Instead of writing about my experience as the MAPH-sponsored Programs and Partnerships Intern at the Illinois Humanities Council (IHC) this summer, I thought I would share a second, unique-to-UChicago opportunity that I enjoyed.
In addition to interning at IHC, I worked as a content writer/editor for PinkThink, a startup formed in 2013 by Booth student Makeda Ricketts, and found the experience both rewarding and helpful for figuring out my career path.
Up until the very end of my MAPH year, I had planned on pursuing a PhD. As graduation rolled around, however, I realized that I didn’t like what I found lurking in the shadows of academia, namely, a scarcity of jobs that afford a comfortable, stable lifestyle. Of course this had seemed paltry when compared with my excitement for teaching, research, and writing, until I found a solution in a career niche that allowed all of that: education technology or EdTech.
During MAPH, Booth seemed like the epitome of “the other half” and the few times I ventured inside, I found this fortress teeming with suits, warm chocolate chip cookies, and modern architecture hardly inviting to someone in the humanities (except for the cookies, of course).
When I attended the Innovation Fair sponsored by the Polsky Center at Booth, however, I realized that the Polsky Center offers MAPHers a crucial opportunity to apply our interests and expertise in the humanities in a way that is desired by numerous (and not evil!) companies. Now more than ever, the Polsky Center is reaching out to those of us with a humanities background, and I urge you to take advantage of this opportunity while you’re at UChicago. Since Booth offers their MBAs the opportunity to create their own startups, there are even more (albeit unpaid) ways that MAPHers can explore these new and exciting career paths before and after graduation.
At PinkThink, a fledgling startup that develops educational games for pre-teen girls to increase their STEM and business skills, I researched and wrote original content for a game this past summer that allows users to create their own virtual cosmetic products. While I worked closely with the CEO to make sure that the content was engaging and fun for pre-teen girls, I also learned more about the industry and what it takes to build and run a company.
EdTech offers countless job opportunities for people with a humanities background, especially when it comes to writing and editing educational content, curriculum, and communications and marketing materials. If you’re interested in what kind of opportunities might be out there for you, check out EdSurge, a great learning resource and job board (for when that inevitable time comes).
I am more than happy to answer any questions you might have about my experience and/or education technology. Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn or email me at eschickli[at]uchicago[dot]edu. Have a great year in MAPH!