School of
Integrative Biology

Services and Events

Click on the icons below to navigate to the different services available to you.


Career Connections Discord

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We're leveraging the awesome community feel of Discord to give you a space to ask and answer anything related to careers.

What's available?

  • job openings, research opportunities, volunteer events, and more
  • answers about grad school, med school, professional schools, from people who are currently applying or have already gotten in.
  • insights into the current job market from recent alumni currently applying and professionals who are hiring new grads, so you know exactly what to expect when looking for jobs and internships.
  • connections with professionals and mentors to learn what their jobs are really like
  • anything else you need!

It's your space, so build the community that will help you succeed! Our alumni mentors have already joined and are ready to answer your questions.

Check it out at:

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Book an Individual Appointment

Christina Swanson

I can help you wherever you are at right now with your career. You don't need to have a resume made, a solid idea of your career, or to even know what your question is. I'd be happy to help. I have 80+ connections to professionals, recruiters, mentors, peer leaders, and others who can help you move forward. My goal is for you to leave knowing your next steps and who can help you get there.

Appointments are available Monday through Friday. Schedule your appointment at:


Biology Application Reviews

If you’re applying for jobs, internships, graduate programs, scholarships, or anything that requires application materials this service is right for you. Christina can help you brainstorm to get started, tailor your application for the job, figure out what employers are looking for, help refine your language, and more. Appointments are available Monday through Friday. Schedule your appointment at:


Weekly Career Drop-In Hours

Christina Swanson office door
  • Virtual: Wednesdays from 2-3PM Central Time
  • In-Person: Wednesdays from 3-4PM Central Time

We may not always be on campus, but we are still here to answer any questions you have! In addition to individual appointments I will be available twice weekly for drop-in hours. If you ever reach a point where you don't know where to go next, don't know who to ask, or don't even know what questions to ask I can help get you moving in the right direction. I can lend a sympathetic ear, we can strategize and brainstorm, or we can even go over application materials. Whatever would benefit you most.

I'm looking forward to working with you this year, even if it's in a virtual setting!

You can drop in to my Zoom room with the password "career" during the times above and I'll get to you as quickly as I can.

  • Zoom Meeting link:
  • Meeting ID: 929 6650 3768
  • Password: career

  • If you need any accommodations or have any questions contact Christina Swanson at


    IB292 Career Course

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    Tuesdays at 4:00PM Central Time, 1 Credit Hour, Synchronous Virtual

    Planning your future was already tough, but with COVID-19 has come new and unpredictable challenges. It is more important than ever to understand how to be successful on the job market, how to market your skill sets, and what your career options are. It will be essential to gain connections and allies in your fields of interest. We can help with all of that in IB292.

    If you have questions about logistics, or how the class can work in your busy schedule, reach out to Christina Swanson at Learn more at


    Alumni Mentoring and Support

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    Email Christina Swanson to be matched with a professional in your field!

    We have over 50 IB graduates, now professionals in a huge range of fields, who are excited to talk with you about how to advance your career. All of our alumni mentors are available for conversations, informational interviews, advice, and mentorship, depending on what is most beneficial to you.

    It's easy to connect with professionals in your fields of interest - email Christina Swanson at and she will match you to the right person for you! After a short conversation we can identify the person who will be most helpful for you and make an introduction. Christina can help you figure out what to say in that initial email, what kinds of questions to ask, and how to maintain a strong professional network.

    You can also connect with our alumni mentors as well as current IB peer leaders on our Career Connections Discord server


  • check back for Fall 2021 events



    Building your Powerful LinkedIn Profile Workshop

    Friday, November 13 at 2:00PM Central Time

    How do you stand out from other applicants in a competitive job market?

    How do you make connections with companies and influential alumni?

    LinkedIn Workshop Ad

    Your digital profiles, especially LinkedIn, are the first place to start. “How to Build Your Powerful LinkedIn Profile" will go over how to leverage LinkedIn to connect with employers and alumni. The Career Center will provide a profile check-list to follow as you create your LinkedIn profile and will talk about improving your personal brand to stand out from the crowd. Hosted by Integrative Biology and Beta Psi Omega.

  • Register here

  • If you need any accommodations or have any questions contact Christina Swanson at


    "Yes, We Are Struggling, Too" Motivation Forum

    Wednesday, November 18 at 5:00PM Central Time

    LinkedIn Workshop Ad

    You are not alone – everyone is struggling with motivation right now, even your professors and peers who look like they have it all together. We’ll share quick and easy tips to jump start your motivation before the end of the semester.

    You’ll get suggestions from professors, successful professionals, peer leaders, and academic advisors. Three IB and MCB peer leaders will share their experiences and be available to answer your questions.

    Register at

    If you need any accommodations or have any questions contact Christina Swanson at


    Grad School Workshop

    Thor Hansen

    Thursday, October 1 at 3:00PM Central Time

    Learn from a current PhD student the ins and outs of grad school - what it is really like, how to know if it’s right for you, which program is right for you, how to apply, what the interview is like, and more!

    Thor Hansen was in your shoes just a few years ago, an IB undergrad trying to figure out where to go for his Master’s degree. He has gone through two rounds of searching for and successfully finding research-based grad programs and has helped countless other undergrads as well.


    “I wish I had someone to answer all of my questions and walk me through the process, so I would love to be that person for you!”

  • Register at:

  • If you need any accommodations or have any questions contact Christina Swanson at


    Best Practices for Virtual Interviewing

    Wednesday, September 30 at 6:00PM Central Time

    What does the shift to virtual communication mean for your upcoming interviews? James Castree from The Career Center will address some of the changes to the interview process and share insights into how to put your best (virtual) foot forward. This event is co-hosted by Beta Psi Omega, The School of Integrative Biology and The School of Molecular and Cellular Biology.  

  • Zoom Meeting Link:
  • Meeting ID: 924 8344 5398
  • Password: BPO

  • If you need any accommodations or have any questions contact Christina Swanson at


    Virtual Career Fair Prep Session for the Sciences

    Tuesday, September 15 at 5:30PM Central Time

    Did you know that all of the UIUC career fairs will be virtual this year? The Virtual Career Fair Prep Session for the Sciences will go over what this means for engaging with companies and recruiters, what the online platform (CareerEco) will look like, how to prepare, and how to get the most out of the experience. This workshop is meant to prepare any science student for the new virtual environment, regardless of previous experience with career fairs. Join us on Tuesday, September 15 at 5:30PM Central Time. 


    If you need any accommodations or have any questions contact Christina Swanson at

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    Movie Night: The Life of Birds

    Movie Night

    January 24 at 6:00 PM in 2079 NHB (the large auditorium)

    Come hang out with your fellow IB students and watch a great movie! We will be screening the BBC Earth's The Life of Birds with David Attenborough. We will have a expert ornithologists Shelby Lawson and Nick Antonson from the Hauber lab at the screening to provide insights and answer any questions you have.

    Light refreshments provided (popcorn!)

    Field Trip: Miller Park Zoo in Bloomington, IL


    January 31 from noon-5PM

    We will be visiting the Miller Park Zoo in Bloomington, with our tours lead by expert ornithologist Dr. Mark Hauber and Shannon Reedy, the Miller Park Zoo Education Instructor. Shannon has been a Keeper and Instructor at Miller Park Zoo for 20 years and has a ton of great insights into both the animals and what it takes to be successful in the field. You will get to visit with the animals in a classroom space, dive into Zoo-related topics, and get guided tours of the exhibits. You will also have time to explore the Zoo on your own after the tour.


    Animal Highlights: Reindeer, Sumatran tiger, greater flamingos, river otters, red pandas, Lemurs, Galapagos tortoise, bald eagles, snow leopards, Gibbons, red wolves

    Because of the unpredictable nature of traveling in the winter the times may be modified, but our anticipated schedule is:

    Noon - on the road to Bloomington

    1:00 - arrive at Miller Park Zoo

    1:15 - guided tour of the exhibits, visit with the animals in a classroom space, discussion

    3:00 - free time to explore the Zoo

    4:00 - leave for Champaign

    5:00 - arrive on campus

    Light refreshments provided. We will be walking around and visiting animals, so wear comfortable shoes and clothes you don't mind getting a bit dirty. While we will have some light snacks we still advise that you bring your own water bottle and any other food you might need.

    Research Workshop

    Undergraduate Research Opportunities: Info & Eats

    Tuesday, February 4 from 2-3PM. Learning Center, 2092 Natural History Building

    There are a lot of opportunities across campus to do research, but it’s not always easy to know how, when, or where to apply. If you have a ton of questions about the research application process, you’re not alone! We have an opportunities for you to talk with IB faculty and graduate students about research opportunities and eat some free food while you’re at it (while it lasts)! Start the application process off right - stop by the Learning Center on Tuesday afternoon to get more information about undergraduate research.

    Pizza and soda will be available - first come, first served

    If you will need disability-related accommodations in order to participate, let Christina Swanson know by emailing We are happy to work with you

    Exploring Crystal Lake with Dr. Carla Caceres

    Caceres Trip

    September 13 from 2-4 PM

    Sample on the pond for plankton, oxygen, chlorophyll, D-net for insects along the short, and seine for fish all with an expert ecologist! We’ll have microscopes in the Lake House shelter to get a closer look at your catch

    Transportation is available for the first 24 to sign up, but everyone is more than welcome to join! The park is right outside of campus, so you can also take the bus, carpool, bike, or even a long walk.

    Light refreshments provided. We will have a shelter available, but we will still be collecting in a natural area so be sure to wear weather-appropriate clothes that you don't mind getting dirty.

    Introduction to U of I Natural Areas with Dr. Brian Allan

    Allan Trip

    October 4 from 2-5 PM

    Join Dr. Brian Allan for a tour of the U of I Natural Areas, representing diverse habitats maintained by the University for field research. You’ll get a chance to explore natural areas you won’t otherwise have access to, get a guided tour with an expert naturalist, and learn about the history of these sites from the time the cities of Champaign and Urbana were founded.

    Transportation and light refreshments provided, but it is highly advised to bring your own water bottle. The tours will include hiking through wooded areas with uneven terrain, so be sure to wear sturdy walking shoes and pants. You may also want to bring sunscreen, bug spray, a hat, etc.

    If you have questions or want more information contact Christina Swanson at or Brian Allan at

    U of I Conservatory and Greenhouse Tour with Dr. Stephen Downie

    Conservatory Trip

    November 15 from 3-4 PM

    Experience the tropics without leaving U of I – the Conservatory has both the plants and temperature of the tropics, with over 200 species and 60 families from a range of habitats. You’ll get to learn about plants such as the corpse flower, the elusive Himalayan Blue Poppy, and “carrion plants” from an expert plant biologist, and you may even get to witness the construction of an epiphyte tree!

    Everyone is welcome, and heartily encouraged to participate in this safe space.

    Hate has no home here.