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Resources at the ready

Students of UMBC have resources to succeed, but not all take advantage

UMBC provides many resources for students in finding jobs and internships that are not always taken advantage of and lead to recent graduates being unprepared when they enter the working world.

Students of UMBC are given ample opportunities and persuasion from administration to prepare them for the working world. Facilities like the Shriver Center and Career Services provide advantages for students when searching for jobs and internships.

For example, in the MCS major, students are required to obtain at least one internship to fulfill requirement for graduation. They also take a mandatory internship class that teaches students tasks for the working world, such as interview skills and sources to find jobs after graduation.

Professors are usually very aggressive and persuasive to advocate to students the importance of finding multiple internships and how important it is to use resources that the university offers. Administration at Career Services is able to assist students in perfecting their resumes, obtaining internships and even creating a resume for the first time.

“MCS does prepare students for the working world by emailing students jobs and internships that they might find interesting and offering an internship course that assists in finding what students like and perhaps what to pursue,” said senior MCS major, Hewan Yitagesu.

The Spanish department of UMBC also works with students to prepare them for the working world because of their insistence of study abroad programs. Study abroad programs are advocated by professors as it is seen as the best way to learn the language and culture. This department also sends out numerous emails with job and internship opportunities for students.

The issue becomes present when students, no matter how many resources they are given, do not take advantage of certain opportunities. Making internships and preparatory classes mandatory does force students to become actively involved in their major and give an extra push, but it is the responsibility of the student to then take their newfound knowledge and use it to network and continue with more work related opportunities.

Students must also be wary to develop useful skills from their time at the university to prepare themselves for the working world. According to a recent study by The Association of American Colleges and Universities, employers found new graduates to have weak skills in areas where students thought themselves strong.

Students were twice as likely to think of themselves as more prepared in the areas of oral communication, written communication, critical thinking and being creative, while employers disagreed. The only area where recent graduates and employers had a steady agreement was in staying current with new technologies.

So, while students have all the resources and materials to find and obtain jobs and internships, it is their personal responsibility to take advantage of opportunities provided through the school. It is also important to see that recent graduates may think they are more prepared than employers view them to be.