What is it?
The Illinois Women in Computer Science Corporate Chicago Trip is an annual day trip to Downtown Chicago and provides the opportunity for WCS members to visit the offices of world-class companies for networking, recruiting, and learning about their diversity initiatives. These companies fall under the branch of technology, consulting, finance, banking, and much more. Each year, the Chicago Trip is organized by the Women in Computer Science corporate chairs and their committee. Attendees get the opportunity to visit the offices of 3–4 different companies, go on office tours, enjoy meals at each company, and meet professionals working in the industry. The Chicago Trip is open to anyone on campus, and is free of cost.
Our Trip on February 7th
This year, the Corporate Chicago Trip was held on Friday, February 7th. It proved to be one of our biggest trips in history, as we had over 40 attendees and got to visit the offices of PwC, JPMorgan Chase, and Google. We also planned a surprise Chicago activity for our attendees: going to the new Starbucks Reserve Roastery on Michigan Avenue!
Stop 1: PwC
Our day started off in the Thomas G. Siebel Center for Computer Science Atrium at 7:45AM, where all the attendees gathered together to check-in to the event and prepare themselves for the bus ride. After a 2.5 hour drive from Champaign to Chicago, our group arrived at the PwC office, a consulting firm that is taking strides in technology consulting, cybersecurity, and providing strong software solutions for their clients. At PwC, our attendees got the opportunity to learn about the company culture and their work through a short information session. After enjoying a nice lunch, we split up into small groups to take a tour of the office and network 1-on-1 with PwC professionals. Networking with them gave us the opportunity to learn first-hand about their experiences working there, both in terms of their professional work and personal benefits. To conclude our visit there, we attended a short presentation on recruiting and learning about opportunities to apply. Overall, our group had a great time visiting PwC and learning about the initiatives they are taking and the intersection between technology and consulting.
Stop 2: JPMorgan Chase
After visiting PwC, our group walked over to the JPMorgan Chase office located at Chase Tower. We started off the visit by splitting into groups to tour the office (p.s. they have an amazing view of the Willis Tower!). After the tour, we gathered into a conference room where the JPMorgan Chase professionals had prepared a panel discussion on women diversity initiatives within the company. It was very interesting to see the perspectives of women who have worked at JPMorgan Chase for over 5–10 years, and how the company has transformed in front of their eyes. It was very apparent that they loved the company and the work they are doing, and it was empowering to see how they all moved up to leadership positions that they were enjoying. We concluded our visit to JPMorgan Chase with a short Q&A session and getting information on opportunities to apply.
Surprise Stop: Starbucks Reserve!
Following JPMorgan Chase, we announced the location of our surprise Chicago activity: the Starbuck Reserve Roastery! Our journey from Chase Tower to the Starbucks Reserve, which was around a 20–25 minute walk, was definitely one of the highlights of the trip :) We all had fun walking around Chicago, enjoying the nice weather, and participating in an impromptu photo shoot!
Final Stop: Google
After reaching the Starbucks Reserve on Michigan Avenue, the group had around 20 minutes to explore the place and get coffee/pastries. We then proceeded to board the bus to visit the Google Chicago office located in Fulton Market. After reaching the Google office, the group proceeded to a conference room to attend a Q&A session with female engineers on their experience working at Google and the diversity initiatives they take as a company. Some of the insightful topics we discussed over pizza were how to stand out as an individual at a huge company and how the culture is different at different locations.
Following the presentation, we split into small groups to take a tour of the office, which was covered in beautiful graphic art and filled with snacks. We ended the tour by taking a group picture by the Google sign and stocking up with pizza for our bus ride back home :)
Overall, the WCS Corporate Chicago Trip went very successfully this year, and all of our attendees had a great time. On a final note, we would like to extend a huge thank you to PwC, JPMorgan Chase, and Google for hosting our group and planning an extensive schedule of events just for us. We would also like to thank our corporate committee, who helped us plan the event since the beginning of the school year, and all the WCS officers who attended the trip to make sure it ran smoothly. If you have any questions about WCS Corporate, please reach out to Shivani Jain or Devanshi Pratap at firstname.lastname@example.org! We hope to see you at future events and the WCS Corporate Chicago Trip 2021!