Academics, News

Internships continue to be crucial in career development

As the season of summer internship application deadlines looms closer, students and faculty agree it’s never too early to start looking. In today’s flattening world, it’s becoming increasingly crucial for students to develop experience-filled, competitive portfolios to succeed in the post-grad career hunt. And while internships look impressive on resumes, students find they are most beneficial as a means of determining the trajectory of their chosen career paths.

Freshman Katie Hahn recently submitted her first internship application to the University of Miami’s Office of Undergraduate Research student-professor pairing program and is awaiting response. The program matches students with professors who are working on research projects that correlate with the students’ interests, majors and levels of experience. For Hahn, a medical anthropology major and chemistry minor, working in a hands-on research field will help her determine which direction to take as she furthers her academic career.

“I’m looking to dial in on what I may want to do after college,” she said. “If I want to go into practicing medicine or do more lab work.”

For Hahn, a perspective-broadening internship could be the deciding factor between pursuing a Ph.D. or an M.D.

Similarly, sophomore communications student Michelle Marino is looking into local radio and TV opportunities to decide whether to pursue broadcast journalism.

“This semester I hope to narrow down what I want to do,” she said. “If I end up comfortable on camera, I’ll gear my internship toward television.”

Miguelangel Ramirez, assistant director for career events at UM’s Toppel Career Center, said that without specialized internship experience, students lack the hands-on understanding of their chosen fields.

“Learning theoretically and practicing are sometimes different things,” he said.

It’s important for students to find internships in specific interest areas because potential employers want to see that an applicant has a basic working knowledge of the field and will not have to be taught every step of the way, Ramirez said. Employers want to know that a student is “career ready.”

Marino said she recognizes the difficulty and commitment level of internships and wants to make sure she is fully qualified before stepping into an intern position.

Junior Nathan Fox jumped took a chance on an internship outside of his specific field and found success. Between his freshman and sophomore years, Fox, a double major in biochemistry and molecular biology and computer science, interned at the Great Smokey Mountains Institute at Tremont. The nonprofit, located in Blount County, Tennessee, specializes in experiential education through summer camp sessions for students between the ages of 8 and 18.

Though the 10 weeks he spent mentoring kids were not directly related to his field, Fox said the experience broadened his perspective and gave him the chance to live independently and responsibly. He said he experienced personal growth, and his new skills helped him be successful as a resident assistant.

In addition to providing experience, internships offer great networking opportunities. Being seen by respectable professionals with similar goals and interests can contribute to a student’s overall reputation in the workforce and expand a pool of references to draw from when applying for jobs.

Ramirez said the time and space to network in one’s field while still in college is an advantage “almost more so than the actual internship,” because it connects students with potential employers and references.

Despite the extra effort and intimidating nature of some application processes, students agree the effort is worth the outcome.

“It’s going to pay off,” Marino said.

Internship and job resources are available on the Toppel Career Center’s portal at hireacane.miami.edu/gain-experience.

January 22, 2018

Reporters

Sophia Constantino


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

The University of Miami showed women’s basketball coach Katie Meier how much it appreciates her on F ...

Frank Garis first watched Jalen Rivers from the opposite sideline, and the offensive lineman was imp ...

George Stewart had a big problem, and little time to solve it. It was Week 6 of the 2018 season, and ...

One of the interesting subplots of this Hurricanes season will be watching the evolution of a bunch ...

A six-pack of Hurricanes notes on a Wednesday: ▪ Coach Manny Diaz said the quarterback race among Ta ...

The Emmy Award-winning journalist, who grew up in Miami and started her career in Spanish language t ...

Nursing researchers and music therapists test a simple and cost-effective way of motivating critical ...

The University of Miami Libraries offer readers multiple ways to access the books, which are popular ...

Rosenstiel School researcher Martin Grosell weighs in on how marine life in the Gulf could be affect ...

Varona, an attorney and educator who specializes in administrative law, communications and media law ...

University of Miami Director of Athletics Blake James announced Friday a contract extension for head ...

Adrian Del Castillo garnered his second Freshman All-America honor of the year, appearing on the Per ...

Two-time Miami women's basketball team co-captain Laura Cornelius is set to start her professio ...

Courtney spent nine years previously on Jim Larranaga's staff from 1996-2005. ...

The University of Miami track and field program received 17 All-America honors at the conclusion of ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.