Student Life

Taking the Next Step

Taking the Next Step 2020 - Class of 2023

January 18, 2020 - Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile

Registration is now open! Be sure to register before the deadline of January 15, 2020. 

Taking the Next Step is a full day, conference-style career exploration and networking event featuring College alumni that is open to all first-year students in the College. Take advantage of this opportunity to explore your post-graduation options as well as to meet and speak with alumni of the College.

This program includes:

  • Over 225 alumni representing 20 different industries providing insight into a variety of career paths
  • A diverse range of career-focused, alumni-led panels
  • A networking prep breakfast session with upperclass students 
  • Lunchtime roundtables for informal networking with alumni and fellow classmates

A variety of afternoon offerings, including:
   - Odyssey Workshop
   - Cover Letter Workshop 
   - Interviewing Skills Workshop
   - Career Resource Fair 
 

For Students

7:30 AM
Student Check-In opens at Ida Noyes Hall
Be sure to check-in and pickup your free padfolio in the Library Lounge inside Ida Noyes Hall before boarding a bus to the hotel. Buses depart from Ida Noyes Hall beginning at 7:45 AM and leave as they fill. The last bus will leave campus at 9:30 AM.

9:00 AM - 9:45 AM
Networking prep Breakfast Session
Listen to 3rd- and 4th-year students discuss strategies for how to network with alumni and make the most of the day. 

10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Panel Session A
Listen to a panel of College alumni discuss their career paths in a variety of fields.

11:15 AM - 12:15 PM
Panel Session B
Listen to a panel of College alumni discuss their career paths in a variety of fields.

12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
Lunch Roundtables by Industry
Choose a table by industry and enjoy casual conversation with alumni over lunch.

1:45 PM - 2:30 PM
Afternoon Workshops and Dessert Reception
- Odyssey Workshop
- Cover Letter Workshop
- Interviewing Workshop
- Summer Opportunities Fair and Informal Networking 

3:30 PM
Final buses leave the hotel to return to campus

Departing from campus
Buses will begin departing from Ida Noyes Hall at 7:45
AM and leave as they fill. Buses will run continuously
until 9:30 AM, when the last bus departs from campus.
Students who have not registered for the event ahead of
time will be able to register on-site in Ida Noyes Hall
from 7:30 - 9:30 AM. Students are welcome to get to the
event on their own as well; on-site registration at the
hotel will close at 12:00 PM. We encourage students to
plan accordingly in order to arrive at the hotel prior to the
start of the Summer Strategies Breakfast Panel at 9:00
AM.

Departing from the Chicago Marriott
Buses will begin departing from the Marriott Marquis
Chicago at 2:00 PM, after the conclusion of lunch. The
last bus for campus will depart from the hotel at 3:45
PM. Students are not required to take the buses back to
campus. If you prefer, to remain downtown for the day,
we encourage you to use your UPass to return to
campus.

The following is a summary of the panels by session and time. To view industry descriptions and alumni panelists' biographies, click any panel title below. Please note: the website will continue to be updated up until the event as panelists confirm their attendance. Check back regularly for up-to-date participant information for each panel as there may be last-minute updates and cancellations.

Panel Session A — 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Advertising, Marketing, and Public Relations
Consulting
Education, Teaching, and Policy
Entertainment and Creative Arts
Government and Public Policy
Humanities and Social Science 
Social Innovation and Community Change
Research Sciences

Panel Session B — 11:15 AM to 12:15 PM
Business
Finance
Healthcare
Journalism and Publishing
Law
Nonprofit Organizations
Technology
Your Major, Your Career 

Please note: Entrepreneurship, Museums and Libraries, Sustainability, and Urban Planning and Development are additional industries covered during the lunch roundtables.

The following is a summary of lunch roundtables. To view roundtable descriptions and alumni participants' biographies, click any roundtable title below. Please note: the website will continue to be updated up until the event as roundtable participants confirm their attendance. Check back regularly for up-to-date participant information for each roundtable as there may be last-minute updates and cancellations.

Roundtables — 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM
Advertising, Marketing, and Public Relations
Business
Consulting
Education, Teaching, and Policy
Entertainment and Creative Arts
Entrepreneurship
Finance
Government and Public Policy
Healthcare
Humanities and Social Sciences
Journalism and Publishing
Law
Museums and Libraries
Nonprofit Organizations
Research Sciences
Social Innovation and Community Change
Sustainability
Technology
Urban Planning and Development

Please note that there are a limited number of seats per industry table. Seats at lunch tables will be on a first come, first served basis. Entrepreneurship, Museums and Libraries, Sustainability, and Urban Planning and Development do not have panels, but are additional topics covered during the lunch roundtables.

What to Wear

If you are worried about what to wear to TNS, just follow the business casual rule. There are numerous opinions on how to define business casual, so here are some simple guidelines.

Women

  • Business skirt or pants
  • Button down shirt, turtleneck, or sweater
  • Flats, ankle boots, or pumps
  • Blazer or vest is appropriate

Men

  • Dress pants
  • Long-sleeved collared shirt
  • Dark socks
  • Matching belt and shoes
  • NOT expected to wear ties

What's not considered business casual

Jeans, tennis shoes, tight or short skirts, t-shirts and
sweatshirts

Business Dining

As you move into your job search, you may find that interviewing includes lunch or dinner with members of the organization. Meals serve as an excellent time to exhibit your conversational skills, display poise, reflect attention to detail, reveal an awareness of cultural expectations, and demonstrate a sense of humor and composure. The brunch at TNS will provide you with the opportunity to practice dining in the business setting.

Here are some basic tips to leave a good impression:

  • Begin eating only after everyone has been served
  • Your drink glasses (including coffee cup) will always be to your right
  • Pass food to the right
  • Silverware is used from the outside to the inside. If you use the wrong flatware continue using it and ask your server for a replacement when you need it
  • Ask those seated around you to pass the food; do not lean over to reach for it
  • Do not dunk your food
  • If you leave the table during the meal, place your napkin on your chair
  • Butter should never be placed directly on your roll.
  • Put it first on your bread plate or dinner plate
  • Avoid putting used cutlery back on the table; place it on your plate instead
  • Your napkin should not be placed on the table until the meal has ended and you are ready to leave the meal
  • Purses, keys, gloves, etc. should never be placed on the table
  • Avoid putting your elbows on the table

How to Recover from (Inevitable) Calamities

  • If you spill something, do not make a big deal out of it. Blot it with your napkin and ask for another
  • If you spill something on someone else, apologize and offer to pay for the dry cleaning. Let the other person handle the wiping and blotting
  • Never call attention to the dining mistakes of others or be overly apologetic about your own

For more general business etiquette tips, please visit the Career Advancement library for additional resources.

For Alumni

8:15 AM
Registration Opens - Fifth Floor

9:00 AM - 9:45 AM
Panel Meet & Greet and Event Overview - Halsted, Fourth Floor

10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Panel Session A

11:15 AM - 12:15 PM
Panel Session B

12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
Lunch roundtables with students

1:45 PM - 2:30 PM (Optional)
Dessert and networking with students - Ballroom D/E, Fifth Floor

10:30 AM
Registration Opens - Fifth Floor

11:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Event Overview - Avenue Ballroom, Fourth Floor

12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
Lunch roundtables with students

1:45 PM - 2:30 PM (Optional)
Dessert and networking with students - Ballroom D/E, Fifth Floor

If you will be traveling from outside the Chicago area, you must indicate your travel and hotel requests when you confirm your personal information for the event, utilizing the personalized link from your confirmation email. Your hotel and travel preferences must be submitted by December 9, 2019. College Programming and Orientation staff will follow up with you via email to confirm your travel needs and finalize arrangements. Questions about travel? Email college-programming@uchicago.edu

Chicago Marriott - Downtown Magnifcent Mile

540 North Michigan Avenue

CTA Access

Grand and State Red Line ('L') Station - 0.2 miles via Grand and North Rush Streets

Driving Directions from Campus

Continue driving north on South Lake Shore Drive, and then take the Randolph St. exit toward Wacker Dr/I-290. Keep left at the fork to continue on E. Lower Wacker Drive. Turn right onto Lower Michigan Avenue. Turn left onto E. Grand Avenue. Turn right onto N. Rush Street. The hotel driveway entrance is at 541 N. Rush Street.

Parking

Alumni can request a parking voucher at check-in to cover parking expenses and are encouraged to park in the self-park lot located on Rush and Ohio. Valet parking is also provided at the hotel (driveway at 541 N. Rush Street). We expect that a large number of people will want access to their vehicles in a short time frame, so we encourage alumni to use the Self-Park Lot option in order to expedite arrival and departure.

For further travel instructions or parking information, call the Chicago Marriott at (312) 836-0100 or visit their website.