UMD Offers Multitude of Resources to Find Internships and Form Connections

Photo courtesy of Erica Ely

While Halloween season means filling your head with thoughts of haunted spirits, dark shadows and creaky Victorian mansions, one frightening concept in particular might just scare you the most: internships.

Believe it or not, many summer internships require students to begin their application process this far out. The University of Maryland’s University Career Center and the President’s Promise provides students with plenty of ways to get a head start during this time. Pulsefeedz interviewed UMD internships program director Erica Ely to find out more.

“We have a lot of events where employers come to campus to either conduct an information session about their organization, or they attend a career a career and internship fair to talk with students one-one-one about internship opportunities available,” said Ely.

Although the annual Fall Career and Internship Fair has passed this year, students can visit Careers4Terps to find any organization present there, just by logging in and clicking on the “Center Events” tab.

Careers4Terps is an online job and internship posting database. Employers can update job and internship opportunities, and only University of Maryland students have access to these openings.

“Students are also welcome to schedule an appointment with a career advisor through Careers4Terps. Or, we have walk-in hours Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., specifically for undergraduate students wanting a resume critique,” says Ely, who also suggests bringing a copy of your resume.

Additionally, employer information session events take place almost daily on campus, at the Career Center or elsewhere on campus. The dates and times for all of these events can be found on the Career Center’s events calendar.

“We have DreamWorks coming to campus to talk about internships in computer animation and graphic design,” Ely said. “Last week, Discovery Communications came to campus to talk about their internship program. [Information sessions are] a unique way to not only get in front of employers, but to also explore internship opportunities that are out there and available.”

With the Intern For a Day program, UMD students can shadow an organization in a career field of their choosing. The program will be available again in the spring.

“Our Center is constantly trying to find ways to help students get some career exposure to feel better prepared to make some decisions about the next step after college,” Ely said. “This program can sometimes help students get connected to more long-term internships, too.”

As arranged by the Career Center, DOTS also buses students to various organizations around five to eight times a year, as a way for students to gain knowledge in something they may be interested in, a program called Career Shuttle.

“A couple of weeks ago, we took students to the National Institute of Health,” Ely said. “We’re taking students to Google in a couple of weeks to learn more about the non-technical internships and jobs available within the company.”

Photo courtesy: photography by Erica Ely
Photo courtesy: photography by Erica Ely

The Career Center also offers a one-credit online course, “College and Career Advancement: Concepts and Skills: Job Search Strategies,” (EDCP108j), aimed most specifically at students who have never had an internship experience.

According to Ely, there is no such thing as beginning the search too early on and in the most recent University of Maryland graduate survey, 80 percent of graduates from August 2014, December 2014 and May 2015 had “at least one internship during their time at the University of Maryland,” and more often than not, more than one.

“Whether it is putting together a solid resume because you’ve never written one outside of applying to college, or having more confidence in the internship search, we want students to feel better prepared and confident,” Ely said.