This May, I’ll graduate from UIC Business with a degree in management and finance and begin working full-time for XR Trading as a human resources analyst. The path leading up to my business degree has been long; I started pursuing a curiosity about stocks and bonds as early as elementary school. By high school, I was sure I’d study business in college. Why did I choose UIC Business?
Consider the value of a UIC Business degree. For a top-ranked undergraduate business program in Chicago, the price is hard to beat. What’s more, the resources here gave me a huge boost toward my own success. I can’t count how many times I’ve visited the Business Career Center, where my career advisors—Ciara Jones, Gabriela Murillo and John Anderson—have reviewed my resumé and Linkedin profile, prepped me for interviews, helped me find internships and have just generally been available to answer questions.
In my sophomore year at UIC Business, the CBA Alumni mentoring program matched me with Kimberly Haney, BS ‘95, of Northern Trust. Kimberly has given me invaluable insights into the world of Chicago business, and my relationship with her has had a huge impact on my own career choices. Also, watching her balance a career with raising a family has shaped my plans and career expectations. Our lunch meetings have become so regular that we plan on continuing them beyond my time at UIC. When you get to UIC Business, get yourself a mentor!
The diversity of UIC drew me in. Campus really does feel like a microcosm of the Chicago area, and with so many international students, it’s a great place to encounter other parts of the world, too. Many people think of UIC as a commuter school. If you get involved on campus, you’ll see it’s so much more than that. There are hundreds of clubs and organizations on campus. During my time here, I’ve been a part of the Business Student Advisory Board, the Urban Planning and Policy program, the Finance and Investment Group and a handful of task forces, and have built a lot of professional relationships and enduring friendships. UIC campus not only has a thriving life of its own, it is also very connected to the life of Chicago and, through its highly diverse community, to the world beyond the city limits. Get involved in the UIC community and discover it for yourself.
It helps to be in the heart of Chicago. It’s hard to find an internship that’s both manageable and good for your career. UIC’s location gives students easy access to Chicago firms and organizations. My internship at XR Trading gave me the career boost I needed, and was also convenient to campus—or, I should say, campus was convenient to it. Similarly, in my junior year, I was an Urban Planning and Policy fellow. The fellowship included an internship at a nonprofit. The nonprofit I was interested in was the Black Star Project, a neighborhood organization in Bronzeville, a quick CTA ride away from UIC.
I like to do a lot of volunteering at campus events. I support open houses, speak on panels and make myself available to prospective students. With my scholarship group, the Future Business Innovators, I volunteer off campus at events like the Breast Cancer Walk. These volunteer activities have connected me with even more people during my education, but just as importantly, the internships and volunteering have filled out a long record of achievements. When I look at my resumé, I see a ton of activity around Chicago that was possible in part because UIC is so centrally located. When employers look at my resumé, they see someone who knows Chicago and is capable of juggling a lot of work. There is literally a world of opportunity lying just beyond campus. Use UIC Business as your springboard into Chicago.
There’s also a lot to enjoy at UIC when you need to forget about your career for a minute. Go to a sporting event, rock climb at the student recreation center, attend Flames Fridays or Spark in the Park, or explore the city surrounding campus on all sides. You need to do everything you can before you graduate and leave UIC!
If you want to talk about making the most of your UIC experience, don’t hesitate to contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.