GRADFair 2020

gradfair is virtual

GRADFair 2020 is coming next week! On October 15th, UChicagoGRAD will take our annual graduate-specific career fair online for the first time. We’ll be using Symplicity’s Virtual Career Fair Platform (VCF), which you can access right within GRAD Gargoyle. The fair will take place from 3:30-7:00 p.m. Central Time.

What is GRADFair?

GRADFair is UChicagoGRAD’s annual all-discipline career fair specifically for graduate students, postdocs, recent alumni of graduate programs, and employers looking for graduate-level talent. This year’s fair will focus primarily on business and industry areas such as data science, healthcare, technology, and consulting, but you can expect to see a broad range of employer types representing a wide array of fields. GRADFair is a great opportunity to meet with representatives (some of whom are UChicago alumni) to learn about industries, companies, and roles you’re interested in pursuing. It’s an excellent time to make connections and begin conversations with potential employers.

To RSVP and view a current list of registered employers, please click here.

How does the Virtual Career Fair (VCF) Work?

VCF’s main similarity to an in-person fair is that you will wait in virtual “queues” to chat with employers, just as you might expect to wait in line in person. However, when you log into the fair, you’ll see estimated wait times listed for each employer, and you’ll be able to enter as many as three queues at any given time. When it’s your turn, you’ll be invited to a video meeting on a platform like Zoom or Teams, and you’ll go there to meet with the employer.

Employers have the option to set up one-on-one conversations, group chats, or both, and the length of each chat is pre-set by the employer for anywhere between 5 and 15 minutes. This means you’ll probably have more time to speak with any given employer than you might have an at in-person fair.

If an employer you’re in line for becomes available while you’re already chatting with another, you won’t lose your spot in line; the system will first go to the person directly behind you, then hold your spot until you’re finished with your meeting.

You can see a brief demo of what your experience will look like the day of the fair here.

What can you do to be ready for GRADFair?

Fill out your GRAD Gargoyle profile as completely as possible. Employers will be able to browse student and postdoc profiles ahead of the fair and may use these to invite you to join their queue. Be sure to click “Publish” when you’re ready for your profile to be viewed.

Polish your resume and make sure it’s included in your profile as your default resume. Need some resume tips? UChicagoGRAD’s Resume Guide can be found here.

Research participating employers. Read about employers on their websites, LinkedIn, or Glassdoor. Search for alumni working there (from UChicago or your undergraduate institution). The UChicago Library has company and industry research resources, and dedicated librarians to help with your career research. Learn more about these resources here.

Attend our upcoming Perfecting Your Elevator Pitch webinar on October 13 from 12:30-1:30 CT. Register here.

Questions?

Check out our GRADFair FAQ here, or email Deborah Blumenthal (deborahb@uchicago.edu).

Fall Quarter Preview

UChicagoGRAD Fall Programming Calendar 2020 

Please note all dates/times are subject to change. Check GRAD Gargoyle for up-to-date information.

SEPTEMBER

  • Monday, September 28 – Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship Info Session, 1-2pm, Zoom
  • Tuesday, September 29 – PATHS Archival Management Course #1, 4:30-6pm, Zoom
  • Wednesday, September 30 – Resume Workshop, 12:30-1:30pm, Zoom
  • Wednesday, September 30 – Mellon ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship Info Session, 3-4pm, Zoom

OCTOBER

  • Thursday, October 1 – Cover Letter Workshop, 12:30-1:30pm, Zoom
  • Thursday, October 1 – Exploring Fellowships for Master’s Students, 1-2pm, Zoom
  • Friday, October 2 – Soros Fellowship Info Session, Noon-1pm, Zoom
  • Monday, October 5 – Sunrise Futures Virtual Info Session, 12:30-1:30pm, Zoom
  • Tuesday, October 6 – SSRC International Dissertation Fellowship Info Session, 11am-Noon, Zoom
  • Tuesday, October 6 – Prepping for GRADFair, 12:30-1:30pm, Zoom
  • Tuesday, October 6 – PATHS Archival Management Course #2, 4:30-6pm, Zoom
  • Wednesday, October 7 – LinkedIn Foundations, 12:30-1:30pm, Zoom
  • Wednesday, October 7 – NSF GRFP Writing Workshop, 2-4pm, Zoom
  • Thursday, October 8 – Applying to PhD Programs: CVs, 12:30-1:30pm, Zoom
  • Thursday, October 8 – Exploring Fellowships for Master’s Students, 4-5pm, Zoom
  • Friday, October 9 – Applying to PhD Programs: Statement of Purpose, 12:30-1:30pm, Zoom
  • Tuesday, October 13 – Two Sigma: Papers We Love (BS/MS), 12:30-1:30pm, Zoom (provided by employer)
  • Tuesday, October 13 – Two Sigma: Papers We Love (PhD), 4:30-5:30pm, Zoom (provided by employer)
  • Tuesday, October 13– PATHS Archival Management Course #3, 4:30-6pm Zoom
  • Tuesday, October 13 – Two Sigma Quant Talk, 5:30-6:30pm, Zoom (provided by employer)
  • Thursday, October 15 – Mellon ACLS Writing Workshop, 10am-Noon, Zoom
  • Wednesday, October 15 – Exploring Fellowships for Master’s Students, 1-2pm, Zoom
  • Thursday, October 15 – GRADFair, 3:30-7pm, Symplicity’s Virtual Career Fair Platform
  • Monday, October 19, Mayor’s Office Summer Fellowship Info Session, 12:30-1:30pm, Zoom
  • Monday, October 19 —Using LinkedIn to Grow Your Network and Search for Jobs, 12:30-1:30pm, Zoom
  • Tuesday, October 20 – PATHS Archival Management Course #4, 4:30-6pm Zoom
  • Wednesday, October 21 – Academic Job Market: Ask Me Anything Session, 12:30-1:30pm, Zoom
  • Wednesday, October 21 – Technical Interviewing Workshop hosted by CultureFit Technology Staffing, 3-5, Zoom
  • Thursday, October 22 – SSRC International Dissertation Fellowship Writing Workshop 1, 10am-Noon, Zoom
  • Thursday, October 22 – Exploring Fellowships for Master’s Students, 1-2pm, Zoom
  • Tuesday, October 27 – PATHS Archival Management Course #5, 4:30-6pm, Zoom
  • Wednesday, October 28 – Resume Workshop, 12:30-1:30pm, Zoom
  • Wednesday, October 28 – Boren 101: Getting Started with Your Boren Fellowship Application, 2-3pm, Zoom
  • Thursday, October 29 – SSRC International Dissertation Fellowship Writing Workshop 2, 10am-Noon, Zoom
  • Thursday, October 29 – Cover Letter Workshop, 12:30-1:30pm, Zoom
  • Friday, October 30 – Graduate Research Fellowship for STEM Diversity Info Session, Noon-1pm, Zoom
  • Friday, October 30 – National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship Info Session, 1-2pm, Zoom

NOVEMBER

  • Tuesday, November 3 – International Student & Postdoc Career Series: Introduction to the US Job Search, 12:30-1:30pm, Zoom
  • Tuesday, November 3 – PATHS Archival Management Course #6, 4:30-6pm, Zoom
  • Friday, November 6 – Ford Fellowships Info Session, Noon-1pm, Zoom
  • Tuesday, November 10 – International Student & Postdoc Career Series: US Job Documents, 12:30-1:30pm, Zoom
  • Wednesday, November 11 – Academic Job Market Series: Ask Me Anything, 12:30-1:30pm, Zoom
  • Tuesday, November 17 – International Student & Postdoc Career Series: Interviewing for International Students, 12:30-1:30pm, Zoom
  • Wednesday, November 18 – National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship Writing Workshop, 2-4pm, Zoom
  • Wednesday, November 18 – Resume Workshop, 12:30-1:30pm, Zoom
  • Wednesday, November 18 – Quarterly Postdoc Orientation, 3-4pm, Zoom
  • Wednesday, November 18 – Quarterly Postdoc Mixer, 4-5pm, Zoom
  • Thursday, November 19 – Ford Fellowships Personal Statement Writing Workshop, 10am-Noon, Zoom
  • Thursday, November 19 – Cover Letter Workshop, 12:30-1:30pm, Zoom
  • Tuesday, November 24 – International Student & Postdoc Career Series: Networking for International Students, 12:30-1:30pm, Zoom

DECEMBER

  • Thursday, December 3 – Ford Fellowships Personal Statement Writing Workshop, 10am-Noon, Zoom
  • Friday, December 4 – Point Foundation Scholarship Info Session, Noon-1pm, Zoom
  • Friday, December 4 – English Career Conversation Hour, 12:30-1:30pm, Zoom

Register online via GRAD Gargoyle

Three Minute Thesis Competition 2020

Do you wish you had an answer at the ready when someone says, “So, tell me about your research?”

Apply by June 3rd to participate in UChicagoGRAD’s Three Minute Thesis Competition and Research Showcase. This year’s 3MT will take place virtually on Thursday, June 11, 4:00-6:00pm CT.

three minute thesis logo

Three Minute Thesis, also known as 3MT, is a public speaking competition originally developed by the University of Queensland.

In a 3MT competition, participants prepare a three-minute presentation about their research using only one static slide. It’s a great opportunity to showcase your work to a broader audience and practice your public speaking skills. By participating in a 3MT, you can gain practical experience in how to condense the broad strokes of your research into a clear, concise, and engaging format.

Any student currently enrolled in a graduate degree program at the University of Chicago and writing a Master’s or PhD thesis is eligible to apply. The focus of your presentation should be your original research, pitched in an engaging way to a general audience without losing sight of the significance and impact of your work.

A panel of judges will evaluate each presentation and choose an overall winner as well as additional winners in separate categories. The winning presenters will have their presentations featured on the UChicagoGRAD website and be featured in an episode of the new GRADTalk podcast.

The application deadline for the Three Minute Thesis Competition is June 3. To complete the application form, please click here. For questions please contact Michael O’Toole: mfo@uchicago.edu.

 

GRAD Guide to Career Planning During COVID-19

Concerned about how the COVID-19 pandemic will affect your career plans?

image of career guide

A new guide from UChicagoGRAD can help you stay on track. With the outbreak of COVID-19, you may have questions about how to proceed with your job search. Social distancing, remote work, and economic uncertainty can make an already stressful process more complicated, but there are steps you can take now to move forward. This guide gives advice for conducting a job search using online resources and tools for virtual engagement. It also provides recommendations about creating flexibility in your search and points to relevant resources.

Your career advisor will be able to talk to you about how to adjust this advice according to your unique situation, and help you answer any questions that arise during your job search. Make an appointment with your career advisor via GRAD Gargoyle.

Virtual Programming and Resources

UChicagoGRAD is committed to supporting graduate students and postdocs during this challenging time. We are working with campus partners to provide virtual resources and opportunities to help you stay connected and engaged while campus is closed. Please see current offerings below and visit virtualgrad.uchicago.edu for updated information.

wsj image

Photo credit: wsj.com

UChicagoGRAD

  • Graduate Admissions Learn more here
    • We have made the decision to cancel all in-person admissions programs and interactions out of concern for the health and wellness of everyone in our campus community and all of our guests. While the Office of Graduate Admissions will be closed to the public on campus, our staff will be readily available to help you via email or phone during these challenging times. We also are offering the opportunity to schedule a one-on-one Zoom meeting with a member of the admissions team – click here to schedule an appointment. You do not need a Zoom account to join a meeting.
    • View media resources (webinars, online publications, etc.) here
  • Sounding Board Advising – Sign-up here
    • Emotional distress is common and normal in the context of uncertainty and potentially health-threatening situations. Taking care of your mental health needs during the COVID-19 Pandemic is challenging and particularly when being required to shelter in place, oftentimes, in isolation. Tend to your wellbeing by reaching out to UChicagoGRAD’S Sounding Board advising service which provides remote phone consultations addressing anxiety, fear, relationship concerns, and other destabilizing reactions during these uncertain and upsetting times.
  • GRADHelpLearn more here
    • GRADHelp is your source for help and information about stipends, payments, bills, fees, insurance, and more. If you have questions about any kind of payment or other financial-related issue and aren’t sure where to turn, email gradhelp@uchicago.edu

  • Diversity and Inclusion Advising and Workshops – Sign-up here
    • All students and postdocs can sign up for advising sessions to discuss issues, concerns and experiences related to diversity as it affects their academic and career development as well as personal wellbeing.

    • Structured Writing Accountability Groups (SWAG) – In collaboration with Student Support Services and the Writing Program, we provide space and structure for graduate student and postdoc quarterly writing accountability groups. Applications are due April 26. Learn more here

  • Fellowship Advising and Workshops – Sign-up here
    • Fellowship advisors are available to work with you on application materials for specific fellowships or grants.
    • Small group advising sessions are also available to help applicants compare the different types of grants, understand the application components, learn about strategies for developing competitive applications, and receive resources for further exploration.
  • Graduate Writing ConsultationsSign-up here
    • UChicagoGRAD is offering one-on-one online Graduate Writing Consultations for graduate students interested in working on their academic writing. Consultants work with writers on academic papers, journal articles, dissertation chapters, proposals, and other academic documents.
  • Career Development Advising and Workshops – Sign-up here
    • For Your Job Search
      • Are you currently in the middle of a job search, or are you gearing up to begin one? Are you planning to go on the academic job market this fall? Talk with a career advisor about how you can refine your strategy now that hiring is happening virtually. This includes advice for crafting a strong LinkedIn profile or personal website as digital presence increases in importance. Your advisor can also share strategies for expanding your options in an uncertain job market.
    • For Public Speaking, Interviewing, and Networking Preparation
      • Are you interviewing for jobs? Getting ready for a presentation? Preparing for virtual networking conversations? GRADTalk advising helps you enhance your oral communication skills for a variety of professional applications. You can schedule a meeting with a GRADTalk advisor to practice virtual presentations for your classes, committee, lab, or prospective employers. You can also use GRADTalk as a low-stakes way to practice using Zoom and other remote technologies.
    • For Your Written Application Materials
      • Are you satisfied with your CV or resume? Whether you are currently applying for jobs or not, this is a good time to refine written materials such as your CV, resume, or cover letters. In a virtual meeting, you can work on live edits with your UChicagoGRAD career advisor, sharing screens and discussing the documents line by line.
    • For Your Career Exploration
      • Are you trying to decide what type of career makes sense for you? Whether you are completely undecided or just want to explore contingency options in case your current plans are disrupted, UChicagoGRAD career advisors are experienced at helping you work through a process of self-reflection and personal discovery. We are here to listen first, meet you where you are, and offer guidance in navigating the range of available opportunities.

Campus-wide

Have an idea for a virtual program or resource to promote academic skills or community building? Know of an existing program or resource you would like us to highlight? Share it with us here

Virtual Career Advising

UChicagoGRAD career advisors are available for virtual Zoom meetings during Spring Quarter. We know that the COVID-19 pandemic has added complications and uncertainty to your career planning. We are still here for you!

were-in-this-together-bl

Here are a few ways in which a virtual advising appointment might be helpful:

  • For Your Job Search 
    • Are you currently in the middle of a job search, or are you gearing up to begin one? Are you planning to go on the academic job market this fall? Talk with a career advisor about how you can refine your strategy now that hiring is happening virtually. This includes advice for crafting a strong LinkedIn profile or personal website as digital presence increases in importance. Your advisor can also share strategies for expanding your options in an uncertain job market.
  • For Public Speaking, Interviewing, and Networking Preparation
    • Are you currently teaching virtually? Interviewing for jobs? Preparing for virtual networking conversations? GRADTalk advising helps you enhance your oral communication skills for a variety of professional applications. You can schedule a meeting with a GRADTalk advisor to practice virtual presentations for your classes, committee, lab, or prospective employers. You can also use GRADTalk as a low-stakes way to practice using Zoom and other remote technologies.
  • For Your Written Application Materials
    • Are you satisfied with your CV or resume? Whether you are currently applying for jobs or not, this is a good time to refine written materials such as your CV, resume, or cover letters. In a virtual meeting, you can work on live edits with your UChicagoGRAD career advisor, sharing screens and discussing the documents line by line. Fellowship advisors are also available to work with you on application materials for specific fellowships or grants.
  • For Your Career Exploration
    • Are you trying to decide what type of career makes sense for you? Whether you are completely undecided or just want to explore contingency options in case your current plans are disrupted, UChicagoGRAD career advisors are experienced at helping you work through a process of self-reflection and personal discovery. We are here to listen first, meet you where you are, and offer guidance in navigating the range of available opportunities.

We know this is a challenging time for everyone. Above all, we want you to know that you are not in this alone! As career development professionals, we may not know all the answers, but we are here to discuss challenges and brainstorm strategies for moving forward. To schedule an appointment, log into GRAD Gargoyle and select “Advising Appointments.”

GRADUCon2020 is going virtual!

GRADUCon is the University of Chicago’s annual career exploration conference for graduate students and postdocs. Now in its eleventh year, the event is organized by UChicagoGRAD, in partnership with multiple offices across campus. GRADUCon is a fantastic opportunity to explore careers in academia, industry, nonprofits, and government through moderated panel discussion with UChicago alumni.

In light of continued safety recommendations given the situation with COVID-19, we are moving all of our panels online!

These panels include:

  • Careers in Data Science in Healthcare
  • Global Risk and Intelligence
  • Careers in Museum Education
  • Careers in Software Engineering
  • Careers in Grassroots Organizations
  • Cultural Heritage and Public History
  • S. Job Search for International Graduate Students and Postdocs
  • Careers in Consulting
  • Careers in the Quantitative Finance
  • Qualitative Research Careers
  • Industry Research Careers in Biotech
  • Green Jobs
  • Content Creation and Management
  • Careers in Technology Commercialization
  • First Year as Faculty (Humanities/Social Sciences)
  • First Year as Faculty (STEM)

Join us April 3rd, 2020 for this excellent online opportunity! Please register for the event.

We will share details for how to participate virtually with registrants a few days prior to the event.

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

JANUARY 

  • 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

FEBRUARY 

  • 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

MARCH 

  • 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

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.

 

charliebrownthanksgiving

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.