, November 8th from 4:00-6:00PM. Come interact with the prospective students at the Community Lounge in the Center for Identity + Inclusion. Food and beverages are provided. Click here to RSVP.

For general questions, contact Camille Reynolds, Diversity Recruitment Coordinator, at creynolds3@uchicago.edu.

Graduate Student Space

At the recommendation of the Graduate Student Space Working Group, the Provost has designated the fourth floor of the University Bookstore as a dedicated graduate student space.

The Graduate Student Space Working Group, which was formed in response to the report of the Committee on Graduate Education, met over the spring and summer to begin creating a shared vision for the space and will continue to solicit feedback from graduate students this fall, with the goal of opening the space for students in Winter Quarter.

Graduate Council and the Graduate Student Space Working Group invite all graduate students to the Grad Council meeting on Monday, October 28, at 5:00 on the fourth floor of the University Bookstore to discuss plans for the graduate student space currently underway. There will be an opportunity to see initial design and layout plans for the fourth floor space and provide feedback and reactions. Dinner will be provided.