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Turn To Earn: How Challenging and Timely Internships...

July 28, 2010 10:42 AM
Full Title: Turn To Earn: How Challenging and Timely Internships Changed the Career Trajectories of Four UMBC Alumni

Mastering an academic discipline is an important step in preparing for a successful career. Yet for many UMBC students, internships have been another key element in career success.

For the four alumni we’ve chosen to spotlight here, internships have made a big difference. One alumna is forging a path in the challenging world of journalism. Another alumnus is making our highways safer. A third alumna went from returning student to coveted programming superstar. And our last alumnus finds his work is helping others play.

THE RIGHT NOTES

“Most people don’t have an opportunity for a do-over on their bachelor’s degree,” she says.

What is it about coding and programming that delights this former music major? Coveyou explains that there is a closer connection than simply a keyboard. “Lots of programmers are gifted musically,” she says. The attention to detail, the counting, the use of numbers, the rhythms – music and math can be both technical and beautiful.

The experience was a success. Working full-time throughout the summer at DBED, Coveyou generated state reports and trained people on a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, a tool used to manage customer relationships, sales and marketing.

Coveyou’s next internship proved even more invaluable. In June 2007, she found a programming internship at USinternetworking, Inc (USI) in Annapolis – a chance to show off skills in her chosen subfield. By the time she was ready to graduate in December 2007, Booz Allen Hamilton came calling with an offer that USI wanted to match – with Lockheed Martin and the U.S. Census Bureau also waiting in the wings.

Looking back as an adult making a career change later in life, Coveyou acknowledges that “I thought I was in less of a bargaining position versus younger kids.” But, she adds, “employers saw the value-add of an adult with experience.”

— Erika Shernoff


Original story appears in UMBC Magazine : http://www.umbc.edu/magazine/summer10/feature_turntoearn.html
Click here to read about all four UMBC Alumni reported in this article.