The word “trek” gets a bad rep. When you hear someone say they’re making the trek to somewhere, it usually implies reluctance about the journey. This isn’t the case at UChicago.
A “trek” with UChicago’s Career Advancement program means setting off on a journey to explore the multitude of career paths that lie ahead of any undergrad here. Treks usually last for three days (some are longer though), allowing students time to explore different companies, cities, and career fields of interest. Each trek includes lodging covered by the University and the opportunity to talk to professionals in a specific field. With treks for business, health professions, law, journalism, arts, media, and more, there’s an opportunity for every student with any interest. And whether they’re within the city of Chicago or across the globe, treks at UChicago are definitely worth the trip.
I’m an International Studies major, so it should be no surprise to anyone that all of my trek experiences have been to international destinations. International treks are a perfect solution for those who have responsibilities on campus (like a Metcalf internship!) and can’t go abroad for an entire quarter. Locations vary from Toronto, Rio de Janeiro, Cairo, Beijing, Paris, or Istanbul—there are so many to choose from! My own treks and interests have taken me to Seoul, London, and Dubai. And whether I was visiting BBC for a journalism, arts, and media trek in London, or Samsung in Seoul and McKinsey & Co. in Dubai for business treks, there was never a dull moment to be found.
There are so many great aspects about the trek program—from the reassuring advice from alumni and industry professionals, to the chance to get an insider’s look at many careers. Overall, I think my favorite part of trekking across the globe is the freedom to explore the country you are visiting, all while learning about yourself in a completely new environment. The opportunity to explore a completely new place is an experience that many don’t have the time or financial means to do. However, I believe it’s something everyone should do in college because it helps you uncover what you like and dislike—both in and out of the workplace. Treks are not vacations, you have responsibilities and programming while traveling, but they are even better, allowing you to get a glimpse of where your career interests could lead you after UChicago.