Fall Winter 08

The Core


The Ambassadors

They've Got Game

Meteoric Metcalfs


Editor's Note

Vox Populi

Secret History

It's A Small World

Remembering One of the Greats

Full Circle

Photo Finish

Ugandan Diaries

Go Ask Alumni

meteoric metcalfs

In the Windy City and Big Apple, four students plunge into the working world.

By Katherine E. Muhlenkamp
Photography by Dan Dry

If it was a lazy day of summer, someone forgot to tell senior Susan Zhou. On this July morning, Zhou was helping her supervisor at Ariel Investments, Jason Tyler, MBA’98, prepare a PowerPoint presentation. Sitting in Tyler’s office, she handed over the fruits of two weeks’ labor. Tyler studied the printouts for a moment and then launched into a whirlwind of suggestions. Shuffling the papers, he sketched graphs to illustrate his thoughts: “Use the same rate…”; “Do the same analysis here…”; “It should be the inverse.” Zhou asked questions, took notes, and then headed back to her office. Asked how long it would take to revise the slides, Zhou, calm and intrepid, replied, “I’m not sure!”

Zhou was one of 230 Chicago undergraduates who participated in the College’s Jeff Metcalf Fellows Program last summer. Administered through the office of Career Advising and Planning Services (CAPS), the Metcalf Program places students in paid ten-week summer internships exclusive to the College. Internships are available in fields ranging from business to education, research to public policy.

In the 1990s, University Trustee Byron Trott, AB’81, MBA’82, conceived of a formal summer internship program for students in the College. While enrolled in the College and the Graduate School of Business, Trott had received valuable career guidance from the late Harold “Jeff” Metcalf, AM’53, who was dean of students at the GSB. Realizing that Chicago undergraduates would benefit from similar support, Trott worked with Dean of the College John W. Boyer, AM’69, PhD’75, to develop the Metcalf Program. Trott’s motivation was twofold: he wanted to help students in the College and to honor his mentor Metcalf. Introduced in 1997, the program has flourished; students now intern in locations from Los Angeles to Vienna.

After the winter-quarter deadline to apply for Metcalfs, Chicago alumni help review the applications and conduct first-round interviews. Once this initial process has determined the top three candidates for a position, the participating organizations conduct final interviews to select their Metcalf interns. Throughout the application process, students receive detailed feedback from both alumni and CAPS staff.

This past year, 288 alumni served as Metcalf volunteers while many others hosted interns. “We could not do this without alumni support,” says Lucy Gee, an associate director at CAPS.

The Metcalf Fellows pictured here, all seniors, spent summer 2008 immersed in their respective internships. While Zhou was learning the ropes at Ariel in downtown Chicago, classmate Ariel Simon worked a few blocks north at Scholarship Chicago, a nonprofit that serves academically ambitious, high-need students. In New York City, Felipe Diaz-Arango worked at Arts Engine, a film company that creates social-issue documentaries, while Caroline Weisser interned at United Neighborhood Houses, an umbrella organization that supports New York communities.

All four students agreed that their experiences helped focus their career ambitions. “I’m not a person who knows that I want to do this, to do that,” said Weisser. “United Neighborhood Houses has been great at opening my eyes to things that I didn’t know I was capable of doing and things that I didn’t even realize were options.”

Meteoric Metcalfs Photo 1

Caroline Weisser on her way to work at United Neighborhood Houses.

Meteoric Metcalfs Photo 2

Combing through movie files, Felipe Diaz-Arango researches potential niche audiences.

Meteoric Metcalfs Photo 3

At Scholarship Chicago, Ariel Simon consults with colleague Ruby Hasnie, AB’07.

Meteoric Metcalfs Photo 4

Susan Zhou and Jason Tyler, MBA’98, crunch the numbers.

Meteoric Metcalfs Photo 5

Caroline Weisser discussing her internship with UNH board members Carrie Bowers, MBA’04, and Patrick Vatel, AB’93.