help third-years take the next career step
January 15, more than 400 third-years eagerly sought words of
66 University alumni at the third annual Taking the Next Step
conference, co-sponsored by the Maroon Key Society and the Student
Alumni Association--with assistance from the Alumni Association,
Career and Placement Services, the Office of the Reynolds Club
and Student Activities, and the University Community Service Center.
The event, held at the Chicago Hilton and Towers, was funded by
the Office of the Dean of the College. Designed to give students
advice on how to make the transition from college to the “real
world,” the conference featured 16 different panels on a range
of possible post-graduation pursuits, from careers in the sciences
and the arts to graduate programs to hi-tech jobs.
Ulrich, AB'98, answers questions after the "Doing
What You Love While Earning a Living" panel.
entire day was a very inspirational experience that happened just
at the right time,” concluded one conference attendee, third-year
Katrina A. Oppen. “I had recently been panicking about internships
for the summer and career choices for the future, and hearing
the stories of U of C grads old and new helped to calm my fears
about the job application process ahead of us."
left campus every 15 minutes beginning at 9 a.m. to shuttle third-years
downtown. Told to dress casually, the students left their interview
suits at home and mingled in jeans and sweaters. After Alumni
Association president and Washington Post columnist Bob
Levey, AB’66, reassured students in his opening remarks that the
College will prepare them well for the future, they struck out
for the panel discussions. Panelists included alumni from across
the country who work for organizations as diverse as NASA, J.Crew,
Pfizer, NBC News, Second City, the White House, Merrill Lynch,
the Center for AIDS Research at San Francisco General Hospital,
really strove to have the greatest breadth of topics possible
in order to attract the greatest number of students,” said fourth-year
Jessica Robinson, a co-chair of this year’s conference planning
bottom-line message behind many of the alumni comments was perhaps
best summed up by luncheon keynote speaker Elizabeth Michaels,
AB’88, who is the president and business director of Chicago-based
Jellyvision, an interactive media company responsible for the
game You Don’t Know Jack. Michaels advised the students: “Make
sure that whatever it is you do is something that you have a real
passion for, something that you’re going to feel great about.”--C.S.