Public Policy and Service


UChicago Careers in Public Policy and Service

UChicago Careers in Public Policy and Service (UCIPPS) is a non-selective program that welcomes all students who are interested in making an impact on the world through internships and beyond graduation. UCIPPS students pursue careers in an incredibly broad range of fields, from work in non-profits, policy research, local and federal government, to the quickly evolving set of sectors in big data, corporate social responsibility, impact and non-profit consulting, and economic development.

UCIPPS advisers offer guidance and industry expertise to help students find and land public policy and service opportunities best suited to their skills and interests.

Scheduling an Appointment

UCIPPS advising appointments are one-on-one meetings with an industry expert. Since both the job market and the materials you need to be successful are so different from other fields, these meetings can be used in a variety of ways. Make an appointment to have a strategic conversation about your career, prepare the best application materials possible, find resources to search for internships and jobs, or sharpen your interview skills.


Each week, UCIPPS sends an industry-specific list of internship and full-time opportunities, as well as events on campus to help you learn more about careers and activities in public policy and service. Sign up for the program listhost to get updates about upcoming programs and application deadlines.

Selective Tracks

To respond to students’ incredibly diverse interests, UCIPPS offers several selective programs, each designed to guide students in their career path, build their skills, and sharpen applications for internships and full-time jobs. Check them out in the tabs to the left!

Support Our Students

The continued support of alumni plays an integral role in the success of students involved in UCIPPS. We welcome employers to engage by speaking with students, joining career panels, hosting an intern or extern, or making a gift to the program. If you are interested in any of these options or would like to get involved in other ways, please contact Sylvia Atsalis, Program Director of UChicago Careers in Public Policy and Service, at

Meet the 2016-2017 UCIPPS Team

Sylvia Atsalis, Ph.D
Program Director, UChicago Careers in Public Policy & Service

Sylvia Atsalis is the new Program Director of UCIPPS. As a trained ecologist specializing in primates with research experience in Madagascar, Asia and South America, she has a strong interest in environmental issues. Over time she became increasingly involved in building leadership capacity in countries that host primates, and in the process helped students develop the skills they needed to be effective leaders and conservationists. She has assisted in developing the professional skills of students from 14 different countries including the US.  These experiences, sometimes in a classroom, sometimes in a rainforest, have been instrumental in shaping the way she guides students to navigate their entry into professional life. She looks forward to supporting students as they explore their vision and mission in life, and to helping them find internships and jobs that will advance their professional goals. 

Alma Barragan-Corona
Assistant Director, UChicago Careers in Public Policy & Service

Alma Barragan is one of two Assistant Directors on the UCIPPS team.  She received her Bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies from Loyola University Chicago. During that time, she worked at Instituto Del Progreso Latino, a non-profit organization that she joined in her junior year of high school. She worked extensively with the Instituto to support its mission (and her own personal mission) of promoting community by preserving cultural identity and dignity. She was involved with Instituto Del Progreso Latino for over 9 years, and all her roles focused on coaching and guiding students of all ages to identify and pursue their career goals. She is committed to a life in social service and making an impact through nonprofit organizations.  She is extremely excited to engage with UCIPPS students and guide them as they explore their professional paths. 

Charlotte Franklin
Program Director, UChicago Careers in Public Policy & Service

After graduating from the College in June 2016 with a degree in Political Science, Charlotte Franklin joined the UCIPPS team as the UChicago Public Interest Program (UCPIP) Coordinator. Throughout college, she gained experience in policy, fundraising, and research at health and education non-profits such as Peer Health Exchange and through her Metcalf Internship at the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL). As the Policy and Innovation Intern at CAEL, she analyzed results from CAEL’s student surveys and researched drop-out rates among young adults. She also wrote reports covering a subject of particular interest, higher education access for underserved populations and veterans. As the UCPIP Coordinator, she matches recent graduates in one-year fellowships at high-impact public interest organizations in Chicago, New York City, and Washington, DC. She is excited to help others pursue their passion for public interest.

Nelida Garcia
Assistant Director, UChicago Careers in Public Policy & Service

Nelida Garcia is one of two Assistant Directors of the UCIPPS team. Originally from Chicago, she received her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Harvard University.  As a student, she became interested in work that increases access to higher education for underrepresented students, developing this interest through research and direct service. Most recently, she worked in operations at Uncommon Charter High School in New York City.  In her role, she taught a college-readiness course to over 50 seniors, which sharpened her ability to help students effectively communicate their value to a professional audience. She is excited to bring these skills to UChicago and looks forward to supporting students in their career exploration and development.