What Are the Humanities For?

September 17th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

Hello MAPHers!

I am Kerri Hunt and I am here to help you answer the often-daunting question of “What are the Humanities (or an MA in the Humanities) for?” In addition to working as a Preceptor, I am also the Career and Alumni Outreach Coordinator. In other words, I am MAPH’s in-house career advisor.

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I am wise like an otter

I think of my role as MAPH career advisor as an extension and expansion of the part I play as a preceptor.  I’m here as an advisor, guide, and sounding board to help you make the most of your time in MAPH (and thereafter), with a particular focus on helping you think through the value of your studies and your degree.

“Value” here could mean economic value – how to leverage the relationships and skills you’ve built here to advance your career – but I’m also interested in discussing with you the other senses of “value” that led you here, to spend a year devoted to humanistic study.

This means that while I am available to review a cover letter, read a draft personal statement, or connect you with alumni in a relevant field, I am also concerned with the more nebulous task of helping you figure out ways to integrate your personal values and intellectual interests into your life after MAPH, whether or not you decide to pursue an academic career.

For those of you considering a PhD, I can provide insight into what it means to become a professional academic and help you use your coursework here to test whether further graduate studies are for you. If you do decide to apply to PhD programs, I can discuss strategies for building relationships with faculty; help you decide where to apply; and read drafts of your personal statement.

For those of you who are considering other careers — or jobs between MAPH and a PhD program — I can read resumes, give advice on job hunting, and put you in touch with alumni in the fields of your interests. Essentially, I am here to connect you to all the career-related resources offered by MAPH and the University of Chicago.

These include:

  • Career counselors at Graduate Student Affairs
  • GSA programming, including the Getting a Start In series, networking tutorials, and practice interviews
  • MAPH’s Teaching in the Community College class and associated programming
  • GradUCon, GSA’s January career fair for graduate students
  • The University-wide alumni network
  • Linkedin groups and resources

Also coming up soon: MAPH Alumni Career Night on November 12th. Have this event on your calendar and in the back of your mind as the quarter begins. It is an excellent opportunity to connect with alumni and learn more about popular career fields.
Just as your preceptor should be your first contact for all your questions about navigating MAPH and the University of Chicago, think of me as your point person for all career- and life path-related questions, concerns, anxieties, humorous anecdotes, etc.  This goes double for those of you who are still undecided about your future path: if you are hoping to use your MAPH year as an opportunity to explore options, change careers, grow as a person, or just figure out your next step, please come meet with me soon!

In the weeks to come, I hope to connect with every one of you – even if it’s just to say hello and introduce ourselves.  (Please bear with me as I learn all of your names.)  During Fall quarter (i.e., starting September 29) I’ll have set office hours every Tuesday and alternate Wednesdays. You can sign up in the MAPH office.  I’m also available by appointment, or to chat whenever you see me in MAPH Central, at Social Hour, or around campus.

I look forward to meeting you all!

 

 

3 Essential Reasons to Apply for Externships (Due May 18)

May 6th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

Thinking about the future can be scary. Externships are here to help!

I know, I know: you literally just finished those internship and mentor applications, and you’re busy at work putting the finishing touches on your thesis thanks to adviser feedback. In the midst of all that busyness, applying for Externships, 1-5 day job shadowing opportunities during Summer 2014, probably doesn’t seem like the most important thing. However, spending a small amount of time and energy now (or at least, before May 18th at midnight when they are due) writing those applications will serve you well later. Here are 5 reasons why:

1. Make connections to awesome organizations! The main reason people get jobs is because they know the people doing hiring. So it’s that sad truth that if you have no connection to an organization you want to work for, your odds go way down. Luckily, Externships provide the perfect opportunity to learn more about organizations without having to commit to anything long-term or high-energy.

This years externships (which you can find here – choose the Jobs tab, and then Show Me –> Externships) include organizations like Cambridge University Press, Gallup Consulting, Google, the MCA, Purgatory Pie Press, Scrappers Film Group, St. Benedict’s Preparatory School, U of C Alumni Relations, and the Hyde Park Art Center.  » Read the rest of this entry «

Getting a Start In…Publishing! Tuesday 4/15

April 10th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

Note: Be on the lookout for more “Getting a Start in…” events this quarter!

GETTING A START IN PUBLISHING

April 15, 2014 (4:30-5:30)publishing

Classics 110, refreshments served

 Despite doom and gloom rhetoric (see image) about the fate of the publishing industry, small presses, magazines, and literary organizations are thriving—and hiring—in Chicago and farther afield. Where do you start to look for publishing jobs and discern whether you are qualified? How can you build a network? And perhaps most importantly, how do you articulate the value of graduate student work to potential employers? Join us for a conversation with representatives from four great Chicago publishing institutions: » Read the rest of this entry «

Thinking About the Future: Service Edition

April 9th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

There is life beyond the academic community!

Spring Quarter can be an incredibly exciting time – your thesis starts to fall into place, you’ve got the most productive procrastination excuse ever in internship/externship/mentor apps, and it’s finally (finally!) warmer. But it can also be a scary time if (like most people emerging from a graduate program) you’re not totally sure what you want to be doing next year. Looking into those awesome internship, mentor, & externship opportunities is a great place to start, but if you’re feeling daunted or like you want to do some exploring before you commit, looking into volunteer opportunities may be the right choice for you.

Of course, even if you have an awesome sense of what you’d like to be up to next year, you may be feeling (as I did) at this point in the year that your life has been subsumed into the academy/library to the detriment of all things human. As the year winds down (hurtles toward completion?) it might be worth your time to look into volunteer opportunities. It’s incredibly valuable to make connections to organizations you’re passionate about, or alternatively, find out what kinds of work or organizations you don’t like now, as you go into the summer.

But what does this vague “volunteering” thing look like? How do you find the right organization for you, with the right time commitment? Answer: Volunteer Referrals! UCSC at the University of Chicago maintains an up-to-date, well-researched database of volunteer opportunities in Chicago, and they are happy to help match you with the right organization.

And, as always, come talk to your Mentors – about careers, the future, rad volunteer organizations in Chicago, your thesis, or literally anything else.

Yes, They’re Happening: MAPH Internships 2014

March 12th, 2014 § 1 comment § permalink

IMG950990It was 50 degrees Monday. The snow/ice was melting, the sun was peeking out, undergrads were wearing shorts. Sure, now it looks like Gethen out there, but it’s still almost spring. I don’t need to tell you that with Spring comes some important deadlines (like the thesis), but never fear, you have time to start thinking about things. And we are here to help.

There is a detailed list of this summer’s MAPH internships  below. But first, here are some dates to put on your calendar:

  • Spring Break Thesis Write-In: March 24-28 (I cannot recommend this heartily enough! More info & registration here.)
  • Mentorship/Internship/Externship Application Kickoff: Friday, April 4 at Noon (location TBA). Come ask us questions about these offerings!
  • MAPH Resume & Cover Letter Workshop: Friday, April 11 at Noon (location TBA)
  • Internship and Mentorship Application Deadline: Friday, May 2

Keri, Tavi, and I will likely have new office hour slots next quarter, but we are around next week!

  • Keri: Thursday, 3/20 from 9 until 11 am
  • Jessi: Wednesday, 3/19 from 2:30 until 4:30 pm
  • Tavi: Thursday, 3/20 from 1:30 until 3:30 pm

We are also available during other times, so please do not hesitate to reach out if you would like to meet but can’t make our office hours. Also, Mearah will be having open office hours over at Career Advancement from 3-5 pm every Thursday next quarter. We definitely recommend stopping by to see her!

And now for the internships themselves… » Read the rest of this entry «

AWP 2014: On Giving/Getting Permission

March 3rd, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

In case you missed Jessi’s excellent post on AWP on AfterMAPH, MAPH’s Alumni blog, check out some highlights of AWP 2014 below:

“Find the place that scares you most and run to it.” — Eric McMillan (MAPH ‘10) on writing and, well, life

Talking Craft: (from left) Evan Stoner ('14), Hao Guang Tse ('14), Andy Tybout ('14), Chris Robinson ('14), Joel Calahan ('05, current preceptor), Eric McMillan ('10), Hilary Dobel ('09)

Talking Craft: (from left) Evan Stoner (’14), Hao Guang Tse (’14), Andy Tybout (’14), Chris Robinson (’14), Joel Calahan (’05, current preceptor), Eric McMillan (’10), Hilary Dobel (’09)

Last night, while leading eight current MAPH creative writers on an uphill March from the Seattle’s Washington State Convention Center to Von Trapp’s in Capitol Hill, I was marveling (aloud, perhaps unfortunately for my companions) about what going to the AWP conference can do for an aspiring writer. We were on our way to the second-ever MAPH/UChicago Alumni offsite reading at AWP. Earlier that morning, my colleague A-J Aronstein and I had stopped by a panel featuring the poet and teacher—and reader at last year’s offsite event—Shaindel Beers(MAPH ‘00) entitled the “Art of Difficulty.” Using beautiful language, Shaindel described teaching poetry students in prisons, schools, etc. as finding a way of “giving permission.” To write, one has to believe that they have something worth saying, a voice worth hearing. To Shaindel, it is a writing teacher’s job to nurture that belief, to create a space for it to thrive.

» Read the rest of this entry «

PROFESSIONALIZATION: Winter Quarter Edition 2014

January 6th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

DO YOU ALREADY HAVE A JOB FOR NEXT YEAR? YES? OKAY, YOU CAN STOP READING THIS POST NOW.
WHAT? YOU DON’T HAVE A JOB YET? IT’S TIME TO START THINKING ABOUT ONE!

But it's still winter! Surely I don't have to think about the future yet!

But it’s still winter! Surely I don’t have to think about the future yet!

You may remember a post on professionalization from last quarter which told you that you don’t have to worry about finding a job until Winter Quarter–well, it’s Winter Quarter now, which means: » Read the rest of this entry «

Career Quiz! What Kind of Career would YOU Enjoy? (Alumni Panel 11/6 at 5:30)

October 30th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

I’m lost! What do I do with my degree in the Humanities? (Actually, a lot of different things.)

Remember that post that was all like “professionalization is important y’all!!”? Well, it’s already time for another one! In other words, in case you thought it was time to take a break from thinking about your future (besides, you know, the future that includes thesis reading and reading), the Alumni Panel is right around the corner!

The Alumni Panel is a great opportunity to actually think about what you might enjoy doing with your life, beyond just thinking about jobs/careers/please-let’s-not-call-them-[gap]-years/funding a PhD/your general happiness.

Be sure to come to

the ALUMNI CAREER PANEL next Wednesday, November 6th, at 5:30 pm

(here at MAPH Central)

it’s the perfect opportunity to:

meet alumni – ask about different career paths - and get

a taste for what kinds of jobs might (surprisingly!) suit you.

Not sure which panels to attend? Check out our helpful Career Quiz below! (It’s not really a quiz. Just a guide to things you like. Certifiably thesis-free.) » Read the rest of this entry «

Herein lies a LONG but VERY USEFUL post on the mysterious, elusive thing “PROFESSIONALIZATION”

October 10th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

Searching the word “professionalize” in Google images leads to some pretty abstract, random stuff: mountains, schoolchildren, businessy-looking people in suits, even cats. Professionalization can often feel like a vague, abstract task–one that you’re unsure how to go about doing, but one that seems expected of you.

As in, MAPH expects it of you. A large part of MAPH’s work in developing better thinkers, writers, and humanists is helping students conquer the professional world–or at least, helping students look astutely at application materials, get a handle on job markets, and think about how the humanities work both within and outside of the academy.

Luckily, your journey into professionalism in MAPH doesn’t have to be confusing and daunting. In MAPH land, professionalization means developing your skills, experience, and connections, and being able to write and talk about those things in compelling and interesting ways.

Professionalization doesn’t have to be this creepy, I promise.

WHY YOU SHOULD CARE:

1. You are thinking of working after MAPH.

It takes an average of 3-6 months to get a job, sometimes longer depending on the industry. If you do the math, that means ideally you’ll start applying for jobs in Winter Quarter (you know, 2 months from now). Unfortunately, Winter Quarter is the busiest time of the MAPH year–3 classes, a thesis, IT’S SO COLD OUTSIDE. Getting your resume in shape now cannot possibly be a bad idea.  » Read the rest of this entry «

5 Reasons to Apply for Service Match! (or, Do Something Good!)

September 6th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

City Farms

City Farms

In addition to the Service Events put on by your MAPH Mentors (e.g., the City Farms event September 11th) throughout the year, the University Community Service Center puts on Service Match. Service Match is a way for you to go beyond simply volunteering once or twice during the year. By consistently engaging with one organization through the year, you can focus your service to really benefit an organization and make the most of your volunteer time. Put on by the University Community Service Center, Service Match facilitates consistent service by selecting a limited number of talented MA students, partnering with a local non-profit, and offering participants the chance to give teach backs and reflect on their volunteer work.

There will be a Service Match Informational Meeting at 10:30am on Wednesday, September 18 in Classics 110 with Crystal Coats (cpernell at uchicago dot edu), the Community Service Advisor from the University Community Service Center (UCSC). Curious? Read on!

» Read the rest of this entry «