Internships Invite Opportunity at UMB

Felicia Whatley

Career Specialist Shannon Seaver (left) and Director or Career Services Leonard Konarski work together to help UMB students find internships and jobsInternships often lead to career opportunities and give students a competitive edge as a job seeker. At UMB these valuable work experiences and resume builders are available through an internship or co-op program networked from Career Services.

“We serve the entire population at UMB, including alumni,” said Associate Director for Career Services and Internships Michael Gaskins.

Internships and Co-ops are work experiences that build from academic skills from the classroom. Students get hands on work experiences in his or her area of study or career path.

“I interned at the Whitaker Group [a consulting firm] full time and sometimes overtime when needed. I enjoyed it so much and I loved the environment and people,” said Economics Senior Adanma Imeobong Osakwe.

“I attended a Women’s Empowerment Conference where Helen Clark, former Prime Minister of New Zealand and current Administrator of UNDP, was a keynote speaker and a HBCU Conference where Obama was keynote speaker,” said Osakwe.

These kinds of experiences lead students toward jobs that they otherwise might not have imagined.

“I learned so much. This internship has inspired me so much and really made me want to be a foreign service officer or a career diplomat,” said Osakwe.

There are different types of internships: for profit or for college credit. But regardless of the compensation they are important because the number one thing employers look at is experience, said Gaskins.

“Employers look at you in a positive light. You get experience for a job and a sense of what to do after graduation,” said Gaskins.

To land an internship offering school credit, students can work with a guidance counselor from their department, or talk to Career Services, which often acts as a facilitator for departments. Career Services representatives match employer criteria with student needs to find internships and jobs that will benefit students in their desired career paths.

There are a few qualifications a UMB student needs to have to apply for an internship. If they are Undergraduate students they need to complete a minimum of 30 credits and have at least a 2.5 GPA.

“Internships help [students] get their foot in the door. Lots of companies hire after someone has done an internship with the company, because internships create contact leads for jobs,” said Gaskins.

There is an emphasis working with students to apply well and close the deal. Career services helps students produce a good resume, interesting cover letters, and polish their interview skills. This is important in this day and age when the market is struggling, will give a recent graduate a competitive edge, said Gaskins.

“This is a very competitive process because employers want the best candidates. This is a way to expand real world experience in a field they are interested in for a learning experience that builds the resume” said Career Services Director Leonard Konarski.

The New York Times reported that students pay thousands of dollars to employment agencies just to land an internship.

Konarski said students should be paid for their work not the other way around. There is no reason to pursue an agency charging students since Career Services at UMB offers this service already.

“If you do well in the internship, the company will likely hire you afterwards. Our philosophy is that every student regardless of jobs should get experience in their field,” said Konarski.

At UMass Boston students should use Career Services to get an internship, Konarski recommended. He said halfway through their academic career, students should apply for internships.

“We [Career Services] work with organizations to reach out in various fields for students,” said Konarski.