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Program Coordinator, Career Development job in Chicago at University of Chicago

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Program Coordinator, Career Development at University of Chicago

Program Coordinator, Career Development

University of Chicago Chicago, IL Full Time


IOP: Career Development

About the Department

Created in 2013 by University of Chicago alumnus David Axelrod (AB'76), the nonpartisan Institute of Politics is committed to fostering in our students a passion for public service, meaningful dialogue and active engagement in our democracy. By bringing practitioners from the public arena to campus, and providing extracurricular opportunities in politics, policy, government and journalism, the non-partisan Institute seeks to open pathways for engagement and leadership to students across campus. This is done through the four primary programmatic components of the Institute. The Speaker Series program hosts nationally and internationally recognized speakers on a wide variety of issues related to the mission of the IOP. The Fellows Program presents an opportunity for political practitioners, policy makers, journalists, and others engaged in politics and public service, to be in residence at the University of Chicago for an academic quarter and provide weekly, extracurricular seminars to University of Chicago students. The IOP also sponsors a robust, paid internship program for undergraduate and graduate students, placing them in high-level settings overseas, in Washington, D.C. and at the state and local levels. Lastly, the IOP’s Civic Engagement programs provide pathways for students to take an active role in shaping politics and policy in their communities through leadership development programs, student-led civic engagement projects, and political exploration treks.

Job Summary

The Program Coordinator, Career Development will play an integral role in strengthening and expanding the IOP’s efforts to inspire, advise, and create pathways for students to pursue careers in public service. The Program Coordinator reports to the Director, Career Development and is responsible for assisting with management of the IOP’s career development program and acclaimed student internship programs, including paid, substantive opportunities for more than 300 undergraduate and graduate students each summer and during the academic year. The Coordinator solicits internship opportunities from a variety of employer types, including the offices of elected officials, political consulting firms, government agencies, think tanks, newsrooms, and nonprofit organizations. They work directly with employer contacts to establish the parameters of the internship, including crafting job descriptions, guidelines and responsibilities. They also assists with coordinating the application process for internship opportunities, facilitating resume reviews, interviews, and student placement.

Once internships have begun, the Program Coordinator helps support students and employers during their internships by coordinating mentorships and supplemental programming throughout the year. In addition to providing support for student career advising, the Program Coordinator plans career development workshops and trips, playing a significant role in running the Charles H. Percy Summer in Washington program offered each summer in Washington, D.C. The Coordinator also develops and execute strategies to engage IOP alumni through communications and activities in Chicago and around the country.


  • Identifies and secures internship opportunities for the Institute of Politics (IOP) summer internship program through targeted research, networking and relationship development and management.
  • Maintains tracking and data systems to ensure employer relationships and the internship program as a whole can operate efficiently and smoothly from one year to the next.
  • Manages the database of contact information and other details about students and employer partners involved with the Institute of Politics summer internship program; ensure that all data is current, comprehensive, and correct.
  • Manages internship postings and applications via UChicago’s job boards, Handshake, GRAD Gargoyle, and Harris Link - the vehicles through which students apply for internships.
  • Processes student internship stipend payments.
  • Serves as a liaison between employers and the Institute of Politics.
  • Coordinates with all relevant campus offices to promote IOP internship opportunities with the University’s student body, ensures internal processes are correct, and comply with University policies.
  • Supports the preparation of stewardship reports for funders.
  • Develops and produces skills-based and career development workshops for students throughout the academic year.
  • Mentors and advises students through one-on-one meetings.
  • Works with the IOP team to facilitate the IOP’s house internship program.
  • Manages 1-2 Career Development house interns and collaborate with the IOP Student Advisory Board Career Development Chair on relevant student programming.
  • Organizes events with returning students in the academic year following their summer internships to foster peer-to-peer exchanges on lessons learned.
  • Tracks alumni data and coordinates alumni engagement activities in Chicago and around the country.
  • Manages the IOP’s Summer in Washington Program which provides summer-long programming in Washington, D.C. for UChicago students interning in politics, public service, government, and other related organizations during the summer months.
  • Cultivates new relationships with companies that do not have an existing formal relationship with the University.
  • Identifies opportunities to increase the visibility of new companies and niche industries to job-seeking students. Identifies and supports the recruitment of employers and corporate representatives for career events. Assists in planning and managing event logistics.
  • Performs other related work as needed.

Minimum Qualifications


Minimum requirements include a college or university degree in related field.

Work Experience:

Minimum requirements include knowledge and skills developed through 2-5 years of work experience in a related job discipline.

Preferred Qualifications


  • Bachelor’s degree.


  • 2-5 years experience working with multiple constituencies and managing projects in politics and public service, nonprofits, or higher education.
  • Demonstrated experience training and mentoring young adults.

Technical Skills or Knowledge:

  • Proficiency with computer programs, spreadsheets and databases, including Microsoft Office suite and Google Docs.
  • Effectively compile, track, analyze quantitative student data and metrics.

Preferred Competencies

  • Passion for politics, public service, and civic engagement; a demonstrated commitment to the mission of the Institute of Politics and to public service.
  • Excellent writing, research and oral communication skills.
  • Proven project management skills with a focus on producing results.
  • Excellent time management skills, with the ability to prioritize and multitask on deadline in a fast-paced environment, with strong attention to detail.
  • Solve problems, make independent decisions, and be adaptable with the ability to take initiative.
  • Candidate must be a quick study and able to get up-to-speed very quickly.
  • Entrepreneurial ability to conceptualize, create, and execute new programs and initiatives in line with the IOP’s mission.
  • Engage, mentor, and coach students in their career development paths.
  • Willingness to approach contentious issues from all possible sides, with an eye toward fairness, equity, and accuracy.
  • Demonstrated commitment to inclusion (within organizations, community, or higher education).
  • Work with confidential information, use discretion and demonstrate sensitivity in regard to student/employer/participant issues.
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively and effectively in a team environment with a wide range of constituencies including high-profile guests, senior leaders, donors, Board members, colleagues, students and volunteers.

Application Documents

  • Resume/CV (required)
  • Cover Letter (required)
  • References Contact Information (3)(preferred)

When applying, the document(s) MUST be uploaded via the My Experience page, in the section titled Application Documents of the application.

Posting Statement

Effective October 15, 2021, the University of Chicago requires COVID vaccination for all students, faculty, and staff members. Individuals may claim exemption from the vaccine requirement for medical or religious reasons.

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination.

Staff Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call

or submit a request via Applicant Inquiry Form.

We seek a diverse pool of applicants who wish to join an academic community that places the highest value on rigorous inquiry and encourages a diversity of perspectives, experiences, groups of individuals, and ideas to inform and stimulate intellectual challenge, engagement, and exchange.

All offers of employment are contingent upon a background check that includes a review of conviction history.  A conviction does not automatically preclude University employment.  Rather, the University considers conviction information on a case-by-case basis and assesses the nature of the offense, the circumstances surrounding it, the proximity in time of the conviction, and its relevance to the position.

Recommended Skills

  • Career Development
  • Networking
  • Program Management
  • Relationship Building
  • Student Engagement
  • Writing
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