University of Maryland University College (UMUC) Career Services team capped off its observance of Public Safety Month in May with a week of career events to help students, alumni and the greater UMUC community prepare for the job search and connect with recruiters.
Offerings included an inside look at careers in public safety leadership, featuring an interview with UMUC Adjunct Public Safety faculty member Rebecca Himes, and a recruiter session with public safety industry giants the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Inter-Con Security and Maryland Department of Public Safety and Corrections.
UMUC public safety experts, highlighted throughout the month, examined career paths and trends in additional segments of the industry, as well, including fire service leadership, fire rescue and emergency services, and forensic science.
Himes, who is a Public Safety Administration, Emergency Management, Fire Science Administration, and Homeland Security adjunct associate professor for UMUC’s School of Undergraduate Studies, said internships are one of the best avenues for gaining experience in this industry. Opportunities exist at a wide range of agencies and associations―from the federal FEMA and the United States Fire Administration (USFA) to organizations such as the International Association of Fire Chiefs.
The nature of the work, often stressful and highly confidential, demands public service professionals who are confident decision makers with excellent communication skills, Himes said. But for those who qualify, there is a wide range of opportunity in public safety administration in the areas of emergency management, fire science administration, and homeland security, she added.
“There are many career paths for students graduating with a degree in public safety administration, with emphasis on one of these minors. No matter which minor the student chooses, the Department of Homeland Security has many career paths.
“This large department within the federal government has sections that include the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Transportation and Security Administration, the United States Fire Administration (USFA) and Emergency Management Institute (EMI), and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to name a few,” Himes said.
Emergency management agencies can be found in each state and local government. And many employers, including hospitals, factories, colleges and retailers have positions or departments that handle emergency management functions, she said.
Read Himes’ interview to learn more about careers in public safety leadership.
More than 150 participants attended the May 25 recruiter session held online and on-site at UMUC’s Academic Center at Largo, Maryland, to explore career openings and internships with some of the region’s major employers in the fields of public safety, information technology, cybersecurity, and emergency management and homeland security.
At the session’s opening panel discussion, recruiters shared intelligence about the culture within their organizations and the skills they look for in potential job candidates. They also provided helpful tips for those in career transition and those looking to obtain security clearances.
Attendees also had the opportunity to engage in a “speed networking” session to meet one-on-one with a recruiter from each organization for additional insight into career opportunities.
Jennifer Schoolfield, a recruiter for Hewlett Packard Enterprise, said that the company benefits from UMUC recruiter sessions. “We really enjoy recruiting from UMUC because we get an opportunity to connect with non-traditional students who have experience and can begin work right away. Roughly 50 percent of the IT and cyber candidates who attended the event were qualified for our positions.”
Maryland Department of Public Safety and Corrections Services recruiter Christine Wells said, “As an alumna of UMUC, I am proud to say that I can recruit here knowing we produce top talent. At every [UMUC] event I’ve attended, including this one, I have been extremely pleased with the candidates.”
Listen to a recording of this recruiter session with Hewlett Packard Enterprise, FEMA, and Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correction.
For additional information on employment opportunities at these companies and agencies select the links provided:
Catch up on other Career Week events here.
If you have any questions about future career events, please call the UMUC Career Services office at 240-684-2720 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.