Between an academic-year internship, Resident Assistant duties, and volunteer commitments, Brock Huebner, AB'16, didn’t have a lot of free time for schoolwork. Get this: he actually encouraged people to leave the library and explore.
“Break out of the Hyde Park bubble. There are so many interesting (and often free) things going on in the city every weekend. Take advantage of your new UPass [allowing unlimited rides for UChicago students on public transit] and make friends with the CTA,” he advised.
Huebner took his own advice. And this informal education, coupled with on-campus experiences, helped Huebner prepare for work as an analyst at the Civic Consulting Alliance, a public-private partnership in Chicago aimed at finding solutions for governments. Now, just weeks after accepting his diploma, he’s conducting informational interviews with some of the brightest minds in criminal justice and researching best practices to help with the post-election transition for the new Cook County State’s Attorney.
His passion for public education and his undergraduate coursework ultimately drove him toward working in the public sector.
“My parents, both of whom are public school teachers, nurtured a belief in the importance of public service and a strong interest in education policy,” he said.
He noted that his volunteer experiences and his interactions with professors pushed this interest further: “The acknowledgement that there are no silver bullet solutions in education (and public policy in general) helped me to broaden my career aims, as I felt I could not effectively work to directly address educational policy challenges without first gaining a better understanding of the root causes affecting educational attainment.”
At UChicago, Huebner became involved with the Institute of Politics as the Student Civic Engagement intern, taught civics lessons to middle school students as part of Citizen Schools, and shared philosophical discussions with local elementary school students through the Winning Words program—not to mention baking weekly study breaks and frequent house trips as the RA of Henderson House.
But he also dedicated time to professional development. He regularly participated in the Office of Career Advancement’s programming for the UChicago Careers in Education Professions (UCIEP) group landing a summer internship as a Jeff Metcalf Policy Intern with the Chicago Foundation for Education. Huebner spent the summer after his second year in China as a Wanxiang Ambassador Fellow, studying green technology and the Chinese language.