Frequently Asked Questions

What is GRADFair?

Many career fairs emphasize undergraduate hiring. GRADFair is UChicago’s graduate student and postdoctoral-specific recruiter fair. Students and postdocs have the opportunity to meet with representatives from diverse hiring organizations in industry, nonprofits, and government, interested specifically in the advanced training that graduate students and postdocs receive at the University of Chicago. Attendees have the option to share their résumé with recruiters before the event. Across disciplines — from anthropology to economics, and from English to Chemistry — this is a chance to learn how organizations value the skills that graduate students and postdocs have, and to develop relationships with diverse hiring managers.

When and where is GRADFair?

GRADFair will take place on Thursday, October 17 from 3:30 PM to 7:00 PM in Ida Noyes Hall (1212 E. 59th St.).

Do I need to RSVP? And what is the deal with the résumé books?  

Yes. When you RSVP (as a “job seeker”) before 10/11, you may opt to have your résumé included in a book that is provided to employers before the fair. If you RSVP after this time, you will still have the option to make your résumé available online to employers, but it will not be included in the official book. Nametags will also be provided to all registrants at the check-in table.

How can I prepare for GRADFair?

UChicagoGRAD hosts several preparatory programs in advance of GRADFair. RSVP for the event “Prepping for GRADFair” on Friday, October 11 from 12:30 PM-1:30 PM (Events>GRAD Events) where you can learn more about GRADFair and ask questions. It is recommended  that students and postdocs conduct research on hiring organizations before attending (including doing some digging on LinkedIn to find UChicago graduate alumni!). If you are checking this page after 10/11 and would like to see the slides from the presentation, please email Mike at tessel@uchicago.edu to request the slide deck.

Who is GRADFair For?

Hiring organizations are interested in doctoral students, master’s students, and postdocs from across disciplines. The UChicagoGRAD team invites a wide array of employers: from consultants to museums, and from trading firms to K-12 charter schools. Part of the purpose of the day is to demonstrate the diversity of places graduate students and postdocs can take the flexible training that they receive in the course of their training. All are welcome to participate in the evolving conversation about the value and purpose of graduate degrees.

What employers are participating?

In addition to the employers listed below, you can see more info about each employer in GRAD Gargoyle (view event as a “job seeker”) including disciplines and degree levels they are recruiting.

84.51
4170 Trading
Abbott Laboratories
Academic Approach
Allstate Insurance Company
American Family Insurance
Amopportunities
Argonne National Laboratory
Arity (An Allstate Company)
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois
Bronner Group, LLC
Brooksource
Carney, Sandoe & Associates
Center for Research Libraries
Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago
Choco Communications
Clinical Outcomes Solutions
CultureFit Technology Staffing
CVS Health
Ecolab
Eli Lilly and Company
Exos Financial
FBI Community Outreach Division
Fresenius Kabi AG
Graham Capital Management
Grainger
Guidehouse, LLP
HERC
Horizon Therapeutics
Hudson Legal
IBM Q
Institute for Defense Analyses
International Innovation Corps
Ipsos
Noble Charter Schools
NORC at the University of Chicago
NowPow
Oracle
Polsky Center
QMIS
SBB Research Group
Surgical Directions
Teach For America
Trade Informatics
TransUnion
University Community Service Center (UCSC)
University of Chicago Library
University of Chicago Office of Special Programs – College Prep
Wayfair
Zurich North America

What should attendees wear?

UChicagoGRAD recommends that student and postdoctoral attendees dress in business professional attire. This means suits for men and women. Of course, it’s equally important for attendees to feel comfortable in the clothes that they’re wearing, and no one should feel that they cannot attend in business casual or casual attire.

Will employers hire me at GRADFair?

GRADFair is a chance to start conversations with employers, including HR profesionals, alumni, executives, and others. Attendees will very likely not walk out of the event with a job. But this is an opportunity for students and postdocs to make connections that will be valuable to them as they explore concrete career tracks in the near future.

How long should I spend at GRADFair?

In past years, attendees were able to talk to a handful of interesting employers and feel comfortable departing after about 60 minutes. The conference gets quite busy. It’s better to be efficient, arrive early, and target several employers for substantive conversations. Don’t expect to spend three hours and talk to everyone in the room for 30 seconds.

Should I bring résumés?

Yes. It is recommended that all attendees bring at least 10 copies of their résumé. Remember, though, that some employers won’t be accepting resumes on site. They will be provided with a resume book in advance of the event, and have had a chance to take a look at materials from interested candidates.

Should I follow up with questions?

Yes. Collect employer business cards, and be sure to send thank you notes after the event. A short email that recalls something specific from your conversations can be very useful.

I’m anxious. What do I do?

It’s natural to be anxious in this kind of setting. The best thing to do is to attend with a friend and network together. The stakes can feel high at this kind of event, but it’s important to keep an even perspective about the potential outcomes. This is not a final opportunity to talk to employers. This is, in fact, a great first opportunity. Keep an open mind and a clear set of reasonable expectations. These are important keys to feeling good at the end of GRADFair.

I have more questions.

Additional questions about attending GRADFair can be sent to Deborah Blumenthal, Assistant Director for Employer Relations and Experiential Education at UChicagoGRAD.