Shanon Reckinger, Break Through Tech Chicago instructor and associate professor of computer science at UIC, with an online/virtual Guild class

About Guild
Guild is a free one-week program that allows you to explore tech and get a better sense of whether it's for you.
1 week
Our next Guild will take place in winter 2021
Program Participants

Guild is open to women (cis and trans) and nonbinary individuals who are freshmen and sophomores at UIC or students in Chicago-area community colleges. You can be enrolled in any major or minor — or have not even decided on a major yet.

Additional Info

If you are curious about technology and want to join a supportive community of women who are also exploring tech, try Guild. You will have the chance to work in teams with other students to develop a tech-based solution to a problem that matters in your community.

How does Guild benefit you?

Panel of data showing a $101,181 salary for app developers in ChicagoParticipating in Guild requires five days out of your schedule. But it’s five days that could put you on course toward a rewarding career. If you discover that you like the world of technology (which many Guild participants do!) the Break Through Tech Chicago team can help you take the next steps toward a great tech job.

Consider this: the median base salary for an iOS app developer in Chicago is $101,181, according to Built in Chicago.

Every one of these app developers had to start somewhere. Maybe you start in Guild.

So you’re interested?

Participate at no cost!

Guild is free of charge! In addition, we provide each participant with $250 after the conclusion of the program.

We’ll loan you equipment if you need it.

All you need to participate in Guild is a laptop and an Internet connection, both of which we can provide on loan if you need it.

Schedule and topics

Guild sessions run Monday through Friday, 9am to 4pm. During part of each day, we will spend time exploring answers to these questions:

  • Community-building: With so much work and study being online, how can we make meaningful connections to others?
  • Design thinking: How can we work with others to understand and work on solutions to real-world problems?
  • Programming: How do I use programming tools to get user input, process data, and provide meaningful output?
  • Careers: What do industry professionals advise in their roles as mentors? What do computer science jobs look like?
  • Study: What are the next steps for me to explore a career in tech at my current school? What is the pathway to graduate with a major or minor in computer science from UIC?

Program dates and application instructions

Our next Guild will be held during the winter break between the fall 2021 and spring 2022 college semesters. We will post the application link on this page when it becomes available. Questions? Email Elena Lathos at

School-Specific Program Information

We are excited to welcome you to Guild!

Application Information

An application link will be posted closer to our next Guild cycle.

Partner Institution

UIC computer science logo

Guild Partners

  • CVS Health
  • Morningstar
  • nvisia
  • Relativity