Career Preparation

Whether you are working on your internship or job search or applying to graduate school, much of this information is relevant to you at some point of your academic career and beyond. While taking classes and completing your major requirements, you will need to discover your competencies and apply what you have learned in the classroom. What you do OUTSIDE of the classroom, whether it’s internships, student groups or work (part-time, full-time or volunteering), is just as important as what you do inside. Participating in these activities makes you a much stronger candidate! Here are some useful resources for experiential learning: 

Student Leadership, Research & Volunteer Opportunities 

  • Fall First Look Fair and Spring StampFest are great opportunities to learn about the hundreds of student organizations on campus. Can’t make it to one of those events? Check out OrgSync for descriptions and contact information for campus student organizations. 
  • Services 24/7 is a virtual resource center that serves to provide residents of PG County a directory of human services in the Washington D.C. Metro area and to connect volunteers to local non-profits. This resource was developed by Leadership & Community Service-Learning, another great resource for students interested in, you guessed it, leadership and community service opportunities!
  • Research positions are abundant on campus but can be difficult to find. Start by connecting with the professors teaching your classes and using the Find an Expert tool for faculty in the School of Public Health. Our faculty specialize in a variety of topics from bioinformatics to human development, physical activity and patient-centered outcomes research!
  • Student Involvement opportunities at the Health Center and across campus can be very competitive but they offer students a chance to develop skills while under the guidance of supportive supervisors.
  • Student Employment while in school is a great way to gain relevant experience while making money. Here are some suggestions on where to look to find Federal Work Study, Graduate Assistantships and Part-Time opportunities. 

Internships, Fellowships, Shadowing & National Scholarships

  • Careers4Terps  hosts the job and internship database for UMD students and alumni. Large organizations like the National Institutes of Health and small organizations like Sport and Spine Rehab post jobs, internships and fellowships specifically for UMD students. C4T also hosts many clinical shadowing opportunities!
  • Idealist is a useful website for finding internships and volunteer opportunities at nonprofits. While they do have opportunities across the nation, UMD is especially lucky to be so close to Washington, D.C., an epicenter for public health nonprofits.
  • UMD National Scholarships Office provides support to students interested in applying to competitive national scholarships and fellowships such as Fulbright for studying and teaching abroad, public policy, summer research and graduate study.
  • Fellowships are commonplace post-graduate and summer opportunities, however there is no comprehensive database of fellowships. Here are some examples of organizations with fellowships including ASPPH, APHL, CDC, and Global Health Corps

Job and Internship Search

First start by reviewing the Terp Guide, which is a career guide tailored for UMD students and alumni. In it you will find sample resumes and cover letters, actions verbs, interviewing tips and more. Follow this plan and you’ll be sure to find a fulfilling opportunity.

  • Recruitment & Hiring Cycles
    • A common question we get is “When should I start applying?”. The answer is, it depends on the industry but from application submission to start date, the process takes approximately three - six months. 
    • Traditional hiring for the business field, including consulting opportunities, typically occur in the fall even for students graduating in the spring. Deadlines for state & federal government, nonprofit and public policy are often in October through April.
  • Letters of Recommendations & References
    • Develop and maintain relationships with faculty and supervisors to use as professional references.
    • Formally ask references if they are willing to be your professional contact and provide them details about your job search and graduate applications. Sending them your resume and personal statement is often very helpful!
  • The Online Search is not the only way to find job and internship opportunities  but it’s a good start. Here are some great sites for opportunities in Public Health:
  • Searching through Networking
    • 23% of SPH graduate found their current jobs through family & friends. While you likely won’t be handed a job, building a network is a great way to find out about career opportunities.
    • Perfect your 30-second elevator pitch
    • Connect with employers at networking nights, information sessions, Meetups and career fairs and panels. Visit our events calendar at careers.umd.edu/events-calendar to learn about opportunities.
    • Create and maintain a LinkedIn profile and reach out to UMD alumni, colleagues and peers.
    • Tell everyone you know that you are looking for a job or internship, you never know where that can lead!
  • Resumes and Cover Letters
    • Take a look at the Terp Guide for sample  resumes and cover letters for UMD students.
    • Use action verbs to highlight your skills. 
    • Federal resumes are unique, visit USAJobs for more information about what their requirements.
    • Tailor your resume to the job you are applying for. Use JobScan.co to match your resume to the job posting of interest.
  • Writing Samples
    • Highlight your writing skills and knowledge of the field by submitting a well prepared writing sample.
    • Submit the writing sample online or bring it to the interview upon request.
  • Interviewing
  • Salary and Benefits Negotiation

Continuing Education

  1. Trying to decide between Nursing and Physician Assistant school or Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy School? Visit:
    1. U.S. News for school rankings 
    2. Petersons for a description a wide range of programs
    3. SOPHAS for MPH programs
    4. Exploring Careers in Public Health page

And lastly, attend local graduate school fairs like the Idealist Grad Fair or the Spring Health Professions Graduate Recruitment Fair.

  1. Do some research early on into prerequisites (required courses, clinical hours, GPA etc.) and the application process (personal statements, fees, admissions tests etc.) of various programs. Here are some sites to start with:
  1. All students interested in pre-health (Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing, Physician Assistant, Physical Therapy and more) should visit the Reed-Yorke Health Professions Advising Office website to learn more about applying to health professions school, the committee letter writing process for your application, and to register for Orientation. You will meet with them regularly throughout your academic career so start early!
    1. Want some one-on-one assistance outside of the Health Professions Advising Office? Schedule an appointment with Brenton Andreasik, an SPH advisor dedicated to helping pre-health professions students.
  2. When applying to graduate school always plan early.  The spring and summer before your final academic year complete appropriate standardized tests, research schools and faculty you are interested in, work on your personal statement and connect with references. Review this 12-month timeline for tips.