Your Major, Your Career

Curious how your selection of an academic major will impact your career? Join us for a panel discussion highlighting alumni with backgrounds from a variety of different fields, including law, finance, consulting, and public policy in a non-profit setting. We will talk about how to pick a major, how to build your skills through both coursework and experiential education, and how to chart a career path based on your strengths, interests, and values. This panel is perfect for students who have yet to declare a major or who have declared a major but still want to explore other options.

Panel Participants

Eliza Bryant, AB'05, MAT'06

Educator , Big Shoulders Fund

Ms. Bryant grew up in the suburbs of New York City. In 2002, she transferred from Emerson College to the University of Chicago, where she completed her undergraduate degree in history with a focus on religion and slavery in early America. She continued her education and received a master's in teaching from the Urban Teacher Education Program (UChicago UTEP). After this, she taught first and second grade in Chicago Public Schools for five years before becoming an instructional coach with UChicago STEM Education (formerly CEMSE). From 2008-2013, she was a founding design team member of Be the Change Collaborative and continues to sit on their board. Today, she is Director of Academic Programs and Enrichment with Big Shoulders Fund, an independent charitable organization that supports Chicago's Catholic schools serving low-income student populations. Eliza is a 2018 Barbara Bowman Leadership Fellow at Erikson Institute

David Navarro, AB'90, JD'93 University of Iowa

Circuit Court Judge, Cook County Circuit Court

Judge Navarro graduated from the College in 1990, with a degree in English. He is currently a Cook County Circuit Court Judge. He presides in the PreTrial Justice Division. Prior to that he was Assistant Attorney General at the Illinois Attorney General's Office where he served as Chief of the Public Integrity Bureau. He also worked as assistant state's attorney with the Cook County State's Attorney's Office for over 15 years. He has worked on many corruption investigations and in 2007 was appointed as a special assistant U.S. attorney to work on an investigation involving the Chicago Police Department Special Operations Section. He is an adjunct faculty member of the John Marshall Law School and the Loyola School of Law and is a graduate of the University of Iowa-College of Law.

Maria-Alicia Serrano, AB'00, MPA, Indiana University Bloomington

Senior Director, Strategic Research & Analysis, YMCA of the USA

Ms. Serrano began her career at the Chicago Housing Authority leading the development of strategic plans. She then joined AREA, Inc., a national research and public policy consulting firm where she became Vice President and led evaluations of programs for marginalized populations. In 2014, Ms. Serrano joined YMCA of the USA where she is the Senior Director, Strategic Research & Analysis. She directs national research and analytical projects to ensure organizational activities are informed by data. Her team designs interactive data visualizations and other decision-analysis tools to provide insights and recommendations to YMCAs. Ms. Serrano graduated from the College in 2000 with a degree in Law, Letters & Society. At the College, she joined Alpha Omicron Pi and served as chair of the philanthropy and chapter relations committees. She holds a Master of Public Affairs Degree from the School of Public & Environmental Affairs at Indiana University. (Table 88)

Kate Welham, AB'08

Senior Director of Institutional Giving and Development Operations, Goodman Theatre

Ms. Welham graduated from the College in 2008 with an AB in history and a wealth of experience from University Theatre. During her time at the University and immediately after graduation, she held a series of internships before being hired by Goodman Theatre in early 2009. After moving through a variety of positions at the Goodman, she now oversees $3 million in annual support for specific productions, new play development, education programs, and the general operations of the theater. She also oversees technology implementation across fundraising platforms and serves as an active member of the Tessitura Network. Ms. Welham also worked for several years in Chicago's 'storefront' theater community as a freelance production manager and co-founded The Whiskey Rebellion Theatre with two other UChicago alumnae.