Internship Search: Writing an Internship Resume

By: Lexi

You’ve found an internship to apply to, now you need to polish up your resume and most likely, a cover letter. Writing resumes for internships are hard because you probably do not have a lot of experience, otherwise, you would not be applying for an internship position. But you still have to find a way to make yourself stand out from the other applicants who also do not have a lot of experience. Hopefully, these tips will help you land that internship you’re hoping for!

internship-resume

Make your academics section a focus.
This is not saying experience is not important, but since you do not have as much experience make your academics section stick out. Include courses you’ve taken or big projects you’ve worked on. Only put coursework you think the employer will find relevant, though.

Experience included can be paid or unpaid.
Think about the significance and relevance of each opportunity you have partaken in. If you put your part-time job working in the food industry on your resume because that is the work experience you have, go for it, but really think about the skills you gained from the job. Use action verbs to describe your experience. For example, you could say: Maintained and balanced friendly customer service in a fast pace environment. This shows that you have the ability to work in a time efficient manner while preserving good service. Jobs, where you were paid, are important experiences to include, but so are unpaid experiences like volunteering and/or leadership positions. Do not forget to include those too, they will help you stand out! Highlighting your on-campus student organization involvement and leadership can also add to your internship resume.

Read the internship description first.
Read what the employers would expect from an intern and first of all, make sure you have the ability or willingness to learn what they would expect from you. The other reason you should read this before writing your resume is because it can give you an idea of the skill set they are looking for and then you can try to tie in those skills to your resume if you have them. This is another good tip for standing out because you will already have what they are looking for and then they might not have to spend as much time training you in.

Good luck on your internship search and hopefully these tips on how to write an internship resume will help you land the one you want! Remember, Career and Internship Services is more than happy to help look it over and give you further tips! Come to our resume drop-ins on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 2-4pm in SCC 22.

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Photo Source: Unsplash | Brandi ReddUnsplash | Brandi Redd

How to Have a Productive Winter Break

By: Lexi

You are finally done with your Fall semester and finals, hooray! It’s now time to relax, but do not forget to stay on top of things and use your time to stay productive. Spring semester will be here before you know it and you do not want to be behind!

Use time for reflection on the semester & set goals for the upcoming semester
Take a little bit of time to think about the semester you just finished. Think about what you did and didn’t do well. Use that information to make some goals and identify priorities for yourself for the next semester.

Build and expand professional networks
Reach out to people or companies you have been wanting to contact, but haven’t yet. Expand your horizons, you never know how it could develop your professional profile. This could be done online through email, LinkedIn, a phone call, or you could even ask if they would like to get coffee. Remember to thank them and ask if they have any suggestions of who else you could reach out to.

productive-winter-break

Conduct informational interviews or job shadow
Informational interviews and job shadows are a great way to see if the profession you are thinking about is the right one for you. Most students do not have time to conduct these during the semester, so now that you are not in classes, take advantage of this time. This could also help you with career advice or confirm important classes that you should plan on taking.

Work more and save up
Rack up the hours at your job, if it’s possible! Winter break is a great time to save up to keep you on budget for the spring semester.

Apply for scholarships and internships for the summer
Many scholarships and internships are posted during this time, so start looking! It is better to start searching for these opportunities earlier rather than later, your chances will most likely be greater. If you need help with this, you can visit Career and Internship Services (we are open during winter break, except Dec 23rd-Jan 2nd).

Get volunteer hours in
Whether you need volunteer hours or you just want to give back to your community, the holiday season is one of the best times to do this! Use your free time to put some smiles on the faces of your fellow city residents.

Create a portfolio, LinkedIn profile, and/or revamp your resume
Now that you finished another semester, you probably have new projects, jobs, skills, and experiences you can add to your portfolio, LinkedIn, and resume. Take the time to update all of these so they are ready for when you start searching for a job or internship, then you will not have to frantically put all of these together at the last minute.

Hopefully, you will take advantage of this time when school is not crazy and do at least one of these suggestions. But do not forget to relax and enjoy your time off during the holidays, drink some hot chocolate, eat some cookies, and enjoy the twinkle lights with your family or friends. Happy Holidays!

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Photo source: Unsplash|Aaron Wilson

Did You Have an Internship You Didn’t Like? Part 2

By: Lexi

Since my former internship was not what I was expecting (check out part 1), it made me question myself and frankly, it made me freaked out about my future. Once I realized this, I decided to start focusing even more on the work that my supervisors performed. Their position was a career that I could potentially be doing in the future, so I watched and learned from them. But I quickly found out that being at the bottom of the totem pole was not the only reason I did not enjoy my internship. I recognized that the whole job in this area of work (the local government) is not a profession that I would like to do for the rest of my life.

dont-like-internship

Now I really started to stress out. What was I going to do with my life now? Do I have to completely change my major? Am I going to be in college forever? Should I take more exploration classes? Should I take a semester off? Who should I talk to and where should I go from here? I did not want to be going to school, spending a lot of money and time on a career path that I would not enjoy. All of these questions and more were running through my head, all the time.

From there, I started with two people for advice, my mother and Career and Internship Services (two of the best places for career advice, in my opinion). Career and Internship Services suggested that I talk to professors in my areas of study and also conduct informational interviews with professionals in areas that I am thinking about. This was the biggest advice I took into consideration. I started with my professors, they helped me stay calm about my studies and reassured me that I was not wasting my time. I then moved on to seeking out professionals in areas I was interested in. I even went to the job fair, just to ask employers if I could conduct informational interviews or job shadow with their employees. From following these steps and being open to new opportunities and change, I got a job out of it! I actually get to be in the field that I am strongly considering, to work along with professionals who could potentially be me one day.

From talking to all of these professors and professionals, it helped me change my attitude around from wanting to give up, to having hope that I was not wasting my time. From here on out, I am going to keep exploring these different careers and next semester I will take the last liberal education requirements that I need to. I did this so I am not taking all of my specific major classes, in case I do end up changing it. In the end, I did bounce back from my bad internship experience that made me question my major, it helped me learn so much and grow as a professional. I am still not completely sure what I will do in the future, but I will get there and if you are going through the same thing, you will too!

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Photo by: Unsplash | Amanda Sandlin

Did You Have an Internship You Didn’t Like? Part 1

By: Lexi

This past summer I was lucky enough to land an internship in my field of Urban and Regional Studies, receive credits to graduate, and an extra bonus, I got paid too! I was so excited to be in a professional setting to see what my career would be like after graduation, but it turned out to not be what I was anticipating or hoping for. Although I did take away a lot of new knowledge and skills, it is also making me question myself…Is this really the right field of study for me? Now what do I do?

dont-like-internship

The reason my summer internship was not everything I was hoping for was because I did not enjoy the work I was doing; it’s hard to maintain motivation when you feel like the work you’re doing is simply busy work. I also felt as if I had a lot of free time because they were not giving me enough busy work, imagine that! This pushed me a little out of my comfort zone because I was constantly asking all of the supervisors for work or if they needed help with anything. Sure, I ended up just copying or stapling pamphlets a lot of the time, but it was better than staring at a computer screen driving myself to have a crazy headache. This also showed my superiors that I was a proactive worker, well I would like to think it did at least. As an intern, you have to realize that you are at the bottom of the totem pole, yet it stinks being at the bottom because the work can be boring. But remember, you have to start at the bottom to work your way to the top.

The other part that was difficult about the work was that I was given a lot of actual work, but I was not given direction. Of course it is nice to have room to be creative and add your own touch, but it is also scary because you really do not know if it is what your supervisor is looking for, and if it is not, they will not hesitate to keep sending it back to you until it is. Specifically, for my internship, one of the main reasons that the work I performed was not the most enjoyable was that I was not with the company long enough to see the end result. For example, the majority of the work I did was with new plans to improve cities. These plans would take at least a year to implement, but I only had my internship for four months. This was not rewarding because I never got to see my work actually being carried out or fulfilled.

So if you ever have an internship, co-op, or even a job that you do not enjoy, just stick it out. This is not your job for the rest of your life, and I know that you will take at the least one valuable skill away from your experience. Turn your attitude into a positive one and try to make the most out of it. What helped me get through my internship was to realize that the overall lessons I will take away will actually help me succeed in the working world. I now know how to better communicate with coworkers, manage difficult personalities, deal with stress, prioritize my workload, and work in a team environment. Now the big question for myself was what am I going to do with my career life now since I did not find what I thought I wanted to do pleasurable? If you want to know how I went forward with this big question, stay tuned for part 2.

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Photo by: Unsplash | Amanda Sandlin

How & Why to Write a Letter of Inquiry

By: Lexi

Looking for internships can be very stressful, especially if you are required to have one to graduate. There are many resources to help you find an internship at the Career & Internship Services office. If you have found a company or an organization that you are interested in and would like to work with, but you see that they do not have opportunities or postings for an internship, then it never hurts to send them a letter of inquiry. The worse thing they can say is no!

inquiry-letter

A letter of inquiry is a way for you to address a company that might not be advertising their job postings, but to possibly get your resume in front of a hiring manager for them to consider you. It could also lead to other doors opening, such as if that particular company is not hiring, but they might know and refer you to another one that is. It could also help you to just to get your name out there and network. Either way, here are some important tips to consider when writing your letter:

  • Say hello and address a specific person. If you cannot, use gender neutral name like Dear Human Resources Manager or Dear Hiring Manager.
  • If sending this letter in an email, choose your subject line wisely. This can catch their attention, but keep it professional.
  • Write your message like it will be read by the CEO of the company. You never know who will read your letter, so keep it classy.
  • Please proofread before sending it off! No one wants to read or even hire a person who does not know simple spelling or grammar.

Along with these guidelines that you ought to follow, you should also include these documents with your letter:

  • Resume (Come have it polished up by our peer educators)
  • Cover Letter, most of the time the cover letter is combined with the actual letter of inquiry.

Within the Cover Letter include:

  • Why you are interested in this company
  • Why you would like to work for them
  • What your qualifications are
  • Express your appreciation to them for taking the time to consider you
  • And your contact information so they can get back in touch with you!

Hopefully with these helpful tips you can find an internship that will help you develop your professional career and open doors to new opportunities. You can also visit one of our career counselors in our office or GoldPASS for help. Good luck in your internship search!

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Photo Source: Unsplash | Amador Loureiro

Ways to Use Career & Internship Services During the Summer

By: Lexi

The end of the semester is approaching very fast, which means one thing, summer. It is the time of year everyone looks forward to (especially us Minnesotans). It is a time of sun, lake days, boating, swimming, going to the beach, picnics, baseball games, and maybe even a spontaneous road trip. But it is also a time of work to make money to pay for college. It should also be a time to keep up with your student life. I know more school related tasks is the last thing that you want to do this summer, but it is a great time to get ahead or catch up. Our office is a great way to keep your life on track this summer. And yes, we are open!

Use Career During Summer

Have you graduated or are you a soon-to-be graduate? I know what you are probably thinking, I have to grow up? What happened to nap time and coloring books? The time has come for you to grow into an adult and we can help. Come to our office for assistance with planning for graduate or professional school if you are wanting to continue your education. We also can help out with the tough essays that you need to write to get into grad school, like personal statements! If you work with one of our counselors, you’ll be sure to leave with a freshly polished personal statement. If grad school is not in your future, but a professional job is, we can assist with that, too! We are here for every step of your job search. We also can help you revamp that resume and cover letter.

Are you an undergraduate student? Our office can help you also! We would love to help update or start a new resume and cover letter. Check out our handbook for tips if you are making a new resume! We can also show you how to work and update GoldPASS or LinkedIn. Your online image is extremely important since technology and the internet is so popular with our generation. Employers are checking these websites so it is a good idea to keep them as appropriate and professional as possible. We can also help you find a job, internship, or volunteer work during your few months off! Or for when you come back to school in the Fall. Another good idea is to take career assessments if you are still unsure about what you want to major in, what career path you would like to take, or if you would just like to learn more about yourself. We offer the Meyers-Briggs Inventory, the Strengths Quest Inventory, and the Strong Interest Inventory.

Are you new freshman or transfer student? If you are new to the UMD campus then you should definitely take the time to learn what the Career and Internship Services office does! Stop into our office (Solon Campus Center 22) during your Advisement and Registration day and meet the staff or get advice for the upcoming Fall semester. You can also take assessments to figure out what major(s) at UMD would fit you best. This will also help you decide which classes to take, because we know how stressful it can be to figure out what classes to take when you have no idea what you want to do.

Our summer hours will be Monday-Friday, 8am-4:30pm. We’ll have counselor appointments available and possibly limited resume review drop-in services. We can conduct appointments in-person, over the phone, or even via Google Hangout. Are you an alum? Don’t forget you can use our services for free, forever.

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What Can I do with a GIS Degree?

By: Lexi

When it comes to college, figuring out what to major or minor in can be one of the most challenging parts, but crucial. Personally, I was fortunate enough to decide what I wanted to major and minor in early on in my college career. It is important to consider all academic majors to find out what you are really interested in. If you have ever thought about GIS as a degree or if you have never even heard of it, read below! I’ll give you some useful information when considering GIS as a degree from what it is, who uses it, what careers you could pursue, colleges with GIS degrees and other websites to check out! For my minor, GIS is what I chose. GIS can be a major, minor or a certificate program, at UMD at least. Look at the links below to see other colleges that offer this degree as well!

Degree in GIS

What is GIS?

Geographic information systems or science (GIS) allows us to visualize, analyze, capture, store, manage, and interpret spatial data to understand relationships or trends. GIS needs the hardware, the software, people, and organization to work. It is commonly used to make layers of data showing different variables of a location to inform decision makers and the public. One of the key components it does is help create maps, as well as charts, globes, and reports. Maps help analyze almost anything. Many of these topics can be analyzed through writing also, but showing them through maps can be worth a thousand words, without using any words. Imagine that your company wanted to figure out the best place to locate a new store that would bring in the most buyers, GIS can help with that. Imagine the DNR needs help looking at the land cover and soils beneath it, GIS can help with that. Imagine that one wanted to look at the similarities between low housing areas and crime rates, GIS can help with that. Imagine that one wanted to look at the lack of doctors and areas with high levels of HIV/AIDS, GIS can help with that. Imagine that a disaster strikes and the city needs to figure out how and where to evacuate citizens to, GIS can help with that. GIS is an extremely useful tool for many disciplines and there are a huge array of job paths to take in it. Whatever your interests are, one could pretty much find a career path in GIS that follows those interests.

Who uses GIS?

GIS is a benefit for many organizations and companies. It helps cut costs, improves decision making and communication for anyone who uses it. GIS is implemented in areas of business, natural resources, public safety, transportation, utilities, communication, education, health, human services, economics, real estate, sustainable development, and map/data production. The government is a large user of GIS. Many federal agencies use it, such as, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the National Weather Service, the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and many more.

What are career titles in GIS?

Here are some careers that one with a major/minor/certificate in GIS could pursue:

LIDAR Engineer, GIS Coordinator, Software Engineer, Applications Programmer, GIS Software Product Specialist, Cartographer, Industry Marketing Manager, Mapping/Survey Technician, GIS Instructor, Database and System Integrator, Computer Mapping Technician, Planner, GIS Data Manager, GIS Sales Manager and many more.

Many students who graduated with this degree from UMD have become successful in this field. Some career examples that students from UMD have gone to work for are the Minnesota DNR, Regional planning divisions, GIS consulting firms and engineering firms. If you want more information on what UMD has to offer with GIS, visit their website here.

Considering a degree in GIS?

Numerous colleges and universities have this program. Check out these websites for a list of colleges that offer a GIS education:

Looking for other resources?

Check out these websites for more information about GIS:

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Photo Source: Unsplash | John-Mark Kuznietsov