Making the Most of the Summer of COVID-19 | A. James Clark School of Engineering, University of Maryland

What Will You do This Summer?

Listed below are some suggestions for what to do this summer if your internship was rescinded or if you were unable to find one during these difficult times.  If you initially secured a summer internship that was canceled due to COVID-19, you can still list this information on your resume.  See example, Resume - COVID 19 Rescinded Offer & Project

We believe that when the pandemic is over, employers may ask students, “What did you do during the summer of Covid-19?” and so we wanted to give you some ideas.

To be clear, you do not have to take any of these suggestions.  We understand that many of you might have to take a job outside of engineering to support yourself and your family.  We also understand that many of you are facing challenges with your living situation, illness in your family, feelings of depression and loneliness, or are simply burnt-out and exhausted from the spring semester (University Counseling Center).  It is okay to focus on whatever YOU need this summer and our office can coach you through responding to that question.  

Some of these suggestions will only require a minor commitment whereas others are more intensive.  Some revolve around career development, personal development, or community service and we hope that some might even be considered fun.  We also recommned that you list these experiences (as well as any rescinded offers) on your resume.  Contact our office if you woud like assistance on how to best accomplish this.

Keep in mind while doing any of these projects: 

  • What are you learning?
  • How are you demonstrating leadership, initiative, creativity, critical thinking, problem solving, teamwork, communication skills, the ability to explain complex concepts, etc
  • How will you articulate these skills to an employer? 
  • How will you add these experiences to your resume?

Career Development Workshops

Participate in one of our many Career Development Workshops.

Interview Prep
How would you respond to the list of interview questions in this handout?   What examples would you give?  

Mock Interviews
After attending one of our online interview workshops, request to have a mock interview with a staff member by completing this form.

Interview Stream
Record yourself answering questions using Interview Stream.

Interview a Terp Alum
Whether you call it an informational interview or a “curious conversation” knowing more about your industry can make you a better applicant.  We have many alums with profiles on Terrapin Connect, who would be happy to speak with you.  But before you do, check out our informational interview handout to learn how to make the most of these interviews.

Clifton Strengths Assessment
Did you take the Clifton Strengths Assessment during ClarkLead last year?  Think about how you use your top 5 strengths in your life.  Come up with examples from class projects or work experience.  Need help?  Make an appointment with someone in our office. 

Practice Case Interviews
There are several great case interview practice sites including:

LinkedIn Learning Topics

LinkedIn Learning, provides free online courses in a variety of technical and behavioral skills that can enhance your resume and round out your skillset. It is free for all University of Maryland students when you log in with your @umd.edu address. (Logging in with your @terpmail account will not work.)  

Virtual Intern Experience

Finding a job is never easy, starting a career during a global pandemic is overwhelming. So we’ve recruited over 40 top business executives from across the nation to provide professional development, skill building workshops, financial literacy programs, and high-profile networking opportunities throughout the summer.

Programming begins June 16 and runs through the end of July with free daily digital content available to college students, graduate students and alumni. Students can sign up for free, starting today: Virtual Intern Experience Workshops

AT&T Summer Learning Academy

The AT&T Summer Learning Academy is a free, unpaid self-paced online learning “externship” certificate program, designed to support college students looking for something to fill the void.

This program is open to all college students and consists of 80 hours of virtual, on-demand 24x7 content. Registration is open now for college students through June 12 and the program runs from June 22-July 20. Content will appear here once the program launches.

You are officially registered if the AT&T Learn website button says “You’re successfully registered” instead of “Register Now”. Within 2 business days of successfully registering you will receive an email from AT&T Summer Learning Academy to complete a college validation form. This form must be submitted to receive the AT&T Summer Learning Academy certificate of completion.

Register online at https://learn.att.jobs/app/sign-up/internship?redirectTo=/categories/SyHhx2s4m7GgVZN63UUC

Questions?  summerlearningacademy@att.com

ENES

  • Mechanics I, and Mechanics II (ENES 102 & 220)
  • Dynamics (ENES 221)
  • Thermodynamics (ENES 232)
  • Engineering for Us All (ENES 192)

Course descriptions can be found at https://eng.umd.edu/keystone/courses.

Global Leadership (And why not add a Leadership Minor?)

  • Leadership in Times of Crisis: Pandemics, Disasters, and Humanitarian Crises (ENES475/675)
  • International Business Cultures (ENES472, GenEd DVCC)
  • Introduction to Engineering Leadership (ENES317, GenEd DSSP)

Course descriptions can be found at https://eng.umd.edu/global/leadership-courses.

Fast Forward Your Degree
Talk to your academic advisor to see if you can reasonably complete 9-12 credits this summer, that would free up a semester to 1) graduate early, 2) complete a co-op semester, or 3) spend a semester abroad.

LinkedIn Learning Skill Development

LinkedIn Learning, provides free online courses in a variety of technical and behavioral skills that can enhance your resume and round out your skillset. It is free for all University of Maryland students when you log in with your @umd.edu address. (Logging in with your @terpmail account will not work.)  If you connect your LinkedIn account to LinkedIn Learning (through your settings), then you can add a badge to your LinkedIn account to prove that you finished it. 

When should I use LinkedIn Learning?

LinkedIn Learning is a great tool to use over your breaks to continue developing and practicing technical skills.  If you are interested in jobs that seek a technical skill that you need, you can use LinkedIn Learning at any point to develop that skill so you can add it to your resume.  If you have an interview coming up, there are a variety of courses directed toward practicing technical and behavioral interview skills.

What LinkedIn Learning courses should I take?

Below, we have a list of recommended courses for different engineering majors. Of course, you know yourself best and can take whatever classes suit your needs.

Aerospace Engineering
Bioengineering
Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering
Civil Engineering
Computer Science and Engineering
Electrical Engineering
Environmental Engineering
Fire Protection Engineering
Materials Science and Engineering
Mechanical Engineering

 

Additional Options for Learning a Programming Language

Every employer expects engineering students to have some proficiency with programming and there are many online resources to teach yourself some basic programming.  Here are just a few examples:

Mini Summer Alumni Cup
We are pleased to say that the Clark School Alumni Board is sponsoring a mini summer alumni cup, complete with prizes!  Details will be released shortly, but watch this video to be inspired. (Don’t worry, we won’t expect your contraptions to be nearly this complicated!)

K-12 Videos
Make a video demonstrating a basic hands-on engineering activity/experiment that kids can do at home.  Explain the concept/theory in very simple terms.

  • Example: Talk about aerodynamics. Why are aerodynamics important and how do engineers use aerodynamics?  Teach kids how to build paper airplanes.  Test different airplane shapes to illustrate aerodynamics.
  • Upload the video to your LinkedIn page and send us the link.  If we receive enough, we can start our own YouTube channel that our K-12 programs can use.
  • Get more ideas from:

The STEM Laboratory
Kindergarten Connection - Engineering Activities
Teach Engineering
Plus hundreds more!

Home Projects
Are you a car, computer, fix-it enthusiast?  Take time-lapse photographs of a repair or a rebuild and post it on your LinkedIn profile.   
 

Help your community during this crisis.  Here are just a few:

Start a Food Drive
Collect food donations in your neighborhood and bring them to a food bank.

Conversation Exchange
Be a “conversational partner” for an elementary school ESOL (English as a Second Language) student.  Many public schools were able to give their students tablets to use for online learning and they might be excited about practicing English with a college student for a couple hours/week.  Contact your local public school.  Many will have ESOL coordinators listed on their website.
 
Kindling Curiosity Instructors
Kindling Curiosity is a high school student-run group that aims to provide free one hour lectures and Q&A sessions via Zoom to elementary school students and middle school students who are interested in learning topics in various subjects such as mathematics, computer science, debate and English.  If you think you might want to be an instructor, complete this form, Kindling Curiosity - Join Us or email contact@kindlingcuriosity.org if you have questions.


Top