UMBC’s Shriver Center coordinates over 2,400 internship, co-op, research and service-learning placements annually.
Energizing Maryland’s Workforce
UMBC students were out in full force at top Maryland companies and research labs this summer. Their work as interns not only supported their career skills development; it also contributed to Maryland’s economic success. Each year Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 employers like Constellation Energy, SAIC, General Electric, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Stanley Black & Decker, Booz Allen Hamilton and T. Rowe Price actively recruit interns through UMBC.
“Internships provide employers with an opportunity to attract and train talent early in their careers,” says Christine Routzahn, director of professional practice for UMBC’s Shriver Center. “Curious, hard-working interns with fresh perspectives enable companies to remain innovative in extremely competitive fields.”
This summer, over 700 graduate and undergraduate students enrolled in the Shriver Center’s internship, co-op and research practicums. Around Maryland, in Washington, D.C., and across the country, these UMBC students linked theory to practice in solving real-world problems. Their experiences enabled them to develop technical expertise and project portfolios as well as cultivate essential soft skills. Additionally, nearly 70% were paid, at an average rate of $14.93 per hour.
Employers like Joe Domiano, operations manager for Siemens Industry, praise the level of talent coming from UMBC. “Siemens has been very fortunate to have a relationship with UMBC,” says Domiano. “Many of our student interns have been hired by Siemens full-time and have contributed to our success.”
Beyond accessing employment opportunities, interns get a realistic glimpse of possible career paths and connect with senior mentors in their fields. Student evaluations show that 89% experienced an increase in self-confidence as a direct result of their placement; 88% indicated an increase in the clarity of their career goals.
In return for supporting their growth, companies, government agencies and research centers benefit from the fresh energy and ideas that young scholars, eager to contribute, bring to their internship sites. Here we feature a few examples of UMBC student interns energizing Maryland workplaces.
Biological Sciences and Psychology, May 2012
Research Intern, University of Maryland School of Medicine , Maryland Psychiatric Research Center
Blackwell interned in the Brain Imaging Studies section of the Outpatient Research Program at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center. She contributed to research on the neural reward system of people with clinically diagnosed schizophrenia, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to analyze differences in brain activation between people with schizophrenia and normal controls. Blackwell assisted with data analysis for the research, which might impact future treatment innovations for schizophrenia.
This position has helped me realize how much I enjoy neuroimaging research. At the MPRC I have been able to work with real innovators in the field of clinical research and have learned much about the neuroscientific study of mental illness. Helping to collect and analyze raw data to discover real implications for the study and treatment of mental illness has been fascinating.
Miguel Andres Calderon
Graphic Design, May 2012
Designer, Feats, Inc.
At Feats, Inc., Calderon became an integral part of a creative team that develops vital design elements for events, physical spaces and product releases. He worked closely with design, technical and communications specialists to provide cost-effective solutions to meet clients’ specific needs. While learning the technical skills required for success as a design professional, he also came to understand the social etiquette of a creative office setting and built lasting professional relationships.
I never thought it would be so easy to work with UMBC to find an intern position, acclimate to a completely new environment, and become empowered as a contributing member of a design team.
Media and Communication Studies, Dec 2012
Production Intern, Maryland Public Television
As an intern for Maryland Public Television, Cao assisted with the production of programs such as Your Money & Business, Chesapeake Collectibles and State Circle, which has offered reporting on political happenings in Maryland for more than 20 years. Cao operated cameras for live shows, supported staff for outdoor shoots, and assisted with lighting and audio. More broadly, he worked to further MPT’s mission of supporting “a region of dynamic communities where people…engage in respectful dialog, develop common aspirations and together create a healthier and more vibrant society.”
As an MPT intern I learned concrete communication and technical skills, such as how to operate a camera, and also developed my confidence. I enjoyed filming outdoors the most – visiting new and interesting places throughout the state.
Biological Sciences, May 2012
Research Assistant, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Dept. of Microbiology/Immunology
Jayakar, an advanced, fourth-year research assistant, interned at a University of Maryland School of Medicine lab, building on previous immunology research in important ways. Earlier research documents the effects of Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) treatment with anti-inflammatory genes on mouse macrophages. Jayakar’s project tested the effect of the LPS treatment with inflammatory genes on mouse macrophages and compared the results with the prior anti-inflammatory gene data.
It’s my fourth year of research in a row and I still enjoy my time at the lab. It teaches me patience and critical thinking, and helps me gain a greater understanding of science and its role in our regular world.
Economics, May 2012
Summer Analyst, Morgan Stanley
As a summer analyst in the securities processing department at Morgan Stanley, Kayode-Ojo was engaged in processes that dealt with foreign exchange trades. She focused on retrieving, verifying and managing confirmations for non-deliverable foreign exchange trades. Kayode-Ojo also enjoyed learning about other aspects of the industry through company-organized educational forums and presentations by Morgan Stanley’s senior staff.
I have gained insight into how the financial services industry works, from its regulations to its people and processes. This has helped me put into perspective the career I want to pursue and has given me the opportunity to network with successful people in the industry.
Elizabeth “Ela” Locke
Modern Languages, Linguistics & Intercultural Communication (Spanish); Media and Communication Studies; May 2012
As a marketing intern for Gramophone, a Maryland-based home theater and electronics company, Locke contributed to a range of creative projects, from drafting copy for the company’s e-commerce site, to designing mailers and showroom displays. Locke also interacted directly with customers through social media to facilitate public awareness of and engagement with the Gramophone brand.
My internship was an eye-opening experience. Despite being new to the marketing field, I was expected to independently develop high quality creative work. I now feel more prepared to pursue a career requiring self-direction.
Psychology, Dec 2012
Nutrition Educator, University of Maryland Extension - Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program in Montgomery County
The goal of University of Maryland Extension’s Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program is to educate our youth about the importance of healthy eating and physical activity. Through this program, Meza worked hands-on with children and adolescents across Montgomery County, teaching them how to prepare simple, healthy meals and demonstrating physical fitness activities. Meza also experienced the benefits of working within an established university program, alongside peer interns sharing his passion for health and wellness.
The feeling I get when I teach people new information and they thank me for it is indescribably rewarding. Knowing that I can make a difference in another person’s life is what motivates me to pursue a career as a health educator.
Computer Science, Bioinformatics & Computational Biology, May 2014
Maintenance Intern, McCormick Spice Mill
As a maintenance intern for the McCormick Spice Mill, Raborg organized machinery schematics, manuals and CADD drawings to create a fully digitized, accessible database of maintenance materials. He assisted in a range of other data organization tasks and improved his communication skills through collaborative projects. Raborg felt he learned a tremendous amount about what work performance and quality assurance mean when a team is producing goods not just for distant consumers, but also for their own families.
I learned the ropes of working at a food processing plant and why 110% must be given at all times to ensure that everything we make is the best of the best. The Spice Mill “family” atmosphere made me feel like even I, the lowly intern, was essential to the team.
Chemical Engineering, May 2012
Intern, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Malaria Research Institute
Santos interned in the lab of Dr. David Sullivan at the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute, studying an iron transporter in the malaria parasite, which afflicts 225 million people and kills nearly 800,000 annually. She worked on optimizing the gene for the iron transporter, which is important because iron metabolism is the target of the quinoline and artemisinin antimalarials—drugs used to combat malaria.
College is a time in your life when you’re figuring out who you are and what you’re interested in, but being interested in something is far different from actually experiencing it. Try everything and learn as much as you can. Spending a summer participating in an internship definitely helped me define what I want to pursue as a career.
Mikaela “Mikki” Sasser
Mechanical Engineering, May 2014
Assistant Program Manager, Middle River Aircraft Systems
At Middle River Aircraft Systems, a GE Aviation affiliate, Sasser tracked the manufacturing process of Pratt & Whitney thrust reversers. She made sure everyone on the floor adhered to detailed production schedules and she was involved in discussions between managers and customers regarding product parts. Her internship involved solving unexpected problems when they occurred and getting to know the production process intimately to help Middle River save time and eliminate other manufacturing wastes.
I learned everything I needed to know by talking with the people who are actually getting their hands dirty and by completely immersing myself in the process. I have discovered that immersion is by far my favorite way to learn.
Economics and English, May 2012
Origination Analyst, Constellation Energy, Commodities Group
Schickner interned with Constellation Energy’s Commodities Group, a division that purchases, procures and sells energy to markets in North America. Origination creates a marketplace for power generators to hedge their risk through long-term, structured contracts. Schickner was responsible for compiling lists of generation units in different regions, pulling historical and projected energy prices, and pricing energy transactions for power purchase agreements and tolling agreements. In recognition of Schickner’s performance and promise in origination analysis, Constellation Energy has offered him a full-time position following graduation.
An internship going into your senior year is a three-month long interview with a future employer. My internship helped me establish friendships with mentors, identify my true passion in the energy industry, and develop practical knowledge about financial markets and energy—moving beyond college coursework.
Mechanical Engineering, May 2013
Process Engineering Intern, McCormick and Company, Inc.
At McCormick, Vint worked on a wide range of projects related to industrial production and mechanical automation. He built on experience as a multimedia and computer specialist to create training videos where he dissected automated machinery and explained its operation. McCormick introduced Vint to production management in an industry setting and he gave back to his colleagues by leading a training session for full-time staff members—a memorable teaching opportunity.
It is uncommon for a student, unfamiliar with the employment options available, to graduate college and jump straight into a dream job. Spending the summer interning pushes you toward making the most out of life by giving you an early glimpse of career paths you might take.