“A good communicator should be able to discuss their work with any audience.” – Allen Linton, GRADTalk Consultant

Understand more about GRADTalk in an interview with Allen Linton, GRADTalk Consultant and Graduate Student in Political Science

FAQ: GRADTalk offers individualized and programmatic resources related to public speaking, interviewing, participating in the classroom, giving classroom or conference presentations, networking, and more. The GRADTalk team works with students individually in customized advising sessions, and also offers opportunities, both on campus and off, for graduate students to practice and improve their oral communication skills.

Learn more about GRADTalk Advising from Allen Linton, GRADTalk Consultant and Graduate Student in Political Science

Why did you decide to become a GRADTalk Advisor?

“I have had a range of interview experiences – for Fellowships, Internships, and even jobs outside of academia, and I learned a lot from those experiences about how to address different audiences. Before taking this job, I worked with other graduate students who were interviewing for jobs or working on presentations, and they were always appreciative of my feedback and advice. When I saw the GRADTalk position advertised, I decided to apply.”

How long have you been a GRADTalk Advisor?

“A little over 2 years.”

What concerns do most graduate students have when they first come to GRADTalk?

“Most graduate students want help translating their lived experience into a good story. The graduate students I meet with are all qualified to do the work they are interviewing for, and my job is to help them reflect on their experiences to talk about how it translates into leadership, teamwork, project management, and goal setting skills. It’s mostly how to best tell their story.”

What do you wish graduate students knew about GRADTalk advising?

“I would want graduate students to know that we provide support for a range of oral communication needs. We see a lot of students as they are leaving the university and interviewing for academic or professional positions, but we can advise students throughout their time at UChicago. We provide well-rounded support that can be customized for students who are giving presentations in the classroom or at conferences, who are serving as a discussant for a workshop, who need assistance with classroom participation skills and much more.”

What programs does GRADTalk offer?

“In the spring quarter, we will host our second annual 3 Minute Thesis Competition, where graduate students present their research in 3 minutes for a panel of non-specialist judges. This gives graduate students a chance to practice public speaking and practical experience condensing the broad strokes of their research into a clear, concise, and exciting format. We also host a quarterly series called Expose Yourself that gives graduate students and postdocs the opportunity to practice presenting their academic work to non-specialists from across the university. You can learn more about these events in the GRAD Guide Weekly.”

What was one of your favorite experiences working with another graduate student?

“I had 5 or 6 advising sessions with a neurobiologist, and while I did not understand the technical components of his research, we were able to work closely together to revise the pacing of a 15 minute conference presentation. The focus of each of our sessions was ‘how to pace information to make it both accessible to experts and those who have general knowledge of the field.’ I provided feedback on the amount of content on each slide and the flow of information; this helped the student to use the presentation to highlight the most relevant aspects of his work and findings.”

Sign up for these upcoming GRADTalk Events via GRAD Gargoyle (Events > GRAD Events > Search and RSVP)

  • Preparing Effective Conference Presentations Monday, November 19, 12:30-1:30pm, UChicagoGRAD HQ
  • Elevator Speeches and Networking SkillsThursday, November 29, 12:30-1:30pm, UChicagoGRAD HQ
  • Public Speaking 101Thursday, January 10, 12:30-1:30pm, UChicagoGRAD HQ

The World Needs Humanists

Engage with PATHS (Professional Advancement and Training for Humanities Scholars) through Courses, Career Conversations, Networking Opportunities, and Career Treks

PATHS (Professional Advancement and Training for Humanities Scholars) is an NEH-funded initiative that prepares UChicago Ph.D. students in the humanities and humanistic social sciences to make an impact in the world. PATHS programs and resources help participants chart a course for their professional training toward careers in academia, industry, nonprofits, and government.PATHS Fall 2018 Programming at a Glance

  • Short Courses: These multipart thematic courses help you build vital professional skills. Examples include instruction in networking, conferencing, and digital literacy.
    • Building Social Connections: A Sociological Perspective  (Conferencing 101 Short Course #1) Wednesday, November 28, 5:00–6:15 p.m.
    •  “What Do You Work On?”: Starting Conversations at Conferences (Conferencing 101 Short Course #2) Tuesday, December 4, 5:00-6:15 p.m.
    • How to Deliver a Compelling Conference Presentation (Conferencing 101 Short Course #3) Thursday, December 6, 5:00–6:15 p.m.
  • Career Conversations: These exploratory sessions approach larger career questions (for example, “What Can I Do with My Humanities Ph.D?”) from a number of distinct perspectives. Often, we welcome guest speakers with extensive experience in the featured industry/profession to share knowledge and answer your questions—an invaluable experience.
  • Treks: Have you wondered what it would be like to work in a publishing house, a museum, a high school, or another place of work that interests you? Go and see! Treks are the perfect opportunity to visit spaces of work and engage in discussion with professionals and like-minded graduate students.
    • K-12 Career Exploration Trek to the University of Chicago Lab School, Monday, December 10, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

To receive updates about upcoming PATHS events, subscribe to the PATHS newsletter by emailing paths@uchicago.edu.

Graduate Commons Program at International House

Explore the 200+ Programs, Fellowships, and Internships for Graduate Students at I-House

At International House, UChicago graduate and professional school students and scholars can find many opportunities to become involved in a dynamic and diverse community. The Graduate Commons Program at International House features over 200 programs for UChicago Graduate Students; such as:

  • 55 Graduate Fellowships: International House Non-Resident Graduate Fellowship Program has awarded 50+ awards to UChicago graduate students to help ensure the diversity of the graduate community connected to International House. More information here.
  • 10 Internships: 10 GRAD Global Impact Internships were awarded to UChicago graduate students to arrange activities through the Graduate Commons Program. GRAD Global Impact Interns will help build relationships among graduate students and postdocs and plan and implement many of the popular on-going educational, cultural, and recreational House programs for graduate and professional school students. More information here.
  • $10,000: Amount awarded from the Davis Projects for Peace grant to I-House graduate fellow to design and implement their own grassroots projects anywhere in the world with the goal of promoting world peace. For more information on the Summer 2019 program visit https://ihouse.uchicago.edu/fellowships/davis_projects_for_peace_grants_2/
  • 9 Language Tables: Language Tables have been part of the International House’s long tradition to promote multicultural environment. These informal weekly one-hour gatherings allow interested University of Chicago students and scholars, native and non-native speakers, to meet to speak in a foreign language to develop language skills and to promote cultural enrichment through conversation. Nine different languages are represented during the fall quarter; the full weekly schedule for which can be found here. New language tables are always welcome. Contact International House if you would like to start a language table.
  • 4 Day Thanksgiving Homestay Program: Thanksgiving is America’s oldest tradition with rich significance and a time when families gather together to celebrate. You are invited to become part of an American family for the holiday as a guest in one of the five participating Illinois communities: Geneseo, Morrison, Paris, Prophetstown, and Sterling-Rock Falls. The application deadline for this program is tomorrow, November 2. Details of how to apply can be found here.
  • 100+ Global Voices Lecture and Performing Art Series hosts prominent speakers, round-table discussion groups, and special interest conferences and seminars as well as performing arts programs. As a part of this program, leading figures from the world stage come to share their thoughts and exchange ideas with students and members of Chicago’s civic community on major issues facing the country and the world. The 2018-19 schedule of events can be found here.
  • And, 100+ Social Activities held annually including dance classes, the Reimaginations discussion group, Show Me Chicago trips and tours, movie nights, game nights, study breaks, watch parties, and grad mixers. Additional special programs are held during the winter break and university holidays ensuring a supportive community throughout the year.

Updates and Scheduling details about I-House upcoming programming can be found on their Facebook group for graduate students: https://www.facebook.com/groups/IHouseGRADLife/

You can also sign up to the I-House Grad Life listserv at: https://lists.uchicago.edu/web/subscribe/ihouse-gradlife

DAB: Targeted Programs and Resources related to Diversity

Get to know the UChicagoGRAD Diversity Action Board and their goals

The UChicagoGRAD Diversity Advisory Board (DAB) advises UChicagoGRAD and other graduate-serving units in its continuing efforts to develop targeted programs and resources related to diversity in graduate education and experience. It also serves as a liaison between and among campus-wide graduate student groups and leadership and as a convener of these constituents. The GRAD Diversity Advisory Board comprises graduate student representatives from academic divisions and the professional schools whose students regularly utilize UChicagoGRAD resources. Currently, board membership reflects students who have consistently demonstrated a commitment to enhancing diversity, inclusion, access, and equity in higher education.

This year, DAB plans to conduct a Graduate Student Forum during winter quarter, where graduate students of color will be able to voice their opinions on current support programming related to graduate student career and professional development. In particular, DAB will focus on the needs of doctoral students who identify as members of racial/ethnic groups that are traditionally underrepresented in the professoriate. During the Winter and Spring Quarters, DAB will compile and communicate results in a report to students and staff.

DAB Members:

  • Emma Aggor (Booth)
  • Vidal Anguiano Jr. (Harris)
  • Selina Baeza-Loya (BSD)
  • Andrea Bryant (PSD)
  • Evelyn Campbell (BSD)
  • Carlos Cardenas-Iniguez (SSD)
  • Sophia Carryl (BSD)
  • David Harris (Humanities)
  • Marion Malcome (SSA)
  • Bronwyn Nichols (SSD)
  • Victoria Okunye (Pritzker)
  • Foster Pinkney (Divinity)
  • LaTerricka Smith (SSD)
  • Nova Smith (Humanities)
  • Arielle Yoon (Law School)

Contact DAB: grad-dab@uchicago.edu


Payment and Tax Information

Learn about your Graduate student-dedicated Shared Services Team

Who we are: In close collaboration with UChicagoGRAD, deans of students, ITS and Enrollment and Student Services, Shared Services has identified a point person to serve as a liaison at UChicago regarding student research, teaching, and employment positions. The student liaison leads a collaborative team of HR and administrators who work to surface concerns and address them in order to improve the student experience as it relates to funding and payment issues as well as develop clearer administrative processes and policies governing student funding and employment payments. We know there is room for improvement in these critical areas to the graduate student experience especially, and we invite you to reach out should you have any issues that we can work with you to help rectify.

What we do: This team has spent the last 18 months working with divisional administrators and students on improving administrative practices, standardizing procedures and learning how to better communicate with students. Based on feedback from students, we have been able to improve in the following aspects:

  • Taxes: In working closely with the Bursar’s Office, we have created a tax website that provides students with a comprehensive guide to tax information at UChicago. This, in addition to quarterly tax deposit reminders and increased tax workshops, students are better informed about how to take responsibility for their personal tax obligations.
  • Pedagogical and Research Training: We have worked with each division to standardize payment schedules related to Teaching and Research Assistants to provide equal payments throughout a quarter. We are also working to communicate the payment schedule to students in these positions at the beginning of each quarter.
  • Biweekly Employment: Beginning July 1, 2018, Workday IT transitioned time keeping from our legacy system to Workday. We have worked closely with the Workday IT to communicate and train students on the changes to clocking time for non-exempt positions.
  • Record Clean Up: We have created a central process to monitor and end expired positions in Workday. This allows for accurate hours to be recorded for a student and present an accurate training and employment record in Workday.

Types of Problems we Handle (Students should reach out to us for…)

  • Scholarship/Fellowship payments
  • Late payments of any kind (did not receive payment when expected)
  • Payment discrepancies
  • Workday issues (logging in, onboarding, direct deposit set up, reviewing record)
  • Tax withholding inquiries (Federal, State, OASDI, Medicare)
  • Tax reporting questions (Tax Return process, Estimated Tax Payments)
  • Foreign Training and Employment paperwork

How to reach us:


Free drop-in childcare for Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Parents

UChicagoGRAD and the Family Resource Center are offering free drop-in childcare opportunities for graduate student parents this quarter beginning Saturday, October 6th, and continuing for the remainder of fall quarter. On Tuesdays and Thursdays we will have 3 morning child care slots available and on Saturdays we will have 6 morning child care slots available for three hours at a time while you work on academic writing in the same building: 950 E. 61st Street. The minimum age for childcare is 6 months. Please consider your child’s comfort with separation before signing up for child care. Students may sign up for up to 4 three hours slots (one time slot per child) fall quarter.

You may sign up for childcare space here. Feel free to drop-in during write-in hours to take advantage of vacancies if you wish.

Please email Lizanne Phalen at lizannep@uchicago.edu if you have questions.

GRADFair 2018

What is GRADFair?
Many career fairs emphasize undergraduate hiring. GRADFair is UChicago’s graduate student and postdoctoral-specific recruiter fair. Students and postdocs have the opportunity to meet with representatives from diverse hiring organizations in industry, nonprofits, and government, interested specifically in the advanced training that graduate students and postdocs receive at the University of Chicago. Attendees have the option to share their résumé with recruiters before the event. Across disciplines — from anthropology to economics, and from English to Chemistry — this is a chance to learn how organizations value the skills that graduate students and postdocs have, and to develop relationships with diverse hiring managers. Register here
When and where is GRADFair?
GRADFair will take place on Thursday, October 18 from 3:30 PM to 7:00 PM in Ida Noyes Hall (1212 E. 59th St.).
Do I need to RSVP? And what is the deal with the résumé books?  
Yes. When you RSVP (as a “job seeker”) before 10/11, you may opt to have your résumé included in a book that is provided to employers before the fair. If you RSVP after this time, you will still have the option to make your résumé available online to employers, but it will not be included in the official book. Nametags will also be provided to all registrants at the check-in table.
How can I prepare for GRADFair?
UChicagoGRAD hosts several preparatory programs in advance of GRADFair. RSVP for the event “Prepping for GRADFair” on Friday, October 12 from 12:30 PM-1:30 PM (Events>GRAD Events) where you can learn more about GRADFair and ask questions. It is recommended  that students and postdocs conduct research on hiring organizations before attending (including doing some digging on LinkedIn to find UChicago graduate alumni!).
Who is GRADFair For?
Hiring organizations are interested in doctoral students, master’s students, and postdocs from across disciplines. The UChicagoGRAD team invites a wide array of employers: from consultants to museums, and from trading firms to K-12 charter schools. Part of the purpose of the day is to demonstrate the diversity of places graduate students and postdocs can take the flexible training that they receive in the course of their training. All are welcome to participate in the evolving conversation about the value and purpose of graduate degrees.
What employers are participating?
In addition to the employers listed below, you can see more info about each employer in GRAD Gargoyle (view event as a “job seeker”) including disciplines and degree levels they are recruiting.
Allstate Insurance Company
American Enterprise Institute
American Institutes for Research
Argonne National Lab
Blue Cross Blue Shield
Blue Health Intelligence
Bronner Group, LLC
Capital One
Carney, Sandoe & Associates
Center for Research Libraries
Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago
China Telecom Americas
Complete HealthVizion | McCann Complete Medical, Inc.
CVS Health
Digital Factory
Discover Financial Services
Ernst & Young
Great Hearts Acadamies
Hudson Legal PC
Institute for Defense Analyses
Mathematica Policy Research
Noble Network of Charter Schools
Options Clearing Corporation
Oracle Data Cloud
Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Procter & Gamble
SBB Research Group
SIU School of Medicine Department of Population Science and Policy
Solving IT
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
Taconic Biosciences, Inc.
The Art Institute of Chicago
U.S. Department of State
UChicago Medicine
University Community Service Center (UCSC)
University of Chicago Library
West Monroe Partners
Zurich North America
What should attendees wear?
UChicagoGRAD recommends that student and postdoctoral attendees dress in business professional attire. This means suits for men and women. Of course, it’s equally important for attendees to feel comfortable in the clothes that they’re wearing, and no one should feel that they cannot attend in business casual or casual attire.
Will employers hire me at GRADFair?
GRADFair is a chance to start conversations with employers, including HR profesionals, alumni, executives, and others. Attendees will very likely not walk out of the event with a job. But this is an opportunity for students and postdocs to make connections that will be valuable to them as they explore concrete career tracks in the near future.
How long should I spend at GRADFair?
In past years, attendees were able to talk to a handful of interesting employers and feel comfortable departing after about 60 minutes. The conference gets quite busy. It’s better to be efficient, arrive early, and target several employers for substantive conversations. Don’t expect to spend three hours and talk to everyone in the room for 30 seconds.
Should I bring résumés?
Yes. It is recommended that all attendees bring at least 5 copies of their résumé. Remember, though, that some employers won’t be accepting resumes on site. They will be provided with a resume book in advance of the event, and have had a chance to take a look at materials from interested candidates.
Should I follow up with questions?
Yes. Collect employer business cards, and be sure to send thank you notes after the event. A short email that recalls something specific from your conversations can be very useful.
I’m anxious. What do I do?
It’s natural to be anxious in this kind of setting. The best thing to do is to attend with a friend and network together. The stakes can feel high at this kind of event, but it’s important to keep an even perspective about the potential outcomes. This is not a final opportunity to talk to employers. This is, in fact, a great first opportunity. Keep an open mind and a clear set of reasonable expectations. These are important keys to feeling good at the end of GRADFair.
I have more questions.
Additional questions about attending GRADFair can be sent to Deborah Blumenthal, Assistant Director for Employer Relations and Experiential Education at UChicagoGRAD.

Graduate Council Co-Presidents Discuss Upcoming Year

Graduate Council (GC) is the representative student government for the University of Chicago’s graduate student population. Made up of two co-presidents, 17 elected divisional representatives, and the Graduate Liaison to the Board of Trustees, GC focuses on building community across the graduate divisions, helping students get the funding they need to further their academic professional pursuits, and working with administrators to improve graduate student life.

In 2017-18, the GC Travel Fund and Finance Committee funded over 350 travel requests and 130 events respectively. In addition to providing financial support, GC also helped strengthen community by hosting 9 large-scale social events and 40 smaller community events.

UChicagoGRAD’s Kalee Schelkopf recently sat down with the 2018-19 co-presidents Jenni Antane and Ryan Duncombe to discuss goals and challenges for the upcoming academic year.

What do you see as some of the important issues facing graduate and professional students at UChicago?

We’ve received a lot of valuable feedback the past few years on what issues students care about, and we hope to address many of these. However, one broad issue facing students that we want to focus on this year is the ability to form connections and collaborations among student groups across campus in a manner independent of RSOs.

Grad Council represents over 8,000 graduate students in 12 distinct divisions, so connections among student groups across the university with shared causes (minorities, student parents, LGBTQ and others) can be difficult to achieve. Improving this ability is something we’re actively working on, and we see this as a way to continue to build UChicago’s graduate community and ensure that all UChicagoans can feel a connection to their fellow students in other divisions.

How do you envision Graduate Council helping to address the concerns of graduate students across the university?

We’ve learned a lot in the past two years about what works and what does not work in supporting, empowering and connecting UChicago’s graduate students. Going forward, we believe that three main areas can continue to be improved:

  • Community building– We’ve received a lot of positive feedback for last year’s Community Initiative, and we aim to continue expanding this program. We’re also continuing to develop Grad Council’s other funding programs (Travel Fund, Academic and Professional Fund, and the Social, Culture and Wellness Fund) to try and more equitably share their resources among divisions, as we’ve received feedback that previous application forms felt more applicable to some divisions compared to others.
  • Participation– To maximize Grad Council’s effectiveness as advocates and representatives of all graduate students, we aim to continue the increase in participation in the council we’ve seen over the past few years. As Grad Council’s various committees become more developed, we’re able to more effectively organize and tailor our efforts to the needs of students university-wide.
  • Online presence– One of our greatest tools for connecting and empowering student communities is our online presence, and it’s something we have a lot of new ideas for. Grad Council recently unveiled an events calendar on our website that we hope will enable students to more effectively take advantage of events going on around campus. We’re also developing a more comprehensive resource list, with the goal being to centralize graduate student groups and resources on Grad Council’s website to maximize its usefulness to the graduate student population.

Finally, we hope to continue our collaboration with UChicagoGRAD and the newly formed Graduate Education Committee, as both of these resources are crucial in helping us maximize our service to UChicago’s graduate students.

What do you anticipate being your biggest challenges?

We need to continue expanding participation in Grad Council to further our goal of addressing the large diversity of needs and concerns expressed by UChicago’s graduate students, and to ensure that we are serving each division fairly. It’s always difficult for graduate students to find time in their busy lives for involvement, so maximizing our effectiveness and flexibility while requiring minimal time commitments from students is a challenge we will have to overcome. However, we are pleased to report that recruiting efforts have gone well and we’re positive that the council will continue to grow, both in size and in capacity.

How can graduate and professional students get involved?

There are several different ways to get involved in Grad Council. People often start by serving on one of our funding or issues committees since they’re a great way to meet people and make an impact with a minimal and flexible time commitment. There are many committees, so it’s easy to find a fit for what you’re interested in – whether it’s social events, travel, or graduate issues.

Another valuable way to get started is to simply come to a meeting! We hold multiple meetings every quarter and they’re a great way to get an overview of everything GC does or to express a concern that you have in your graduate experience. We have an excellent group of talented students working with us and every one of them can help find ways for interested students to get involved in their area of choice. We’re always open to new people, new ideas, and new directions. And as a bonus reason to attend a meeting: food is provided!

We are always eager to hear from graduate students from across the university. Visit our website at gc.uchicago.edu or email our exec team at gc.exec.crew@gmail.com to learn more about how to get involved!

The first Graduate Council meeting of the year will be held on Monday, October 8that 7:30pm in Harper Center, Room C-07. All graduate students are invited to attend. 

Jenni Antane is a PhD candidate in Molecular Engineering entering her third year at the University of Chicago. Her research interests include understanding the generation and maintenance of peripheral immunological tolerance and engineering better immune responses. She graduated with a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Northwestern University where she served as the Outreach Director and then External VP for the Society of Women Engineers (SWE). During her graduate career, she has served as a member of the IME Dean’s Council, has achieved RSO status for the UChicago section of SWE, and has chaired Graduate Council’s Academic and Professional Fund Committee. Her passions outside of lab are cooking (and more importantly eating), exploring cities by walking for hours, and relaxing through yoga.

Ryan Duncombe is a 5th year PhD student in the Adams lab in the Biological Sciences Division (BSD), where he combines biochemical and immunological approaches to investigate fundamental questions of immunological tolerance. During his time with Graduate Council, he has served on a number of committees, including the Social, Culture and Wellness Committee, as GC representative to the Student Government Community Service Fund, and the Graduate Issues Committee. He currently serves as the Biomedical Sciences Representative to the BSD Dean’s Council and is the Student Liaison to the Committee on Immunology, his home committee. Outside of lab, Ryan enjoys spending time outdoors, reading, and playing baseball.