Suite News: Experiential Learning – What is it and Why Does it Matter?

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Jennifer Oliveira

Looking to secure a job or internship? Most likely, as a student at USG, you are. As a former student and alumnus of the Robert H. Smith School of Business’ General Business and Entrepreneurship Program at the Universities at Shady Grove (USG), I once was as well! As a student at USG, I utilized both Career Center resources from my home campus (UMCP) and USG to weigh my internship options while in school. I engaged in various on campus networking events offered by both USG’s Student and Academic Services Suite and the Smith School. I also participated in as many extracurricular activities as possible – being the Student Council President and sitting on the USG Board of Advisors in 2010-2011. After landing an investment banking job at Morgan Stanley and managing a team in Guadalajara, Mexico, for five years, I reflect back on how important my interactions while a student at USG were.

Today, I currently serve as the Acting Assistant Director for Employer Relations, previously a Career Advisor, within the Career and Internship Services Center at USG. The Career Center frequently hears students ask, “How can I make myself competitive and differentiate my qualifications from other applicants when applying for jobs?” The answer is summed up in one word — experience. Employers seek experience in any candidate, and experience will land you the internship needed to land the job. Experience must also start early, and must take place often.

The Career and Internship Services Center (CISC) provides opportunities for students to gain exposure to diverse industries, companies and employers prior to graduation through experiential learning. Through experiential learning, students have the ability to build upon existing knowledge of a particular industry and add value to their resume. Experience, in compilation to academic coursework, will contribute to the competitiveness of a student when seeking internships in school and jobs post-graduation.

So, how can students begin the experiential learning process? Start by visiting CISC, located in the SAS Suite (1st floor of Building III) to learn about upcoming internships, activities, and events. Students can easily search for available jobs and internship opportunities by making a Career Connector account. Schedule a career coaching appointment for resume and cover letter reviews, job search strategies, interview preparation and much more. The Career Center also encourages all students to attend these upcoming events:

First Look Fair
Tuesday, February 14, 11:30 am – 1:30 pm, Bldg. III Lobby

Spring Etiquette Dinner
Guest Speaker Carol Campbell Haislip, Director of The International School of Protocol Wednesday, March 8th, 5:00pm – 8:00pm, Bldg. II-1422, Multipurpose Room

Professionalism in the Workplace Workshop
Presented by Dr. Elliot Lasson, Program Director, UMBC I/O Psychology Program
Thursday, March 30th, 4:30pm – 5:30pm, Bldg. III-2203

LinkedIn Lab
Wednesday, April 5th, Photos: 12:00pm–6:00pm, Workshop 4:30pm–5:30 pm

Federal Job Opportunities Workshop
Presented by Corliss Jackson, President and CEO, Federal Job Results
Tuesday, April 25th, 2:00pm – 3:00pm (Undergrads) ; 4:00pm – 5:00pm (Grads)

For additional information visit the Career and Internship Services Center’s webpage or visit us in the SAS Suite. Also, be sure to connect with us on LinkedIn!

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