PROFESSIONALIZATION: Winter Quarter Edition 2014


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:

  • You graduate (ideally!) in less than 6 months. It takes, on average, several months (3-7, depending on your source) to get a job. I know math isn’t a highlight of MAPH’s curriculum (despite being near homonyms), but that means if you want to be employed doing something you enjoy when you graduate, it’s job hunt time now.

  • I’m currently enjoying the bliss of having student loans due. Yep, that’s less than a year away from you, too. So basically you should want to be employed when you graduate.

  • Have you looked at the PhD market lately? If not, ask your preceptor: a PhD is a career, one that is becoming increasingly competitive. If you’re planning on doing one, give yourself the benefit of preparing now–what kind of job(s) do you want to have before you apply? During your PhD? After your PhD? Remember how you graduate in less than 6 months? Maybe you should try to land that teaching job/research opportunity/etc now.


Professionalization: one step at a time.

Professionalization: one step at a time.

I know, I know: you are deep in the throes of thesising and juggling lots of coursework. Luckily for you, there are a number of convenient opportunities to get crucial professional experience. (By opportunities, I mean STRONGLY ENCOURAGED NOT-QUITE-MANDATORY-BUT-REALLY-IMPORTANT EVENTS & RESOURCES YOU SHOULD TAKE ADVANTAGE OF IMMEDIATELY.) Here’s a list of stuff you already know about (check those emails!) and some stuff you might not know about yet:*

1. Chicago Humanities Festival Internship – Winter & Spring Quarter – PAID 300 hours of work – Applications due Friday, January 10th

Acceptable excuses for not applying: you hate the humanities (don’t let thesising get you down!), or you are already employed or volunteering for 8-10 hours a week (the internship’s not worth it if it means you also won’t sleep or finish course work)

Why it’s worth your time:

Not only is this internship an opportunity to plan the amazing events for the Chicago Humanities Festival this coming Fall–which includes doing pretty much the same kind of research as you are doing now–but it’s also a great way to get non-profit experience, and make connections with CHF and other amazing organizations. Whether or not the internship directly leads you to a job, you will get experience doing a host of non-profit activities like marketing, programming, media creation, and more, making you an asset for future employers. Also it’s paid.

Actions needed:

A. Submit resume to MAPH office by 5 pm January 10th.

B. Submit cover letter to MAPH office by 5 pm January 10th.

PROTIP: This job is serious and competitive BUT you also have a lot of resources at your disposal: Cover letters and resumes are genuinely hard to write, which is why it’s ideal to have as many people look them over as possible. Career Advancement is great for this, as are your mentors (who also know what exactly CHF is looking for!)


The cutest form of networking EVER.

The cutest form of networking EVER.

2. GradUCon – Friday, January 24, 2014 – REGISTRATION PAID FOR YOU BY MAPH

Acceptable excuses for not registering & attending: you have class all day Friday (if so, I’m sorry, that’s rough)

Why it’s worth your time:

A resume workshop, lunch with alumni in your field of interest,  fancy professional gift at the door

Panels including what you need to know about the digital humanities, careers in secondary education, teaching in the community college, using LinkedIn to get a job, library careers, working in museums (with an art history emphasis), working abroad, under-representation in academia, and more.

There are 3 meals provided, as well as coffee and tea to sustain you throughout the day. Oh, and I almost forgot: a reception to cap it off (like social hour, but with classier booze and food, add alumni, and call it networking!)

It’s like checking 10 things off your professionalization to-do list at once.

Actions needed:

A. Register! MAPH has made sure none of you have to pay (student loans, I take you down $10 at a time!), so don’t let that money go to waste! (Or that food!) Be sure to use the code MAPH14GC.

B. Attend on January 24.

PROTIP: bring a resume to workshop–you’ll be walking into a resume appointment you didn’t even have to make!
Dress professionally, and come with enthusiasm to meet at least a few people! Ask questions at panels, talk to alumni throughout the day and ask them what they do (and how they got there), and then enjoy the closing reception by meeting more alumni & also relaxing with the knowledge that you did something good for your(future)self.


How thinking about the future can feel.

How thinking about the future can feel.

3. Brown Bag Lunches – hourlong sessions throughout Winter Quarter

Acceptable excuses for not attending: you are already employed, you know exactly what you want to do (cool! we’d love to hear about it! come by and chat sometime), or you are in class

Why it’s worth your time:

Throughout the quarter, MAPH is hosting brief, low-key events during lunch-time to help you find out whether a given career is something that would interest you. Interested in learning more about non-profits, jobs in government, working at libraries, careers in journalism, and many more? Then come the Brown Bag Lunch that’s relevant to your interests! Someone from Career Advancement will host a conversation about what careers in that field are like, how you might go about getting them, and next steps you should take. It’s also a great way to ask questions without the pressure of networking or being overly formal (it’s a brown-bag lunch, after all).

Actions needed:

A. Keep checking your email / the MAPH calendar! Dates will be forthcoming.

B. Attend! And maybe bring some lunch.


Go, MAPH student - I mean panda - go!

Go, MAPH student, go!

Other useful things to know about:

Career & Internship Fair – There is a university-wide career fair on January 17 in Ida Noyes. This is especially helpful if you are thinking about business careers post-MAPH and/or you are looking for a particular employer who will be at the fair.

Service Events – are a great way to network with non-profits. Like, for example, the upcoming Writing Workshop MAPHers will be volunteering at with Open Books on Friday, January 17 would be a great way to connect with Open Books, a Chicago literacy organization (and excellent bookstore).

Mentors! – We do more than plan super secret awesome Social Hours. We even do more than look at resumes and cover letters. If you are feeling lost about the future, or frustrated with the process of applying to things, or aren’t sure how to get involved in say literacy non-profit work or teaching or consulting or anything else, come talk to us! We are happy to help! We’re also happy to hear about your struggles and successes, professional or otherwise.




Yay! I can do this professionalization thing!

*Confused about any of these events or opportunities? Lost the emails full of pertinent info? Shoot us a quick email or stop by the office! MAPH central is happy to help.

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