UChicago Student Wellness: Let’s Talk

Are you unsure about therapy and wonder what it’s like to talk with a therapist? Are you not interested in therapy but would like the perspective of a counselor? Perhaps you have a specific problem you would like to talk through, or concern about a friend. Let’s Talk provides easy access to free, informal, and confidential consultations with therapists from UChicago Student Wellness. You can drop in, and if you prefer, you do not have to give your name.

Winter Quarter Let’s Talk runs until March 10 and is open to all undergraduate and graduate students. Sessions are in-person on a first-come, first-served basis.

Mondays, 1–2 p.m. with Jerome Wilczynski, PsyD
Center for Identity + Inclusion, 5710 S Woodlawn Ave, Room 301

Fridays, 3–4 p.m. with Jessica Bychawski, LCSW
Biological Sciences Learning Center, 924 E. 57th St., Room 305

Apply for Fellowships: FLAS and Fulbright-Hays

The Fellowships Team in UChicagoGRAD advises students at every step of the fellowship application process. We are happy to meet with students in one-on-one sessions, or provide written feedback on fellowship application drafts. If you aren’t sure where to start, we encourage you to join one of our ongoing Exploring Fellowships info sessions (offered monthly, RSVP via GRAD Gargoyle).

Two fellowships with upcoming deadlines may appeal to many students:

FLAS Fellowships fund graduate students concentrating on modern foreign language and international or area studies. In the current cycle, UChicago will accept applications in three world areas: East Asia, Eastern Europe (summer study only), and Middle East.

The Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Award (DDRA) (separate from the “Fulbright US Student Program”) supports doctoral students whose research requires significant time abroad. Doctoral candidates can propose 6-12 months of research in non-Western countries on this fellowship. Interested applicants MUST apply through UChicagoGRAD. An information session will be held on Monday, February 6 at 3pm.

Send an email to grad-fellowships@uchicago.edu to learn more.

Mentorship and Advising Support

Photograph of two people having a meeting, one has a cup of coffee resting in their hands, and their faces are not visible.

Whether you are brand new to graduate school or deep into dissertation writing, relationships with faculty mentors play a critical role in your student experience. It is common for students to seek advice in learning how to identify faculty mentors, get what they need from these relationships, and approach challenges or conflicts with faculty when they arise. UChicagoGRAD supports graduate students across campus in navigating these foundational relationships by working with students to develop communication, interpersonal, and self-advocacy skills that will set them up for success both in graduate school and beyond.

If you are experiencing specific challenges or conflicts with faculty mentors or you want to discuss general strategies for building effective mentoring relationships, you can request a mentorship advising appointment with Amanda Young, Associate Director of Graduate Student Affairs.

These appointments aim to provide students a space outside their academic program to discuss experiences with faculty mentors, raise questions about all aspects of the graduate school experience, develop strategies for handling difficult conversations and situations, and identify resources, policies, or other individuals on campus who can help. Ultimately, these one-on-one conversations aim to equip students with tools needed to build resilience and address challenges within a supportive environment focused on addressing each student’s individual situation.

There is more information about the types of issues and questions students bring to these meetings available on our website. To schedule an appointment or to ask questions, email Amanda at amanday@uchicago.edu.

Graduate students and postdocs visit employer sites through UChicagoGRAD career exploration treks

Graduate students engaging with a panel of staff members at the Art Institute of Chicago on the Cultural Institutions and Museums Trek.

UChicago graduate students engaging with a panel of staff members at the Art Institute of Chicago during the most recent Cultural Institutions and Museums Trek.

In 2022, UChicagoGRAD brought back its successful in-person employer site visits (“treks”). These treks bring groups of 10–12 graduate students and postdocs to organizations to learn about the work the organization and its staff are doing, how staff transitioned into their positions, and what tips they have for students excited about pursuing similar work opportunities. In turn, host organizations raise awareness of their work and mission and meet talented graduate students and postdocs who have demonstrated a sincere interest in exploring internships and employment opportunities at the organization. By hosting treks, organizations can also build an ongoing relationship with UChicagoGRAD, which can help organizations recruit advanced degree talent and develop a presence on campus.

Two recent treks brought students to the Evozyne Headquarters in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood and to Cultural Institutions and Museums in Chicago, including The Haitian American Museum of Chicago, Chicago Cultural Alliance, Chicago History Museum, and The Art Institute of Chicago.

At Evozyne, PhD students and postdocs learned about the broader biotech industry as well as the specific mission of Evozyne to make novel proteins that help solve problems in therapeutics and sustainability. The visit included a tour of the labs, a scientific and corporate overview of the company, and a panel discussion with staff, including a recent UChicago alum.

During the Cultural Institutions and Museums Trek, students learned about not only the organizations and their workspaces but also various career trajectories. As with every trek UChicagoGRAD has organized, student and employer feedback underlined the value of site visits and treks. One student shared that she “felt most energized” learning about opportunities through the treks, while another expressed that the “meetings were extremely enlightening and inspiring.” Organizations shared what a pleasure it was to meet with a small group of engaged and curious graduate students, and that they appreciated learning more about UChicago talent in an informal setting.

UChicagoGRAD facilitates several employer site visits and treks every year. If you are curious about learning more or interested in hosting UChicago graduate and postdoc talent for an on-site visit, please be in touch with Kathrin Kranz, Director of Experiential Learning and Outreach, at kranz@uchicago.edu.

Financial Wellness: Final 2022 Estimated Tax Deadline

POV: tax forms and a calculator.

The fourth and final 2022 estimated tax payment deadline is January 17, 2023, and it’s not too early to make sure you’re ready for it. Do you need to make an estimated tax payment on this date? How much do you need to pay? Confused? Graduate students can find more information about quarterly estimated tax payments here or, watch the recording of our 2022 Estimated Tax Information Session. if you have general questions, please email gradhelp@uchicago.edu.


Reflecting on your career journey and looking ahead to 2023

Once the bustle of the quarter winds down, you might find yourself reflecting on the professional highs and lows of the past year: the paper that was an unexpected success, the experiment that did not go to plan, or perhaps the prestigious internship opportunity that you managed to land. Whether you feel on track to meet your professional goals or bewildered at the prospect of life after graduate or postdoctoral study, UChicagoGRAD has a range of resources, opportunities, and workshops available to help.

3 tips for setting yourself up for success in 2023:

Career advising appointment: check. Even if you have met with a career advisor in the past, consider making an appointment for next week or in January. With academic and professional backgrounds that align with those of the populations they serve, UChicagoGRAD’s career advisors understand the graduate and postdoctoral experience and the distinct value that rigorous advanced-degree training brings to the wider world.

If you had $6,000 dollars… While you’re waiting in an airport or walking around the Point over the break, you might take a few minutes to contemplate your dream internship. What organization would you want to collaborate with? What would you hope to learn through the experience? How could your skills and experience contribute to their mission and goals? UChicagoGRAD’s GRAD Global Impact (GGI) Pitch program funds UChicago graduate students to spend their summers in self-devised internships with host organizations of their choice. Since its inception in 2015, the program has facilitated hundreds of internships in Chicago and around the world. Applications open on January 9, and you can sign up to attend an in-person info session on January 12. More information here, under the “Pitch your own internship” tab.

Focus on the flora. If you have a discrete project that needs to get done over the break, consider a focus app like Flora (free), which is based on the Pomodoro method of focusing on the task at hand for 25 minutes, followed by a 5 minute break. Repeat four times and then take a longer 15-30 minute break. Apps like Flora can help discrete projects stay that way. For help optimizing your work/life balance and satisfaction—especially as you manage both current work and career development—you might also consider a Sounding Board appointment with UChicagoGRAD’s Lizanne Phalen.

Wintertime Wellness

Photograph of a person's hands holding snow in the shape of a heart.

Prioritizing your health and wellbeing is key—especially as we head into the winter months. Whether you strategically schedule time in the sun, check-ins with friends and family, or physical activity, it is important to plan to protect your wellbeing. If you need additional support during this time, remember that Student Wellness is available to you. The Student Wellness Center will remain open during Winter Recess, but please check the website for hours (and note we will close at 12 p.m. on December 23 and 30).

For more information about resources, programs, and clinics from Student Wellness, read on and check out our website.

Chicago Thanksgiving

Whether you’re in the mood for theatre, the outdoors, or a Friendsgiving meal, the Gargoyle has you covered. Here are some fun things to do around town during the Thanksgiving Break.

Swing by the Thanksgiving parade in the Loop, join the 2022 Interfaith Thanksgiving Celebration at Rockefeller, jog or walk the Turkey Trot, or stroll the Point. You could catch a performance of “The Island” at Court Theatre with your student discount, join a virtual conversation on the history of the American musical, or venture northside to see American Blues Theatre’s “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

If the movies beckon, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” is playing all week at Hyde Park’s Harper Theater. And don’t forget, your UCID is your UChicago Arts Pass to free and discounted admission for 70+ arts & culture organizations throughout Chicago (browse partner organizations for events).

Last but not least, the food—organize a Friendsgiving dinner or check out 53rd Street’s handy guide to ordering Thanksgiving takeout from Hyde Park eateries.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Photo credit: www.chicagothanksgivingparade.com

The Family Resource Center

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

The multi-age FRC playroom and playground are located in the Woodlawn Social Services Center at 950 East 61st Street. Our current hours are Monday–Friday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. We offer children’s classes, family parties, and a daily themed activity in our art room with stories, crafts, and related games. We have a large playground. Come visit and play!

Stay tuned for a student-parent write-in in Winter 2023, a free babysitting service for dissertating student parents.

For more information, visit us online, keep up with our newsletter, or better yet, drop by and see us in person!

Prepare for your next step with UChicagoGRAD’s career development workshops

The academic year has just started, but the search for internships and jobs already is well underway for many graduate students and postdocs. Whether you are applying to your first tenure-track job, hunting for the perfect postdoc, or trying to land an internship at a leading company, UChicagoGRAD’s Career Development Team has you covered with a range of helpful workshops.

Career30: These weekly presentations teach you career fundamentals in 30 minutes or less. Check out upcoming sessions on Résumés, Cover Letters, LinkedIn, Networking, Interviewing, and Negotiation.

Academic Job Market Support: Learn up-to-date best practices from UChicagoGRAD’s expert team of PhD and postdoc advisors. Join coming sessions on Negotiating an Academic Job Offer, Demystifying Campus Visits and Job Talks, and To VAP or Not to VAP.

Oral Communications Training: Increase your comfort with interviews and informal networking. Attend an upcoming Storytelling for Behavioral Interviews session or one of the Weekly Technical Interview Workshops.