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Design Your Summer

Professional and Competency Development

Mel weekend students on quadStaff from across the University have come together to identify and curate resources for students to build professional skills and competencies that we think will compliment your academic coursework. Many of the offerings represent skills and competencies we know will be sought after by employers, graduate programs, fellowship organizations, and many other opportunities you may seek during the upcoming summers or post-graduation. They also connect directly to all of the College Competencies at the University of Rochester.

Medallion Program - Leadership

The Medallion Program is the College's premier leadership development experience. Completing the program provides undergraduate students with proficient knowledge in the College Competency: Leadership. It is uniquely designed to allow students to enter the program at any point, meaning attending a workshop in either Level 1 or 2 (even before enrolling) is acceptable. The program's sophisticated attendance tracking allows students to track and document their progress once they are ready to enroll. Each workshop is connected to one of six foundational domains of the Medallion Program: intrapersonal development, knowledge acquisition, cognitive complexity, practical competence, civic engagement, interpersonal competence, as well as one of the seven College Competencies. Explore the workshops available and follow the Medallion Program on Facebook or Instagram @medallionprogram.

Professional Development - Success Skills

The Success Skills project started with our 2019 Design Challenge student winners – Adventure Capital.

The idea is simple: curate a list of courses, trainings, and learning opportunities in order to develop skills or competencies that compliment what students learn in their courses. The pilot effort focuses on key areas identified by alumni and students.

Check out some of the offerings and feel free to recommend other resources using the volunteer/recommendation form.

CAS 095: Life Design Summer Institute

Tuesdays, 3:00-4:30 P.M. EST
July 6 - August 14

20 Students

Registration Deadline:
July 5. Register today!

Students will need to purchase the Designing Your Life book. There are no other associated program fees.

Join the Greene Center for a six-week, online program that will immerse you in the application of Life Design strategies and mindsets and connect you to real-world projects with companies. You will learn to get curious, try stuff out, talk to people and tell your story and be given personalized connections to people, resources and opportunities to help move you from ideas to action. Participants will also be matched with a career adviser and connect with alumni who will extend your learning beyond the screen and prepare you to test drive one of your Life Design experiments. Questions can be emailed to Cathy Caiazza.

A Guide to Gig Work

Increasingly, more students are entering the “gig economy” which is a trend for the Future of Work. We compiled some resources and created a gig economy guide to help students answer questions about how to establish a side-hustle.

Please note: All international students must consult with an ISO adviser to determine eligibility to undertake any gig work or an internship.


The Greene Center has set aside funding to help students access professional development and skill building opportunities. Check out the application and deadlines.

Summer Prep Programs & College Initiatives


Preparing for opportunities after completing your program at UR can be a challenge. We created some “prep programs” this summer to help with applying for fellowships, preparing for graduate schools, applying to post-docs, and more! Check out the offerings in CCC.


Talk To People

A big part of your success will revolve around the relationships you will create. Check out the Meliora Collective to reach out to alumni and faculty who have volunteered to give advice, recommendations, and support to students.

Rochester tote bagCoronavirus Design Challenge

A team of departments have come together to create a Design Challenge open to ALL students. We have also identified national or international challenges that may be of interest to students. Check out these challenges as they will be ways to build skills and share your insights on problems facing our communities.

UR Coronavirus Challenge

In this ten day innovation challenge, University of Rochester students will work in virtual teams to develop solutions for addressing COVID-related challenges in the City of Rochester. At the end of the challenge they’ll present their solution to their community partner and a panel of judges with a chance of winning the $1,500 grand prize. For more information, check out the Coronavirus Design Challenge.

National or International Challenges, Hackathons or Competitions

There are a number of great team-based challenges or competitions that students can participate in this summer. We compiled a number of them here – create a team and enter to build skills, solve a problem facing a business or community, and, in some cases, win prizes.

Virtual Internships and Projects

The Greene Center has been working with technology partners to identify and create virtual internships and projects that range in length and compensation. Check out our curated list of custom partner resources as well as new and exciting opportunities posted by employers (including alumni) on Handshake.

We are also excited to promote some early-stage companies that UR students and young alumni have founded – check them out for opportunities to work on project, build skills or explore career paths:

CrossRoads Create

As a response to help students during this Covid-19 crisis, CrossRoads Create (a UR startup) is launching a "Summer Side-Hustle Program" that is designed to help students work together on projects and gain valuable skills and experience this summer as a community. It’s a virtual 6-week structured, self-led program that will help students explore a problem they care about with a team and build it into a functioning product through an entrepreneurial approach. You don’t need an idea or team to apply.  Our goal is to help facilitate a valuable experience for students that will help them build technical and soft skills in their field of interest. We will also have some amazing industry professionals as speakers to connect with and learn from.


Are you staying at home and worrying about your summer internship because most of them are canceled? Swiping social media all day but still have nothing new on your resume? Trying to find a way to improve yourselves but ending up laying back to your bed? 
No worries, YoloShadow is here to help! We are a platform that provides job shadow opportunities for travelers and young professionals around the world. Yolo’s job shadow experience is a great way to explore career options in different parts of the world. That is, combining job shadow experience with cultural immersion. During the quarantine time, we will tell you everything you need to know about YoloShadow and how to engage in this ever-changing world. (we promise you it is way better than Instagram nominations.)

Like our pages and stay updated:

Reimagining Pathways to Employment Challenge

This Challenge - powered by MIT Solve, the Morgridge Family Foundation and New Profit—seeks the most promising solutions that accelerate pathways to current and future employment across the US. Solutions that focus on non-coastal states, US interior regions, and/or racial justice are encouraged to apply.

Rapid Reskilling XPRIZE

Under-resourced communities in the U.S. face systemic barriers to learning, mobility, and progress. Core problems impeding effective workforce development include a widening skills gap, deteriorating job quality, and a lack of collaboration between players in the labor market. With an unprecedented digital disruption and adoption caused by COVID-19 comes a new opportunity to radically change the lives of millions of Americans.

The winning team will leverage novel solutions that will rapidly train 500 individuals in 60 days or less at no entry cost, place as many as possible within 60 days, ensure job retention of at least 90 days, and demonstrate exponential adoption by deploying the training solutions for 5,000 individuals in three industries.

Register today!

Summer Civic Engagement Opportunities

2020 Census Opportunities

The United States 2020 Census is still in progress, with counting continuing through October 2020. The Census provides demographic data about the US population that is vital to research, political representation, and the allocation of government resources.

The University has worked with the local Census office to ensure that all undergraduate students who would normally have been living on campus as of April 1, 2020, have been counted. If you were living off campus this past semester (again, not counting those who moved away from campus due to the pandemic), or if you’re a graduate student, you should still complete the Census form yourself. Moreover, there are opportunities to promote the Census here in Rochester or wherever you are this summer, to ensure that people in all communities are well counted. (You can view an interactive map of the Census response rates on the Census response rates page.)

Depending on the needs of your local Census office, there may still be job opportunities available to help with this work.

Get Involved with Election 2020

Every year is an election year, and this one is a big one, with the US presidency up for grabs, as well as other national, state, and local representatives, offices, and initiatives on the ballot.

Many states are still conducting primary elections—both for the US presidential race and for other offices—and need people to work at the polls to ensure that elections are free and fair, and to translate for voters who speak languages other than English. Requirements for this work vary from state to state, so check with your local board of elections to learn more.

In New York State, election laws require bi-partisan collaboration in the administration of elections, and so the local boards of elections (including in Monroe County) are looking for voters who are registered locally as either Democrats or Republicans to serve as election inspectors and translators, both for primary elections this month and for the general election in the fall. You can find more information about how to sign up on New York State’s become a poll worker page.

Of course, if you’re eligible to vote and are not already registered, please register and exercise your right to vote! People have died for that right, and representative democracy can’t work well without your participation!

With so many elections up for grabs, there are a lot of campaigns looking for support and volunteers. This presents a great opportunity to learn about the democratic process and inform yourself about issues that are important to you.

Research the candidates that represent the location where you live, and identify those whose platforms best align with your views and interests. Then reach out to inquire about helping with their campaign—they should be glad to have you! Typical duties include:

  • Assisting with outreach to voters
  • Planning and managing events
  • Helping with publicity and communications

While international students may not vote or contribute financially to US political campaigns, they are still able to volunteer to work on campaigns.

Interested in offering a course, program, internship or project?
Interested in volunteering?
Do you have a recommendation for a resource?