Finding and applying for internships and other professional development experiences can be very similar to conducting a search for full-time employment. You must identify positions of interest to you, apply to postings, and, if selected, proceed through the interviewing and hiring process. University of Maryland Global Campus offers multiple resources to assist you through InternPLUS.
You may have specific companies that interest you. They may be well-known organizations, Fortune 500 companies, or employers in your preferred commute area. Generate a list of these organizations, and then visit their websites to learn about and apply for internship opportunities. If you cannot find information about internships on the organization's website, give the company a call.
Many companies, especially larger corporations, have formal internship programs. To find these programs, visit the company's website, find the careers or employment page, and search using words and phrases such as "campus recruiting," university recruiting," "undergraduate opportunities," or "internships." UMGC Career Services recommends that you don't limit yourself just to the companies you know. There may be smaller organizations that can provide you with a richer experience. Use LinkedIn to view company profiles and check the "People Also Viewed" list for similar companies. Also use Vault, accessible through CareerQuest to research companies, industries, and internships.
Informational interviewing and networking are also essential strategies for learning about internship opportunities. If you are changing careers, seeking employment with a competitive company, or facing any other employment challenges, reaching out to professionals in your target career field can help your internship search. Informational interviews are initiated by a job seeker who would like to connect with a professional in an industry, occupation, or company of interest. The goal of an informational interview is to network, learn more about the career field, and find out about opportunities in that field or company. Begin informational interviews early in your academic program to help you be better prepared for an InternPLUS opportunity toward the midpoint of your program.
You can find professionals to interview in your personal network, social networks, professional associations, and even in your UMGC classes. Don't be afraid to connect with professionals you don't know. Be sure to respect the person's time: be prepared and be professional. After the interview, provide the contact with your resume, and be sure to send a thank you note. Read this article on CareerQuest for tips on what questions you should ask during an informational interview.
Networking is essential to every job seeker, whether you are looking for a full-time opportunity or an internship. Enhance your internship search by connecting with your UMGC classmates, professionals in your industry, and your professional and personal contacts to learn about opportunities. Mentoring is also another opportunity to conduct informational interviews and further your network. Through UMGC’s Community Connect program, students and alumni have two pathways to connect with UMGC students, alumni, and industry professionals for career guidance, networking, and mentorship. Visit umgc.edu/communityconnect to learn more.