Erica Ely, assistant director of career education and exposure at the career center, said this statistic shows that students are realizing internships are a good opportunity to explore different jobs and career opportunities.
Another benefit of interning is that some students are eventually offered full time positions by their companies after they graduate, she said.
As applications for spring and summer internships open, here is a guide to looking for, applying for and working at an internship.
Where to look: websites and job postings
A number of websites that are specific to the university are available for students to help them find internships and job postings.
Careers4Terps can have anywhere between 1,500 to 2,000 job postings for a variety of industries, according to Ely. Employers on this site are looking for Maryland students to intern.
Ely also recommended students look at databases, listservs and groups that are specific to their colleges and departments.
A number of websites are also available to the general public that UMD students can look through for internships.
Isobel Lu, a junior environmental science and policy major, found her summer 2021 internship at the Defenders of Wildlife through Indeed, a search engine for jobs in a variety of fields.
USAjobs.gov is another site that’s available for government jobs specifically.
Ely also recommended using LinkedIn to reach out to Maryland graduates about potential opportunities in their’s field and to network.
Students can also add themselves to LinkedIn groups and pages for their colleges, extracurriculars and other organizations they are a part of to hear about job opportunities and network with alumni. For example, the Campus Trainer has its own page on LinkedIn.
Emily Riley, a senior journalism and criminal justice major, said that while it can be intimidating to look for internships, it can also be fun to find something that you are passionate about. She recommended not feeling trapped by a major and applying for opportunities based on interests rather than what is the most impressive on a resume.
How to look beyond the sites: networking
When asked if she could go back and change one thing about her experience interning in college, Ely said that she would rely less on internship and job postings. While the websites above are helpful, they all require effort from the companies to post their openings.
“There’s lots of internships out there where the employer maybe just doesn’t have the capacity or the time to actively promote it right, and so don’t let that stop you,” Ely said.
Ely recommended students reach out to companies or individuals that they are interested in regardless if they have posted that they are looking for interns.
The career center also offers an online, asynchronous informational interviewing module that teaches tips and tricks for reaching Maryland alumni. It provides suggestions and examples to help students reach out to alumni on LinkedIn currently holding positions they are interested in.
Another UMD resource for job hunting is Terrapins Connect, which is similar to LinkedIn, but is limited to Maryland alumni. This is helpful to build network connections
Lu recommends that students apply for as many internships as possible and that they reach out to companies to confirm that they have received their applications.
The career center’s calendar also lists a number of career fairs and other events to help network.
Application Tips: Resumes and Cover Letters
When writing resumes and cover letters, Ely’s biggest tip is to tailor them to the job description of the position one is applying for.
Including keywords from the job description is important because people and algorithms reading resumes will be scanning for them, Ely said.
Another recommendation is to include anything that is relevant to the job description. For example, she said some students tend to overlook their required school projects as resume items despite their potential relevance to the position.
Cover letters are another opportunity for students to explain why they are interested in that position or company specifically, Ely said. For example, the career center recently hired an events coordinator who specified in their resume that they had an interest in organizing career events, which landed them the job, Ely said.
The career center also offers resume reviews for BIPOC students specifically. Appointments can be made on Careers4Terps under “Events & Career Fairs” under “BIPOC Resume Review.”
I got an internship, now what? Riley said that while it can be hard to put in the work everyday at an internship in the moment, it is worse to look back and regret not putting in more effort.
Lu’s biggest tip when working as an intern is to network with people working at the company. She recommended reaching out to people with jobs that interest you to help you understand the position and meet potential mentors.