UChicago Careers in Entrepreneurship

Ever since William Rainey Harper conceived of a Midwestern university to rival elite institutions on the East Coast, the University of Chicago has been an entrepreneurial enterprise. From the first controlled nuclear reaction to influential business practices, the leading edge is part of our daily life here at UChicago.

To maintain this tradition of discovery, Career Advancement integrates a variety of entrepreneurial opportunities into its programming. Students interested in start-ups, venture capital, and other related careers have access to one-on-one advising from a professional with extensive experience. Students with innovative ideas are connected to resources at departments and organizations throughout the University of Chicago, including the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship at the Booth School of Business.

Students also have opportunities to put their ideas into practice in competitions such as the College New Venture Challenge (formerly the UChicago Social Innovation Competition). Student teams are formed to propose sustainable, socially responsible enterprises that benefit the community—whether that’s the University, the nation, or the world. 

About the Entrepreneurship Program

Students have access to personalized advising from an experienced professional. Jerry Huang, Career Advancement’s entrepreneurship adviser, can help students articulate and refine their innovative ideas, identify career fields and industries that match their entrepreneurial interests, find job and internship opportunities, and prepare application materials.

Stay updated on entrepreneurship events and opportunities by joining the Innovation and Entrepreneurship listhost. To sign up, log in to your UChicago Handshake account. Go to the industry e-mail lists and then select “Innovation and Entrepreneurship.”

Experiential Learning From Experts

In 2014-15, 328 students engaged with UCIE. Since the program’s inception, UCIE has been focused on giving students opportunities to explore the entrepreneurial experience. Speakers, workshops and other training sessions offer opportunities to speak directly to entrepreneurs and investors, while experiential opportunities like competitions, treks and internships create opportunities to create first-hand knowledge. One-on-one counseling is available for students who want to discuss or expand business ideas and connections.

Experiential Learning Through Experience

In 2014-15, 114 undergraduate students received Metcalf internships through UCIE. UChicago Careers in Entrepreneurship offers a subsidized internship program for students working with startup companies during the academic year. In addition to creating internship opportunities, the program also builds relationships with up and coming new companies and gives UCIE visibility within the local entrepreneurship community.

Experiential Learning Through Competitions

Business planning and venture launch competitions are unparalleled opportunities for students to experience entrepreneurship in real life settings. Unlike internships, where students are employees, during competitions, students work on their own ideas and plan and launch real businesses giving them unique experiences, which benefit them regardless of future career path. In addition to the annual College New Venture Challenge run by UCIE and the Polsky Center, UChicago students are encouraged to participate in local, regional and national competitions.

Alumni: Support the Entrepreneurship Program

Entrepreneurship at UChicago could not succeed without the support of alumni and experienced professionals. If you are an entrepreneur or working in any innovative field, consider getting involved with UCIE by participating in a workshop, trek, externship, internship, or participating in the College New Venture Challenge.

If you are interested in any of these options or have ideas of your own, please contact Jerry Huang at jhuang@uchicago.edu