Every day brings new challenges for professionals. We understand your desire to become better leaders.

Whether you are seeking to be more effective in your current role, transitioning to a new career, or pursuing lifelong learning, Harris is here to support your professional development. 

Listen Up

Explore our collection of webinar series and individual events to hear from experts on a range of topics related to professional development and leadership.

Transitions Series

We developed a series of “Transitions” webinars to provide insights and skills to guide you in your career development.  We suggest you begin your journey by viewing our webinar with Dorie Clark, an expert at self-reinvention and change management.  

“Reinventing You” with Dorie Clark

Dorie Clark is a marketing strategy consultant, professional speaker, frequent contributor to HBR, and author of three books, including Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future. During our wide-ranging discussion Dorie provided enlightening stories and actionable advice on important topics:

  • How to do a personal “inventory” to uncover hidden strengths
  • How to converse at networking events
  • Ideas to develop strong communication skills
  • How to “stand out” and be credible in a busy digital world

Watch Dorie Clark's "Reinventing You" (1 hour)

View Dorie's free self-assessment workbook.

Past Series and Webinars

Listen to past webinars from the Transition Series and more.

Read Up

Stay informed about important professional development and leadership topics. Our curated and insightful articles highlight connections to our webinar speakers. 

High-Performing Professionals Run on Self Awareness: A commentary by Terri Brady about developing self-awareness, which requires curiosity, humility, and courage.

How to Network When There Are No Networking Events: Our initial webinar speaker, thought leader Dorie Clark, wrote a piece in Harvard Business Review on how to network when there are no networking events.

Why Managing Uncertainty Is A Key Leadership Skill: Our recent webinar guest, Michele Wucker, author of The Gray Rhino, talks about why the ability to cope with ambiguity is critical for leaders dealing with the pandemic and other gray rhinos.

Show Up

Join us in the following upcoming professional development events. These webinars focus on providing insights and skills to guide you through your career “transitions,” and add to your communications skills toolbox. 

New Alumni Webinar Series: “Influencing”

To be an effective professional in today’s work environment, you must exert influence. How do you convince your co-workers, your boss, colleagues in other organizations and even your friends, that they should listen to your ideas and accommodate your point of view? How do you effect change in thought and behavior in people and organizations?

Nick Morgan, author of Power Cues, acknowledges that gaining influence in the modern workplace is difficult. In a recent HBR article he asserts that “It’s never been harder to influence others, because they’ve never been more distracted.  Information overload and the pace of our digital lives [have led to short attention spans].” Of course, the importance of exerting influence continues to be critical for policy leaders.

To provide you with opportunities to gain insights and skills related to “influence,” we are expanding our professional development program to include a new series titled “Influencing.”  Please see below to register for the first two webinars in our Influencing series.

We will continue our Transitions series, so look for announcements of upcoming programs.

Influencing Series

“It Doesn’t Have to Be This Tense: Persuasive Discourse”

Jay Heinrichs, author of the New York Times bestseller Thank You for Arguing and expert on rhetoric and persuasion

Tuesday, September 29, 2020 2:00 pm CST

Join us for a webinar with Jay Heinrichs as he ponders: “What makes our current politics so toxic? Why do simple expressions like ‘climate change’ or ‘Black lives matter’ lead Americans to engage in verbal attacks?”   Besides the obvious causes, the noted rhetorician offers an intriguing factor – and a possible solution: we are speaking in the wrong tenses. A prolific writer and speaker, Jay will lead us through a lost skill that Aristotle first defined, that every one of America’s founders studied, and that just might improve our professional conversations and help save our political discourse.

Jay Heinrichs has provided rhetorical training to development staff at Harvard, aerospace engineers at NASA, pediatricians at Kaiser Permanente, and the Pentagon vaccination agency, among others. His book Thank You for Arguing: What Aristotle, Lincoln and Homer Simpson Can Teach Us About the Art of Persuasion, has been published in 14 language and 4 editions. It ranks among the top 10 books assigned to Harvard undergraduates and is used in more than 3,000 college courses. More recently he has published two more books on rhetoric, Word Hero and How to Argue with a Cat. He is the founding partner of the publishing imprint Gavia Books.

Jay earned his BA from Middlebury College, where he has taught as a Professor of the Practice in Rhetoric and Oratory.

The one-hour webinar will begin at 2:00 pm CST on Tuesday, September 29, 2020. It will begin with a 15-minute video presentation, followed by 45 minutes of discussion. Attendees will have an opportunity to ask questions. Terri Brady, the Executive Director of Professional Development at Harris, will moderate. Please join us.

Attendees will receive a copy of the New York Times bestseller Thank you for Arguing.

Register for Jay Heinrichs' webinar.

“Let the Story Do the Work” 

Author and Chief Story Facilitator Esther Choy of Leadership Story Lab, teaches us about the power of storytelling and how to use it during interviews and with prospective employers.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020 2:00 pm CST

You have built an impressive set of credentials, including graduating from one of the most highly-regarded graduate schools. You know you should be a top candidate for the position you are seeking. But how do you persuade the interviewer that you should be hired? Esther Choy says that storytelling is often the missing ingredient. Since founding the Leadership Story Lab ten years ago, Esther has coached clients to use stories to get hired in a competitive market.

As one reviewer noted of her book Let the Story Do the Work, Esther “lays out simple, practical tools for strengthening influence and persuasion skills.”  Whether you are seeking a higher level of leadership or just beginning your career, this interactive webinar will show you how to use storytelling techniques to demonstrate your value, and be more prepared and confident in interviews.

Esther earned her BA in Business Economics from UC Santa Barbara, her MS in Higher Education from Texas A & M University, and her MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

The one-hour webinar will begin at 2:00 pm on Tuesday, October 27, 2020. Attendees will have an opportunity to ask questions. Terri Brady, the Executive Director of Professional Development at Harris, will moderate. Please join us.

Attendees will receive a copy of Let the Story Do the Work.

Register for Esther Choy's webinar.

Speak Up

Partner with us in our efforts to support lifelong learning and Harris community building!

Ask a question

If you have questions about professional development, or you would like us to explore specific subjects, contact Terri Brady, Executive Director of Professional Development at tbrady@uchicago.edu.


Do you want to contribute your opinion in writing?

The Chicago Policy Review invites all Harris alumni to submit opinion editorials for their Commentary section. Promote your professional brand to an audience of policy experts. 

Submit your editorial.

Send questions to the Chicago Policy Review editor in chief at editor.in.chief@chicagopolicyreview.org.