Student Engagement Specialist

Updated: 7 days ago
Location: Light Street, PENNSYLVANIA
Job Type: FullTime


Harris School Student Life Sub Group

About the Department

Why Policy? For a better world. Why Harris Public Policy? Because when it comes to better policymaking, evidence matters. We work at the frontiers of data collection and analysis, using the latest technology and social science methods to design policies that work for society. We conduct rigorous inquiry in an environment of innovation and risk taking. We collaborate across the private, public, and nonprofit sectors, adopting new methodologies to drive better solutions. We engage with our city, our world, and our leaders every day to evaluate and test our ideas. And we lead with our passion for driving social change, knowing that passion alone does not equal impact.

Job Summary

Reporting to the Senior Associate Director of Student Engagement, the Student Engagement Specialist will play a key role in the student engagement team of Professional and Career Development unit at Harris. They will be responsible for fostering a robust community of aspiring policy leaders; ensuring Harris students are forming meaningful networks across degree programs, student demographic groups, cohorts, and within the greater University of Chicago graduate student community. The Student Engagement Specialist is integral in fostering the professional and career development of Harris students by the cultivation of co-curricular experiences that deepen students’ sense of belonging, create opportunities for mentorship and peer support, instill civic responsibility, facilitate personal development, and promote overall student wellness.


  • Advises and manages a high-touch relationship with a large portfolio of Harris Student Organizations regularly attending organizational meetings, conducting regular one-on-ones with organizational leadership.
  • Provides event support to all student organization programs and initiatives; including processing and approving all event registrations and performing risk management assessment to ensure their sustainability and impact.
  • Oversees all financial transactions of student organizations and the financial stewardship of student leadership; including processing expenditures and basic budget accounting.
  • Supports the Harris Mentor Program by managing the programming for first year students and other responsibilities as assigned.
  • Leads efforts in cohort and class community programming; focusing on building affinity and connections amongst the diverse Harris student body.
  • Supports orientation by managing the following components; community wide programming during Math & Coding Camp, Jumpstart community programming, cohort meetings, maintain the orientation canvas site and online orientation modules, slack engagement, Academic Year Kick-Off, all community wide lunches and receptions, and other responsibilities as assigned.
  • Supports Grad Week by managing the following components; Swag Pick Up, Open House, Last Night Out, communication campaigns, canvas site, and other responsibilities as assigned.
  • Advises the Harris Student Government Social Committee, providing key leadership to its daily operations; including conducting regular one-on-ones with the Social Chair and committee members.
  • Manages and supervise at least one graduate assistant to support programming efforts and one graduate assistant to support communications efforts.
  • Manages all team communications channels including; Harris Headlines (by-weekly newsletter), Instagram, and Slack engagement.
  • Plans and implements Harris After Hours and other community wide building programs.
  • Plans and implements quarterly moral boosting programming throughout the academic year.
  • Takes the lead in supporting and program planning for mental health and wellness programs for all Harris students; planning quarter programming and regular communications.
  • Coordinates with relevant campus offices and boards, including the Center for Leadership and Involvement, UChicago Grad, the Institute of Politics, Health Promotional and Wellness and others to collaborate on services and events for Harris students and connect Harris students to campus resources related to student life programming.
  • Takes an entrepreneurial approach to student life and community building, suggesting and executing on new initiatives that enhance the student experience.
  • Serves as day of support staff for team, school wide, and student driven programming.
  • Coordinates with the students and staff to develop activities, programs, and initiatives related to student life, and/or community involvement. Develops and implements straightforward programming.
  • Markets student activities programming throughout the year. Develops and implements protocols for evaluating the effectiveness of programs.
  • Performs other related work as needed.

Minimum Qualifications


Minimum requirements include a college or university degree in related field.

Work Experience:

Minimum requirements include knowledge and skills developed through 2-5 years of work experience in a related job discipline.



Preferred Qualifications


  • Master’s degree. Degree in college student development, student affairs, higher education, counseling, or similar.


  • Experience advising student organizations.
  • Event management experience.  
  • Experience working with graduate students.
  • Experience working with international students.
  • Familiarity with higher education environment, preferably at a private, research one institution.

Technical Skills or Knowledge:

  • Ability to operate Microsoft Word, Excel, the internet and email at the intermediate level.
  • Knowledge of graphic design and the Adobe Creative Suite .

Preferred Competencies

  • Work rooted in student development theory and best practices.
  • Ability to quickly garner credibility with students.
  • Ability to articulate a personal definition to the impact of student engagement and their personal student advising style.
  • Presentation and facilitation skills/experience.
  • Interest in working in a student facing, high touch environment.
  • Ability to work in an open office environment.
  • Entrepreneurial, good problem-solving skills, comfortable working autonomously
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Professional demeanor, including tact, discretion, and a customer-service oriented approach to the job.
  • Demonstrated ability to review and prioritize work in order to take appropriate actions without advanced approval, ensuring close attention to detail
  • Ability to work with constituents at all levels.
  • Ability to work collegially and collaboratively in a team setting.
  • Willingness and ability to work some evenings and weekends.
  • Excellent project management skills.

Application Documents

  • Resume (required)
  • Cover Letter (preferred)

When applying, the document(s) MUST  be uploaded via the My Experience page, in the section titled Application Documents of the application.

Job Family

Student Affairs & Services

Role Impact

Individual Contributor

FLSA Status


Pay Frequency


Scheduled Weekly Hours


Benefits Eligible


Requires Compliance with University Covid-19 Vaccination Requirement


Drug Test Required


Health Screen Required


Motor Vehicle Record Inquiry Required


Posting Statement

Employees must comply with the University’s COVID-19 vaccination requirements. More information about the requirements can be found on the University of Chicago Vaccination GoForward .
The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/ Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination.


Staff Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-5800 or submit a request via Applicant Inquiry Form.


We seek a diverse pool of applicants who wish to join an academic community that places the highest value on rigorous inquiry and encourages a diversity of perspectives, experiences, groups of individuals, and ideas to inform and stimulate intellectual challenge, engagement, and exchange.


All offers of employment are contingent upon a background check that includes a review of conviction history.  A conviction does not automatically preclude University employment.  Rather, the University considers conviction information on a case-by-case basis and assesses the nature of the offense, the circumstances surrounding it, the proximity in time of the conviction, and its relevance to the position.


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