In the decade since she graduated from UMBC, Bethany Meyer ‘08, information systems, has become a rising leader in the online learning field. Meyer, now chief technology officer and co-founder of CourseArc, is also dedicated to identifying and training emerging tech talent for her company. The Maryland Technology Internship Program (MTIP) is helping her move that work forward.
MTIP launched in fall 2018 to increase the number of paid technical internships in the state by providing financial assistance to businesses, as well as state and local agencies, to hire more interns. The goal of the UMBC-based, statewide program is particularly to enable smaller companies to support student interns and retain talent, while giving students a chance to gain experience in technical and creative roles that require science, technology, engineering, and math skills.
Through MTIP, Meyer brought onboard Jessica Hutchinson, a student at Towson University, for a CourseArc internship last fall. “It’s been great having someone on our team who is eager to take on a wide range of tasks,” says Meyer. She notes that Hutchinson has worked on projects ranging from market research and quality assurance, regularly sharing fresh ideas and insights with her team.
Strengthening the pipeline
MTIP made headlines this fall when Technical.ly Baltimore interviewed UMBC’s Christine Routzahn about the program. Routzahn is director of UMBC’s Career Center and the MTIP, which is funded by the State of Maryland and administered by UMBC. She explains that the program is especially beneficial for smaller companies that don’t yet have established internship programs or existing funding to support an intern.
The program is open to current students and recent graduates, who have completed their degree within the past year. To participate, companies must be located in Maryland and must be technology-focused. Through the MTIP, employers can be reimbursed for up to half of an intern’s wages, with a maximum reimbursement of $3000 each year for each intern. Companies also designate a supervisor for each intern, to mentor them throughout the semester.
UMBC’s Sheldon Broedel explains, though his experience, that MTIP is not just a useful tool for companies, but has quickly become “part of our hiring strategy.” Broedel is assistant graduate program director of UMBC’s master’s in biotechnology program, as well as founder and CEO of biotech company Athena. Through MTIP, he was able to hire Stevenson University chemistry major Gavin Burton as an intern at Athena Environmental Sciences, Inc.
Hiring new talent and bringing them up to speed is “an iterative process of training that can be expensive and time-consuming,” says Broedel. He sees MTIP as “a way to offset the risk and lower the risk barrier” of bringing on potential new team members. The program helps students expand their knowledge and strengthen their resumes while reducing the expense to the companies who are doing that training, says Broedel.
During his time at Athena, Burton has developed a stronger understanding of the manufacturing process for specialty pharmaceuticals. He explains that having professional experience outside of a university lab has been incredibly valuable, sharing, “It reassured me that I’m on the right path with what I want to do with my life.”
UMBC students also participate in MTIP, and are regularly recognized through MTIP’s intern of the month.
Banner image: Lauren Mazzoli ’15, computer science, M.S. ‘17, computer science, and Priyanka Ranade ’18, information systems, working together during Ranade’s summer internship at Northrop Grumman. The internship was not through the MTIP. Photo by Marlayna Demond ’11 for UMBC.