Experience: Externships

A key goal of the myCHOICE Experience programming is to provide real-world, practical experience in a specific career field. Externships, defined as “hands-on opportunities of limited duration (weeks to months),” are an important component of this training experience. myCHOICE is teaming with on- and off-campus partners to provide a diverse array of externships that will be announced as they become available. All myCHOICE externships are unpaid and part-time (10 hours per week), lasting approximately 10 weeks.

95% of myCHOICE externs report that the externship influenced their career trajectory.


Spring Quarter 2024 Externships

The application cycle will open on January 31st and close on February 14th @ 11:59 pm.
If an externship host is interested in your application, they will reach out directly by email to schedule an interview. Externships will begin on the first day of Spring Quarter, March 18th, 2024.

Business Development & Consulting
Communications, Media, Teaching & Outreach
Data Science & Engineering

Grant Development, Research Support & Program Development

Requirements & Expectations

  • All myCHOICE externships are unpaid, volunteer experiences intended to complement your research training and increase your awareness of a specific field or profession.
  • You agree to commit approximately 10 – 12 hours per week for one academic quarter, unless a longer period of commitment is stated in the externship description.
  • Upon selection for an externship, you will collaborate with the host to complete an Externship Learning Agreement within one week of the start of the externship.
  • Division-specific requirements:
    • If you are a graduate student or postdoctoral scientist in the Biological Sciences Division, you will need to obtain permission from your PI and the relevant Dean of Students/Postdocs prior to accepting an externship offer. Graduate students will be expected to register for the externship to earn course credit (50 units).
    • If you are a graduate student in the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering, you must obtain permission from your PI and the PME Dean of Students, and register for the externship.
    • If you are a graduate student in the Physical Sciences Division, you must obtain permission from your PI and your divisional Dean of Students.
  • International Citizens: You must consult with an advisor in the Office of International Affairs prior to engaging in a myCHOICE externship.
  • Masters Students: myCHOICE externships are designed for individuals who are pursuing or have already earned a PhD. Some externship hosts are open to hosting students from masters programs, while many are specifically seeking PhD students. Read the externship description closely.

Instructions for Applying

  • myCHOICE externship applications are collected through the myCHOICE-Symplicity platform.
    • If you are a UChicago student, you should have received an email invitation from myCHOICE-Symplicity to join the new system. Follow the instructions on the email to complete your account.
    • If you are not a UChicago student or did not receive an email invitation, please Sign Up for a new account and send an email mychoice@uchicago.edu once you have completed your registration so that we can expedite approval of your account.
  • Once in the system, click “Externships & Treks” in the upper right header. All open externships will be listed in alpha order according to the name of the externship (not the host name).
  • You may apply for up to 3 myCHOICE externships and will be able to upload unique documents (resume & cover letter) for each. Further instructions can be found within the myCHOICE-Symplicity interface.
  • Please note the qualifications that externship hosts have included in their descriptions.
  • For any questions, email mychoice@uchicago.edu

Before Submitting Your Application

  • Prior to submitting your application materials, applicants are encouraged to share their cover letters and resumes with myCHOICE Career Navigator, Amy Hark, Assistant Director UChicagoGRAD (by making an appointment HERE) or the career development advisor for graduate students or postdocs in their unit. These consulting appointments are restricted to University of Chicago graduate students and postdocs.
  • Permission from your PI and dean of students will be required to participate in an externship. We strongly advise you to initiate these conversations before you apply.
  • If you are an international citizen, consult with your advisor at the Office of International Affairs regarding paperwork and permissions required to participate in a specific externship. Policies may be different dependent on the externship, your visa status, whether you are a student or a postdoc, and with which division you are affiliated.

Proceeding with an Externship

  • If you are offered an externship and choose to accept it, you will then be responsible for obtaining written permission from both your PI and your dean of students and submitting those materials to myCHOICE. myCHOICE will send an email to confirm their approval.
  • If you are a UChicago graduate student in the Biological Sciences Division or Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering, you will be expected to register for the externship using a course number that will be provided to you by myCHOICE.
  • If you are an international postdoc, you must consult with OIA before accepting an externship offer. International students are typically on F1 visas and will need to apply for and receive CPT approval from OIA; this should happen before the start of the quarter. Students on other classes of visa, or recent alumni, should consult with OIA (please visit the OIA website for more details). The CPT approval process requires a CPT employment letter from your externship host (a template is provided online) as well as a Faculty member CPT recommendation form (for BSD students the faculty member is Vicky Prince; vprince@uchicago.edu).
  • If you and your host choose to extend the period of your externship beyond the original period of commitment, you will need to:
    • Submit a short progress report focusing on work that has been completed and a timeline for further work.
    • Obtain letters of permission from both your PI and your dean, indicating that they understand that you will be extending the externship.
    • If you are a student, you should continue to register for the externship during each quarter.

Participating in an externship will help you to stand out
in the crowd of other job applicants.


Past myCHOICE Externships

These externships are not being offered at this time:

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