Navigate: Creating Success In Your Second Year

The University of Chicago offers an abundance of academic resources to help you make the most of your time at the University and beyond. But actually navigating all of those opportunities can be overwhelming. To help in that effort, the College has created the first annual Navigate program exclusively for second-year students, co-hosted by the College Center for Research and Fellowships (CCRF) and College Programming Office (CPO). Join us November 16th and 17th at Ida Noyes Hall to prepare for ongoing academic success at UChicago and beyond.

Friday, November 16th – Academic Opportunities Fair

  • Archeology Summer Digs
  • Argonne National Lab
  • Beckman Scholars Program
  • BSCD Research Opportunities and Grants
  • Center for East Asian Studies
  • Center for Global Health Fellows Program
  • Center for Latin American Studies
  • Chicago Studies Program
  • College Center for Research and Fellowships
  • College Core Writing Tutors and the University Writing Program
  • College Language Center
  • Core Tutors Program
  • Department of Psychology and the Undergraduate Research Initiative in Psychology
  • English Language Institute
  • Feitler Center for Academic Inquiry and Smart Scholars Program
  • Marine Biological Laboratories
  • Neighborhood Schools Program
  • Neuro Club
  • Office of Civic Engagement
  • Office of Language Assessment
  • Office of Study Abroad and Summer International Travel Grants
  • Oriental Institute
  • Parrhesia Program for Public Discourse
  • Phoenix Biology
  • Pozen Family Center for Human Rights
  • SACNAS -- Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science
  • Society of Physics Students
  • Stevanovich Institute on the Formation of Knowledge
  • Student Disability Services
  • Summer Session
  • The Program on the Global Environment
  • University Community Service Center
  • University of Chicago Library
  • Women in Public Service Program

Saturday, November 17th  Presentations & Workshops

Check-In 9:00 - 9:30 am

Check-in will begin at 9:00 am in Ida Noyes Hall. Participants should plan to check-in in order to recieve a schedule of the day and an official Navigate giveaway. Non-registered students are also welcome to register on-site during check-in. Coat check will also be available. 

Welcome and Breakfast 9:30 - 10:15 am

After you check-in we invite participants to join us in the Cloister Club for a light breakfast and the official welcome for the Navigate program. 

Presentation Session Block # 1: 10:30 – 11:15 am

Crafting your curriculum vitae (CV): Learn more about the importance of a curriculum vita (CV) and how to effectively develop your undergraduate CV for use in securing research experiences, grants, fellowships, and eventually for use in graduate school applications. A CV is a comprehensive, biographical document which emphasizes your academic training, professional qualifications and significant activities, including research, service, leadership, international engagement, and honors/awards. Bring a working draft to the session, such as an existing resume, and a comprehensive list of the significant activities you have participated in since arriving at the University of Chicago. This session will provide a general overview of the CV, with samples; you are then encouraged to participate in the afternoon CV workshop where staff will be on hand to support your CV drafting efforts.

Getting to know your faculty (a.k.a. Making the Most of Office Hours): To a second-year, many of the opportunities to apply for graduate school, nationally competitive fellowships, or other postgraduate experiences seem distant. While some deadlines crop up in your third year or beyond, the process of establishing yourself as competitive for national opportunities post-UChicago begins early in your academic career. Having trouble figuring out how to best connect to your professors? Not sure how to ask questions about class or research, or get to know them better? This is the event for you! Instructors can help you with coursework, research opportunities, letters of recommendation, and much more. This event will feature a panel of students and instructors who share their experiences from both sides of the desk to help you gain the confidence to make the most of office hours and build relationships with your faculty.

An introduction to undergraduate research at UChicago, with Student Panel: Discover why engaging in undergraduate research as a College student can benefit you and your future while learning how the College Center for Research and Fellowships (CCRF) can help you navigate undergraduate research experience at UChicago. You will hear from CCRF staff about the resources and support available to you followed by a panel of undergraduate researchers from various disciplines excited to share more about their own research experiences.

National Fellowships 101: In this session, you will learn more about what exactly we mean when we talk about "National Fellowships." This information session will outline how the College Center for Research and Fellowships is organized to support your ambition and interest in nationally competitive awards and opportunities. This session will provide you with the opportunity to identify your relevant strengths and passions, begin the brainstorming process, leverage discernment tools, select pertinent opportunities, and craft a reasonable timeline as you engage with the application process. Second year is the perfect time to begin thinking carefully about the remainder of your college career, if you hope to be successful in applying to major national fellowships.

Public Speaking: The practice of presenting yourself well: Public speaking and the presentation of yourself – what you care about, what you are learning about yourself and your discipline, the experiences you’ve had – is an art form. This session is designed to give you an early introduction to the pillars of good public speaking and some strategies to make your next class presentation, research conference talk, or interview something you can be proud of. Lead by the Parrhesia Program for Public Discourse, you will leave with a renewed sense of confidence in your own presentation skills. 

 Presentation Session Block #2: 11:30 am – 12:15 pm

Beyond the Bookstacks: Making the Most of the University of Chicago Library: The Library is much more than a study space or collections of books. Did you know that the UChicago Library offers hundreds of specialized research tools for different academic disciplines? Do you need assistance using GIS, finding data sets, or citing sources? Have you met the librarian for your major? Join us to improve your coursework and research by making the best use of all the Library has to offer.

Letters of Recommendation: As you think about applying for postgraduate fellowships or graduate school, take time to consider a crucial element of the process: Letters of Recommendation! An age-old anxiety producer, the process of asking for letters of recommendation can be unnerving. This information session provided by the College Center for Research and Fellowships will introduce the importance of building faculty relationships, provide advice, and suggest strategies to help you confidently request letters that affirm your potential for future success.

An Introduction to Undergraduate Research at UChicago, with Student Panel: Discover why engaging in undergraduate research as a College student can benefit you and your future while learning how the College Center for Research and Fellowships (CCRF) can help you navigate undergraduate research experience at UChicago. You will hear from CCRF staff about the resources and support available to you followed by a panel of undergraduate researchers from various disciplines excited to share more about their own research experiences.

Civic Engagement: Are you ambitious for others?: UChicago is committed to supporting College students in their civic engagement and public service efforts. In this session, you will learn more about the myriad of ways students get involved in civic engagement activities, turning their developing sense of purpose toward helping others and addressing broader public issues. Engaging with these activities in your second-year ensures that you have the opportunity to grow into them and extend your engagement across the entirety of your undergraduate experience. Leadership from the Office of Civic Engagement look forward to inspiring you to think about how you may contribute to your local, national and international communities.

The Young and the Stress-less: UChicago can be a tough place to navigate at times. Learn how to best manage your time and stress and how to maximize effective learning skills that can assist in making you a more successful student.


Lunch & Panel: 12:30  1:45 pm

Please join us for lunch in the Cloister Club of Ida Noyes. Participants will enjoy a catered lunch while they hear from a panel of upper-class students in the College regarding their experiences navigating the insitution and its resources. 


Workshop Session Block #3: 2:00 – 3:30 pm

CV Workshop: Distinct from a resume used for securing an employment opportunity, your CV provides a more detailed accounting of the ways you’ve spent your time across your College career. The format of a CV (and its flexibility with length) also provides significant freedom to prioritize your undergraduate engagement and create a useful, comprehensive framework for your reader. Bring a working draft to the session and staff will spend time working with you to orient and organize your CV in a way that highlights and priorities your experiences at UChicago and beyond.

Planning for Summer Research: Start planning for your summer(s) by learning about and preparing for summer undergraduate research programs and funding at UChicago and beyond. As a second year, you are now becoming eligible for many summer research opportunities. Summer may be the perfect time for you to engage in research for the first time or to advance/diversify your undergraduate research experience(s) without the pressures of coursework and academic quarter demands. This session will provide information on accessing summer research opportunities, applying for summer research programs and funding, and maximizing your summer research experience(s). 

Writing Workshop: Usually less than one thousand words, and frequently left entirely to your discretion, Personal Statements or Grant Proposals (for UChicago opportunities like SITG and Dean’s Fund, nationally competitive fellowships and graduate school) are confounding, vague and absolutely crucial to the success of an application. In this session we will tackle the big picture questions related to the Personal Statement writing process and seek to provide practicable insight as you work on your drafts! Please bring drafts of your personal statements or grant proposals and we’ll workshop those together.

Your Major/Your time at UChicago and beyond: Sit in on this informative student panel facilitated by academic advisers to learn more about the ways in which your major shapes but does not limit your experiences at UChicago and beyond. Upper class students will share about their own experiences in their majors and how they have leveraged relevant resources and opportunities to give even greater dimension to their disciplinary engagement.

To register, please click here.