Use this page to answer many of your Odyssey questions, including what career advising and recruitment resources you can take advantage of and where to find them, payment procedures for internships, and steps you can take to optimize your internship experiences.
Odyssey Frequently Asked Questions
How can I make appointments with a career adviser?
You can schedule an appointment with any career adviser online through UChicago Handshake.
To book an advising appointment online, follow these steps:
- Log in to UChicago Handshake.
- Click on "Career Center" on the top menu.
- Click “Appointments”
- Click "Schedule a New Appointment."
- Select the appropriate appointment category. First-year students seeking to meet with their assigned adviser should select "1st Year Assigned Adviser Appointment. Alumni seeking to make an appointment should select "Alumni Career Advising."
- Select the appointment type that best describes what you'd like to discuss.
- Choose an appointment date and time that works well with your schedule. If you’d like to meet with a specific adviser, click “Staff Member” at the top and select the adviser to see their availability.
- Briefly describe what you'd like to discuss during the appointment.
- Click "Request."
- If necessary, you may also cancel your appointment through UChicago Handshake. To cancel your appointment, click on "Appointments," select the appointment you need to cancel, and then click the red "Cancel Appointment" button. Please be sure to provide as much notice as possible if you need to cancel an appointment.
Please note that it is never too early to meet with industry expert advisers from the "Careers in" pre-professional programs! They are great resources for brainstorming different career paths, discussing how to prepare year by year based on your career interests, and connecting you with relevant people and programs. Each program also has a listhost that includes updates on industry specific events, workshops, internship deadlines, and more. Sign up for the listhosts here.
Finding Your Internship
How do I apply for Metcalf internships?
- Log into UChicago Handshake with your CNet ID and password
- Click “Jobs” from the top menu
- Click the “All Filters” option at the top of the Job Search page
- Scroll down to section called “Labeled by Your School”
- Type “2021-22 metcalf internship” into the search bar for paid, high quality internships
- Filter based on any additional preferences, such as location or employer industry
- Click the “See Jobs” button
- Review positions and read the descriptions carefully
- Prepare a resume and cover letter specific for each position you apply to. For guides on preparing your resume and cover letter, please visit the Career Advancement resume and interview toolkit
- Connect with your career adviser for further assistance with preparing your materials
- If selected for an interview, the employer will reach out to you via email or phone call. Each Metcalf employer has a different interview timeline and style. For interview preparation assistance, you can refer to Career Advancement’s online interview guide, set up a practice interview, or make an appointment with a career adviser.
- Other databases:
Remember that career advisers are here to support you throughout any step of the internship search and application process, so do not hesitate to set up an appointment with them via Handshake.
What is the Jeff Metcalf Internship Program? How is it related to the Odyssey Metcalf Internship Program?
The Jeff Metcalf Internship Program offers paid, substantive internships exclusively to UChicago undergraduates during the summer and academic year. For a complete overview of the Jeff Metcalf Internship Program benefits and requirements, please visit the Metcalf Program page.
The Odyssey Metcalf Internship Program is under the umbrella of the University’s Jeff Metcalf Internship Program. As an Odyssey Scholar you have the same benefits and requirements as a Metcalf intern in addition to the special Odyssey programming available throughout the year.
Are upperclassmen eligible for a funded Odyssey internship?
Only first-year Odyssey Scholars are eligible for a funded internship through the First-Year Odyssey Career Program. Odyssey upperclass students are encouraged to explore paid opportunities offered through the Jeff Metcalf Internship Program, and those who have secured unpaid internships should consider applying to Career Advancement's grant programs for unpaid internships. For unpaid summer internships we strongly recommend applying to the Jeff Metcalf Fellowship Grant for Odyssey Students.
What is considered a substantive opportunity?
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 should I do if I don’t know what I want to do as a career?
While students may feel lost when they are uncertain of what career to pursue, you should see this as a great opportunity to explore your interests. Career Advancement provides both advising and programs that can help you explore different areas that may interest you. You can meet with a career adviser and let them know that you are open to exploring different industries and locations, and they can help you brainstorm next steps. You can also apply to diverse kinds of internships to pursue during the academic year and the summer.
Additionally, Career Advancement recommends that undecided students apply for treks and job shadowing experiences, which are short-term experiences during the academic year that give students direct exposure to their field of interest. These programs provide great opportunities to network with employers and learn what day-to-day life is like in that industry. For treks outside of the Chicago area, students with demonstrated need are eligible to apply for financial aid to cover the cost of their travel to and from the trek destination.
You are also encouraged to participate in the "Careers in" programs for access to workshops, alumni connections, and more resources to help you explore different career paths.
How many internships should I apply to?
This number greatly varies by student, industry, and other factors. Instead of stressing quantity, students should focus on the quality of their applications.
Career Advancement recommends the following:
- Apply to as many internships as you are genuinely interested in
- Customize your resume and cover letter for each position to reflect that you have the interests, experience, and/or skills the employer is seeking
- Talk to your career adviser in the Fall Quarter about strategizing for your internship search and application process so that you can find positions that fit your unique interests, skills, and circumstances
What is Student Employment?
Student Employment offers part-time positions in campus departments, including the library, administrative offices, research centers, and labs. Some off-campus nonprofit organizations also hire UChicago students; these often include positions like office assistants, researchers, counselors, and tutors.
There are many employment opportunities available during the academic year that can not only give you exposure to different types of jobs, but also enable you to build skills that can help you secure your first internship.
Student Employment opportunities for undergraduates are posted in UChicago Handshake. You can learn more about Student Employment policies and procedures on the Student Employment website.
Interviews and Housing
How can I prepare for interviews?
The Practice Interview Program provides remote mock interviews for undergraduate students who seek interview preparation for internships, full-time positions, and selective enrollment programs. Designed to feel like a real interview, practice interviews are scheduled for 1 hour and will be conducted by trained graduate students with professional industry experience, who will assess the effectiveness of responses and provide valuable and objective feedback on interview skills. Practice interviews are available during the academic year and summer.
You can also refer to the resume and interview toolkit for additional guides and resources.
What should I consider when looking at an internship’s geographic location?
Please consider that many employers require interns to secure and fund their own housing and transportation. If you are interested in an internship outside of your hometown, it may be helpful for you to think realistically about a budget. Be sure to think about flights, housing, utilities, food, transportation (is there public transit available or will you need a car?), and incidentals. We recommend researching average rental and flight costs. Once you have an idea of how much it might cost to live in a city, be realistic about whether an internship in this location is feasible. If you decide that you need to be closer to your hometown, remember that your career adviser is available to assist you in your internship search. You can also refer to Career Advancement’s City Guides for helpful tips.