At the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering (PME), we teach the fundamental principles that students need to succeed as professionals in boundary-crossing research, design, and entrepreneurship.
Pritzker Molecular Engineering students can engage in purposeful and structured professional skill-building across a range of competencies—all aimed to position them for success in a dynamic and global work environment. The PME fosters these competencies in targeted workshops and supplemental programming, as well as in coursework and in laboratory training.
Engaging in a systematic and proactive career development process is instrumental in students’ ability to enhance career success. This process starts with self-assessment which involves the ability to identify and articulate one's skills, strengths, knowledge, and experiences relevant to career goals, and also an ability to identify areas for growth. Other elements in the process include the ability to identify the knowledge and skills needed in specific industries or occupations, the ability to navigate and explore career options, the ability to understand and take the appropriate steps to pursue career opportunities, and the ability to self-advocate for opportunities in the workplace.
- PME programs: PME Career Development Series, PME Industry Seminar Series, PME Alumni Career Conversation Series
Professional writing and oral communication skills allow students to convey the substance and importance of problem-based research to a variety of audiences, to successfully prepare grant applications and scientific publications, and to effectively develop and deliver presentations relevant in the job search process.
Effective teaching and mentoring involve skills such as being able to set clear goals and expectations, providing structured guidance and meaningful feedback, managing group projects, and creating inclusive learning and working environments. Such skills are essential in both academic and industrial settings.
- PME Programs: PME Mentor Training Series, PME Mentoring Resources and Opportunities, Fundamentals of Teaching in STEM Workshop Series
Leadership involves the ability to envision the future, get others to share that vision, and take action to move toward that vision. Researchers who can demonstrate initiative, influence, and strategic planning in a variety of ways are essential in an interdisciplinary research environment where discovery, innovation, and entrepreneurship are at the forefront.
In addition to targeted workshops and supplemental programming in career preparation and exploration, the PME hosts several seminar series with researchers from around the world sharing cutting edge discoveries and innovations with critical engagement from our faculty and students.
- PME Distinguished Colloquium Seminar Series
- Chicago Quantum Exchange Seminar Series
- PME Immunoengineering Science Hour—A forum for postdoctoral scholars and graduate students from PME immuno-engineering laboratories to present and get feedback on their research.
PME students also have access to a wealth of resources across the broader University of Chicago campus.
- UChicagoGRAD—UChicagoGRAD provides resources to help graduate students explore career options, build professional networks, craft effective job documents, interview with confidence, and negotiate job offers. Career advising with the opportunity to focus on engineering-specific questions is available by appointment. Login to their platform to view upcoming workshops, employer info sessions, and career fairs.
- myCHOICE—myCHOICE programming exposes STEM graduate students to an array of career paths with seminars, mini-courses, and workshops that support the development of professional skills and with real-world experiences in a variety of career paths. They offer part-time externships on a quarterly basis, and themed treks to regional areas.
- Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation—The Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation provides education and training, connects investors with partners, and supports new venture creation. They also collaborate with organizations across campus dedicated to advancing the educational and professional career paths of students and work to connect student entrepreneurs to industry partners.
- UChicago Career Advancement—Career Advancement’s Careers in Engineering helps undergraduate students explore, prepare for, and obtain careers or professional school placements in STEM fields. All majors and minors may join the program, and students can participate in an elective workshop curriculum and experiential learning options such as treks, research opportunities, internships, job shadowing, and innovation competitions.