Student Experience

On Future Career

“After CivX, I finally felt like my UChicago training was relevant.”

“CivX provides me a launching point into the world of business. CivX trains students to think in a way that is not common in the business world--outside the box. It suspends hierarchy constraints to knowledge and lets students have unfettered access to a problem in an attempt to generate practical, relevant solutions. It forced me to look at a problem from a variety of angles, and to listen into my team members' opinions and assumptions as evidence of issues we must consider while thinking of solutions.”

“Before I began CivX I had truly no idea what type of job I could transition into after completing my MA degree. When it came to job searching I didn't even know where to start. Due to my positive experience with CivX and the way it translated academic skills to career skills for me, I have a much better idea of positions to research for jobs post-MA. Many of these careers mirror the aspects I enjoyed most about my CivX work.” 

“After my experience here, I find myself very motivated to work on my resume and search for jobs. I credit CivX with this new motivation because it both made me excited about doing tangible work for an organization that may help them, and made me feel capable of doing so effectively, eliminating the uncertainty and dread that I believe was holding me back.”

“I went into the week with very little self-reflective understanding of the way I work with people and the way I process problems. CivX allowed me to grasp my own ways of working by allowing for self-reflection periods at the end of each day and just by being an intense program that required a lot of awareness of both oneself and ones teammates in order to be effective. I ended the week with a deeper understanding of my own limits and talents, which will help me improve areas that need it and promote areas that work in future resumes and job interviews.

“Will allowed the team to discuss their experiences and their interpretations of these experiences in a way that generated a huge amount of data. Each step of the way, Will forced team members to interrogate their assumptions on how they came to interpreting each data point the team members offered up. This is a hard and crucial step for making this kind of work important….Any group thinking of attempting the CivX experience needs to ensure their program leader is able to moderate the experience in a way that keeps students engaged during times of consensus and conflict.

Will masterfully interrogated each members' assumption formation and helped each of us understand how we were coming to the points we made.”

“Yes. You should definitely do CivX. First of all, by the wintertime in your MAPSS experience, you are going to be really tired of theoretical work. CivX allows you to do tangible work with an organization that helps others, allowing you to feel good about doing helpful, useful, and relevant work. It will give you a much-needed break from theory. Second, you are also going to be wondering what will happen after you leave the University of Chicago. CivX will not only give you skills and stories that will help you decide on and successfully apply for your future career, it will show you how your skills gained at the University of Chicago can help your work in your future career. You will leave CivX a more self-aware, prepared, and skilled person, having made a tangible difference in your community, ready to take on the post-MAPSS world.” 

“Absolutely do it! It is a lot of work and stressful but the best things are. If you are looking at trying to find a job after CivX it will provide you with experience and stories to intrigue employers and will likely make you a better employee. If you are planning on doing a PhD, CivX will help you decide if that is actually what you want to do, showing you how fun, or how stressful, social science can be outside of the classroom. CivX provides you with a feeling that your skills are valuable even outside of Hyde Park, and will let you explain to all of the naysayers who have not understood or doubted the worth of your academic field, just what you can accomplish.”

“Future students should know CivX prepares you to navigate complex, real-world issues in a team environment using the theoretical and methodological training received at UChicago. CixV provides students with a unique exposure to all levels of an organization, and challenges students to adopt a solution-based way of thinking when analyzing complex and disparate data. CivX emphasizes the potential value found in teamwork, and highlights how teamwork strengthens each step of the journey in understanding the client's problem and formulating an appropriate solution. Students can take away a deeper appreciation of how certain baseline assumptions drive complex structures, and how interrogating these assumptions can augment and redefine the way these complex structures are created, maintained and perhaps even changed. CivX is an opportunity for students to find revolutionary potential from structural pain-points within a given organization, to find value and solutions in points of tension and contradiction, to question their own assumptions and the assumptions of their teammates through each step of the solution-generating journey. CivX breaks students out of the mindset of thinking things are operating "correctly" or "incorrectly" and forces students to see value and opportunity in all steps of service design.”

“CivX gave me an excellent opportunity to gain research and decision-making experience. I also realized some of my own weaknesses in the process.”

 “I am a shy person in groups, and tend to take awhile to open up. The fast pace of CivX does not allow for a lot of adjustment time, and I very quickly was brought out of my shell. This could have been an incredibly stressful and difficult thing, but I credit Will's construction of CivX with allowing it to be relatively smooth. The support of the team and Will allowed me to quickly feel comfortable contributing any and all ideas. I think this greatly improved my work with CivX and my understanding of the way I solve problems for my future work.”

“I went into the week with very little self-reflective understanding of the way I work with people and the way I process problems. CivX allowed me to grasp my own ways of working by allowing for self-reflection periods at the end of each day and just by being an intense program that required a lot of awareness of both oneself and ones teammates in order to be effective. I ended the week with a deeper understanding of my own limits and talents, which will help me improve areas that need it and promote areas that work in future resumes and job interviews."