Happy 2017! If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to make a career change, then check out InternPLUS, UMUC’s newest career initiative designed to help our students obtain “resume-able” experience to help you achieve your career goals. Research suggests that employers prefer students to have both education AND experience to be competitive for employment after graduation, and InternPLUS was designed to help you gain that experience.
InternPLUS identifies a variety of ways to get experience in your new career. This may include traditional internships, which are usually available in several month blocks offered throughout the year. Since these types of internships often do not fit into the schedules of many UMUC students, InternPLUS also includes atypical ways to gain experience such as part-time jobs, working as a contractor, or working at a temporary staffing organization. Opportunities are available with a wide variety of employers including private sector, federal, state, and non-profit organizations.
Additionally, volunteering is another opportunity to garner more experience in your new career field. Non-profit organizations often need a wide variety of assistance from IT support, human resource and marketing consulting, and/or administrative assistance. You can find these opportunities through sites like VolunteerMatch or Idealist. Any experience can count on your resume, but how you market the experience will depend if it grabs the attention of hiring managers. Volunteering may also help you meet other professionals in your target field and help you expand your network.
Want to learn more about InternPLUS? Check out CareerQuest, UMUC’s exclusive career portal for students and alumni. Once you create a CareerQuest account, click here to access the InternPLUS tab and its wide variety of resources. You can also find the latest list of opportunities in the job/internship board.
Another way of gaining additional experience in your new field is by meeting new employers through events such as local career fairs, professional organizations, or other networking opportunities. At UMUC, we regularly work with employers to promote their internship opportunities via CareerQuest and to attend our recruitment events. These events occur almost every month. A complete event listing can be found here.
If you are searching for a new career in the new year, explore InternPLUS to help you get started. With a little creativity and a lot of persistence, it is possible to gain the experience you need to help you reach your next career goal. Here’s wishing you all the best in 2017 and beyond!
Kristin Schrader is the Assistant Director of InternPLUS at University of Maryland University College. She has a background in human resources and has worked in career services at four universities. Most recently, she was the Lead Trainer in Europe for the U.S. Department of Labor Employment Workshop teaching transitioning service members about the civilian job search. Kristin is a proud military spouse and is passionate about helping others obtain their professional goals.