Welcome to the Odyssey Career Resource Center! As a first-year Odyssey Scholar, you have access to a unique set of resources that will help you explore your career interests and develop a strong foundation for your professional development. You also have the opportunity to be matched with an employer and earn a funded internship or research opportunity during the summer after your first year, with a stipend of up to $5,000 for a full-time opportunity.
The First-Year Odyssey Career Program page provides detailed information regarding:
For helpful links and answers to commonly asked questions, please review the Odyssey Career Resources FAQ and resources. Stay up-to-date on upcoming Career Advancement events and programming for Odyssey Scholars by visiting UChicago Handshake and downloading the Odyssey Event Calendar.
Odyssey Career Advising
As a first-year Odyssey Scholar, you have an assigned Career Advancement adviser that is here to support you through every step of your career development. You are encouraged to be in touch with them regularly throughout the year. You can set up an appointment with them through UChicago Handshake or by emailing them directly.
First-Year Odyssey Summer Match Program
All first-year Odyssey Scholars are eligible to be matched with an employer and earn a funded internship or research opportunity during the summer after your first year, with a stipend of up to $5,000 for a full-time opportunity. As an Odyssey Scholar, your career adviser will help you identify internships that align with your interests and goals and assist you with preparing your application materials.
All opportunities secured through the First-Year Odyssey Summer Match Program are considered Odyssey Metcalf internships. The Odyssey Metcalf Internship Program is under the umbrella of the university’s Jeff Metcalf Internship Program, which provides paid, substantive internships exclusively to UChicago students.
First-Year Odyssey Career Program Requirements
Download the Odyssey Metcalf Funding Requirements chart to view a comprehensive overview of required programming and track your progress.
To qualify for summer internship funding through the Odyssey Career Program, Odyssey Scholars must complete a series of special professional development programs. These programs will give you a holistic professional skillset and prepare you to thrive during your summer opportunity.
To gain access to summer funding, you need to meet the following requirements:
- Attend one group advising session with your assigned Odyssey career adviser once per quarter
- Attend three signature Career Advancement programs:
- (1) Odyssey Kickoff and Summer Internships Overview on October 5, 2021 from 3:00pm-4:00pm | RSVP here.
- (2) Taking the Next Step on January 22, 2022
- (3) Diversity & Inclusion Summit on February 3, 2022
We also strongly encourage you to attend the Odyssey & Empower Internship Preparation Workshop during the spring quarter. The date will be announced later in the year. Please note that attendance at this event is not required, however.
If you are unable to attend a mandatory Signature Programming event, you may attend a Peer-Led Session or a different Odyssey Career Program event as a substitute event. You may also participate in a Career Advancement winter or spring break trek or job shadowing experience as a substitute event. Please notify your career adviser about any conflicts in advance.
*Event dates are subject to change. Always check UChicago Handshake for event details.
Eligibility Criteria for Self-Secured Internships
If you opt out of the First-Year Odyssey Summer Match Program and secure an unpaid or partially paid summer internship, you can submit a request for Odyssey internship funding. Career Advancement has a template that you can use to e-mail potential employers about participating in the Odyssey Metcalf Program.
To ensure that you have a high-quality internship experience that will support your professional growth, the proposed internship must meet the following criteria to qualify for Odyssey internship grant funding:
1) Your professional experience must take place during summer 2022.
According to your class schedule and commitments, your summer experience may start/finish earlier or later. For the College policy on summer internship start dates, please refer to the Undergraduate Student Recruiting Guidelines.
2) Your professional experience may be located in the U.S. or abroad.
3) You must have a direct supervisor.
4) You must perform work that provides you with a substantive professional experience (defined below).
5) Your experience must be unpaid or receive very little compensation.
6) The grant only funds internship opportunities that students arrange directly with employers. Internships that require participants to pay a fee or deposit to the host organization are not eligible for funding.
7) All organizations are eligible for funding under this grant, including government agencies and for-profit organizations. There are two exceptions: 1) the organization is on the State Department list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations or otherwise sanctioned or monitored by the U.S. Government; 2) the organization was formed for the purpose of supporting a candidate for political office. Because the University is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization under the tax code, it is prohibited from participating in political campaign activities.
Substantive Experience Criteria
Substantive opportunities engage students in meaningful projects, expose them to rigorous concepts, and encourage students to regularly exercise their intellectual, organizational, and/or technical skills. Substantive positions should not be purely administrative or clerical. A substantive internship also provides a direct supervisor/mentor that can coach and guide the student throughout the internship.
What to Do When You Secure Your Internship
Once you have confirmed your plans for the summer, please complete the 2022 Odyssey Summer Plans Form. ALL Odyssey Scholars should report their summer plans using this form, regardless of what type of opportunity you have secured. First-year Odyssey Scholars who self-secure unpaid or minimally paid summer internships will use the form to officially request Odyssey internship funding.
First-year Odyssey Scholars can expect to hear back from Career Advancement within 10 business days of their summer plans form submission, regarding next steps in the process of securing their summer funding.
Please note that your opportunity needs to be reviewed and approved by Career Advancement before you can access your funding: please do not make plans for summer travel, housing, etc. until your opportunity has been approved.
Before your Odyssey funding can be released, you must complete all of the required professional development programming. Your career adviser can help you create a plan for meeting all program requirements in a timely manner.
Odyssey Metcalf Intern Responsibilities
All Odyssey Metcalf Interns must complete:
- a mid-summer check-in survey – a link to the survey will be sent via email; the survey must be completed by July 2022
- a final evaluation of the summer experience – a link to the survey will be sent via email; the survey must be completed by September 2022
- a submission of a picture
The Odyssey Metcalf Internship Program would not be possible without the ongoing support of its most important stakeholders—the students and alumni who have participated in it. You are encouraged to show your appreciation for the experiences and community you gain through the Odyssey Metcalf Internship Program by staying involved. Sharing your internship experience with Career Advancement helps improve the program for future Odyssey Scholars who may work in your role. If you secure an internship outside of the Odyssey Metcalf Internship Program and have a positive experience, please refer your employer to Career Advancement and help bring your internship host organization into the Odyssey Program for future UChicago students.