Vocational Exploration Student Resources  - OPCD - University of Dallas

Vocational Exploration Student Resources

Rome Campus
The journey that stirs you now is not far off.
The Odyssey, Book II, 285


Welcome to your UD Odyssey

UD Odyssey seeks to assist and guide students as you discern your deep purpose and calling through vocational exploration, mentoring and community service. By partnering with campus and community partners, students are given ample access to explore and discover what your purpose and calling in life.

Vocation: where your deep happiness and the world's deep needs meet.*

Start Your UD Odyssey


Vocational Exploration

Vocation is more than just your job. It's an internal push toward a particular kind of work and an external pull toward the needs of your community. It is your purpose, meaning, career, and everything in between.

Finding your vocation is a journey - it’s your very own UD Odyssey! And like Odysseus, you’ll face obstacles along the way. You’ll solve problems, explore strange environments, and make discoveries that will eventually lead you to a life of purpose and meaning, no matter what path you choose.

Community Engagement

For many UD students, engaging with and serving your community is integrated into your sense of self and of your personal calling. Through the UD Odyssey program, students can find opportunities to serve, build community, and explore your vocation in the process.


Service Project Funding

Learning about your community enables you to reflect on how you may want to use your gifts to meet the world's needs. Through UD Odyssey, you can request funding to support a service project (up to $200). 

Submit your Request

Students On Mall

Vocations & Volunteer Fair

This fair brings nonprofit organizations and religious orders to the UD campus to recruit student candidates for volunteer, internship, and full-time service opportunities. 

October 2024

Campus Tour

Summer Nonprofit Stipend Program

Rising juniors and seniors are eligible to receive funding for unpaid internships with nonprofit or charity organizations each summer. Stipends are paid after the completion of the internship and a reflection activity.

Summer on the Mall

First Year Summer Experience Award

The summer after your first year of college is a great time for you to begin exploring your vocation in earnest. UD Odyssey provides stipends for rising sophomores to complete 50-hour summer experiences, including faculty-led research or independent study, or nonprofit work.

Application opens Spring 2024


Mentoring is an opportunity for students to gain insight from experienced UD alumni to guide you as you begin to explore different professions and opportunities. Through one-on-one alumni mentoring and job shadowing, UD Odyssey provides support for more practical career and vocational exploration. Mentoring also serves to form character as students receive guidance from experienced alumni. 

UD Mentoring Program 

The University of Dallas Mentoring Program matches experienced UD alumni with students seeking guidance and wisdom as they navigate UD and prepare for the next steps in their lives. The UD Mentoring Program is facilitated by the Office of Alumni Relations and the Office of Personal Career Development. The program includes:

  • At least four in-person or virtual meetings with your assigned mentor per academic year.
  • One on-campus networking event for students and mentors each academic year.

If you are interested in participating, please email Christina Nguyen.

UD Job Shadowing Program 

Five to seven undergraduate students will have the opportunity to participate in a half or full day of job shadowing with organizations and corporations in the community.  Through this program, we hope that students will gain more insight into different organizations and be able to explore how they may belong. 

This program has concluded for Spring 2024. Stay tuned for the next opportunity.  Questions? Email goneill@udallas.edu

*Vocation definition adapted from a quote by Frederick Buechner: The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet.

The UD Odyssey Program is funded by a grant from the Council of Independent Colleges and Lilly Endowment Inc.