Postgraduate Service

WHO ARE YOU CALLED TO BE?

Postgraduate service can be a great way to explore an interest, pursue a passion, and develop skills and knowledge while making a difference in the lives of others and with communities in need.

WHY POSTGRADUATE SERVICE?

Notre Dame graduates do postgraduate service for many reasons, but here’s what they tell us most often:

They want to make a difference—change a life, change the world
They want to make their faith more active
They want to discern genuine interests before going to graduate school or pursuing a career

They want to develop knowledge and skills while building a resumé

WHAT IS POSTGRADUATE SERVICE?

It is basically a full-time job in a nonprofit organization that has more demand for services than funding for staff. Service members usually receive a stipend and benefits in exchange for work with individuals and communities in need. 

Faith-based service programs typically are based on the four values of social justice, spirituality, simple living, and community. Some programs add a fifth value: professional development.  Although all programs will result in personal and professional development, some seek to actively, and intentionally, promote this for service volunteers.

HOW DO I BEGIN?

Ask yourself the following questions. It's okay if you don't know the answers to these and other questions when you begin—they will come as you engage with the process.

What do I feel called to do? 
What issues are important to me?
Do I want to engage in direct service? With any particular populations? 
Do I prefer a faith-based or secular organization?
Would I like to live with other volunteers or independently?
Where would I like to live: urban/rural/suburban area? A particular geographical location?

What are my financial needs?

Learn from people who have completed postgraduate service by attending information sessions or check out the recording of our alumni panel below. 

WHAT CAN HELP?

Actively research organizations and opportunities: talk to recruiters and current and former volunteers, read websites and literature, and when possible visit. 

Notice what you respond to, both positively and negatively. What attracts you? What is unappealing? What are your fears, concerns? What are you passionate about?

Talk to Mike Hebbeler or Felicia Johnson O'Brien about your responses—thoughts, feelings, concerns. We are here to help with the discernment process.

Take the Center for Social Concerns' Discernment Seminar in the fall of your senior year.

Talk to mentors, advisors, spiritual directors, Career Center staff, rectors, faculty, and family and friends. Ask for feedback about your strengths and challenges. One caveat: how others see you is helpful, but only as a means for recognizing what you know to be true about yourself.

Realize that no opportunity or experience is perfect; any number of opportunities could be a good fit for you. 

 

View All Events

Upcoming Events

September 2021

26
Information Session | ISSLP 2022 (In-Person and Virtual)
Sunday, September 26, 2021 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm

October 2021

01
Signs of the Times Brown Bag Lunch Series | Refugees
Friday, October 1, 2021 - 12:00pm
04
Information Session | ISSLP 2022 (In-Person Only)
Monday, October 4, 2021 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm
05
What to do with my Ph.D.? Community Engagement Career Paths
Tuesday, October 5, 2021 - 3:30pm to 5:00pm
05
Cry of the Earth, Cry of the Poor
Tuesday, October 5, 2021 - 7:00pm
07
The Social
Thursday, October 7, 2021 - 4:30pm to 5:30pm
12
Information Session | Catholic Social Tradition Minor
Tuesday, October 12, 2021 - 6:30pm
13
Information Session | ISSLP 2022 (In-Person and Virtual)
Wednesday, October 13, 2021 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm
25
Application Close | ISSLP 2022
Monday, October 25, 2021 - 12:00am to 11:45pm

November 2021

05
05
Labor Café First Friday
Friday, November 5, 2021 - 5:00pm to 6:00pm
12
Dignity and Justice Workshop
Friday, November 12, 2021 - 10:00am to 1:00pm
14
Higgins Labor CLASSics | Blue Collar (1978)
Sunday, November 14, 2021 - 3:00pm

December 2021

03
Signs of the Times Brown Bag Lunch Series | Housing
Friday, December 3, 2021 - 12:00pm
03
Labor Café First Friday
Friday, December 3, 2021 - 5:00pm to 6:00pm