The Career Development Office is committed to helping students and alumni prepare and position themselves to act upon a wide range of exciting professional opportunities.

The Career Development Office team is here to help you identify your objectives and the resources necessary for achieving them.

Adam McGriffin
Director of Career Development and External Partnerships

Throughout his varied career, making a difference has always been central in Adam's life. Whether planning initiatives, directing strategies, or executing programs, his emphasis is always on improving the status quo and has led to measurable results. 

Adam leads the Career Development Office for the University of Chicago, Harris Public Policy. Prior to joining the University of Chicago he served as the Global Partnership and Government Relations Manager for Lions Club International, the world's largest service club organization. His primary focus was on building connections with organizations around the world, including the U.S. Congress, international corporations, governments, and NGO's. 

In 2014, McGriffin was appointed by the Illinois governor as a Commissioner on the Illinois Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service. He also serves on the Illinois Advisory Committee of the United States Global Leadership Coalition. Adam hold a BA from Purdue University and a MBA from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Prospective employers should connect with Adam to discuss building full-time and internship hiring pipelines for their organizations.

Email | LinkedIn

Nick Fahnders
Associate Director, Career Readiness

Nick brings more than seven years of higher education experience to UChicago, primarily with career development, college housing/residence life, and classroom instruction. He earned his Master's degree in Higher Education & Student Affairs from the University of Connecticut, and holds a B.S. in Psychology with a Leadership Studies minor from Bradley University. In his spare time, Nick enjoys reading, traveling, eating Portillo’s hot dogs and teaching Zumba classes at the West Cook YMCA. He strives to build smarter, engaging communication and assessment strategies at Harris to enhance your career opportunities.

Contact Nick to make the most of your job search.

Email | LinkedIn

Ethan Rucker
Assistant Director, Career Readiness

Through his experiences as a licensed professional counselor, advisor, and educator, Ethan established his passion for cultivating student career readiness. He received a BS in Psychology from the University of Florida and taught in Indianapolis through Teach for America. Ethan moved to Chicago in 2014 and earned an Ed.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Loyola University Chicago. He advised students in career engagement and planning at Loyola as both a graduate career advisor and academic advisor.

Contact Ethan to discuss how to make the most of your job search.

Email | LinkedIn

Leslie Andersen
Associate Director, Government Sector Relations

Leslie is a transplanted Easterner proud to call Chicago home for several years who joined Harris Public Policy in April 2011 after working in Career Services at 5 other colleges and universities, including Mount Holyoke College, The University of Iowa, and Illinois Institute of Technology. She started her career after graduating from Smith College, with the City of Philadelphia Department of Public Welfare and also worked for the American Bar Association and the Illinois CPA Society.  Leslie earned a Master’s in Education, Counseling from University of Massachusetts-Amherst. She faithfully supports activities involving hunger and food insecurity and volunteers annually as the Logistics chair for the South DuPage CROP Walk Against Hunger. When not enthusiastically assisting Harris students and alumni with their career goals and job search, particularly in the public sector, Leslie enjoys gardening, baking, and multicultural literature and arts.

Contact Leslie to discuss careers in governmental organizations and how to make the most of your job search.

Email | LinkedIn

Paige Azuma
Associate Director, Nonprofit Sector Relations

Since 2007, Paige has supported the work of the nonprofit sector, starting her career in program development for several youth and family nonprofit organizations in Chicago. She received her M.A. from the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration in 2013.  Most recently, Paige worked in a consulting capacity at CCS Fundraising, where she supported national and international nonprofits in various capacities through communications, strategic planning, campaign planning, organizational assessments, capacity building, national/international fundraising strategies, and donor engagement strategies for national donor audiences.

Contact Paige to discuss careers in nonprofit organizations and how to make the most of your job search.

Email | LinkedIn

Beckee Birger
Associate Director, Private Sector Relations

A Chicago native, Beckee is passionate about connecting people to the skills they need to be successful. She's worked as a staff attorney at Equip for Equality and ran an AmeriCorps program called Illinois JusticeCorps, teaching undergraduate volunteers the basics of the legal system.  Most recently, she worked at the Posse Foundation where she helped a diverse group of future leaders build their careers.  Beckee graduated cum laude from Suffolk University and received a J.D. from DePaul University with a certificate in Public Interest Law.  In her free time, Beckee sits on the board of trustees of an education non-profit called InterFuture and takes pro bono immigration cases.      

Contact Beckee to discuss careers in business and consulting and how to make the most of your job search.

Email | LinkedIn


Additional Career Resource: UCHICAGOGRAD

Along with the Career Readiness Team for Harris, there are additional tools and resources to help you explore your options, connect with professionals, and develop professional skills at UChicagoGRAD. For more information, click here.