PSM programs are tailored to students pursuing careers in industry, government and non-profit organizations. The PSM program curriculum emphasizes essential professional skills and employer connections. Students benefit from the great exposure to employers, which not only is helpful when students apply for their first jobs but also may lead to job offers by employers who already know them.
Reasons to get a PSM degree:
- Get employment-relevant education and work experience
- Build employer network with high-level executives
- Learn essential professional skills for success in the workplace
- Learn to think “out-of-the-box”
- Get a highly competitive and interdisciplinary degree
- Become a graduate in high demand
Some PSM students enter their programs right out of their undergraduate programs; others have been working for a while or continue their careers during their education. Students may know in advance what kind of career they want or may not. Having students from different situations encourages cross-learning and simulates the actual work environment students may be exposed to after graduation. The interdisciplinary nature of PSM programs and the broad understanding of future career opportunities help students find their niche.
Central to the Professional Science Master’s (PSM) degree is the utilization of knowledge acquired through coursework in STEM fields to solve problems and meet challenges in the workplace. This is best accomplished through real-world experience in internships with industry, government or non-profit partners. Our goal is to ensure that student interns are paid and engaged in a meaningful learning experience.
Internships for PSM students are available from a variety of institutions, including Waters Corporation, Millipore, U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research Development and Engineering Center, GeoMed Analytical, Commonwealth of Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, as well as many others.
During the internship, student engages in real world work situations involving technical problems, teamwork, communication skills and decision-making while working within the business, government agency or non-profit organization. Internship component is expected to be minimum 350 hours over three to six months. A minimum of 18 credit hours of coursework must be completed before a student is eligible for the internship. Students are required to participate in a one-credit reflective seminar concurrent with the internship which will enable PSM students to share and learn from the experiences of colleagues in other settings. The seminar may be conducted online, on campus or in a blended mode and will include written and oral presentation of experience.
Professional Science Master’s curriculum include these courses to as part of the internship requirement:
PSM.500 - Professional Science Master’s Internship
Professional Science Master’s students who are preparing to participate in an internship enroll in this Professional Development Seminar prior to the semester of their work period. This seminar will provide them with resources and skills to manage an internship search; secure a position; and work successfully in a professional environment.
PSM.501 - Professional Science Master’s Reflective Seminar
Reflective seminar concurrent with the internship enables Professional Science Master’s (PSM) students to share and learn from the experiences of colleagues in other settings. Students evaluate and compare individual internship experiences, explore career opportunities and gain further knowledge about functioning in a professional environment. The seminar may be conducted online, on campus, or in a blended mode and will include writing and oral presentation of experience.
Some steps for successful internship placement:
1) Review Career Services website for information on interviewing skills, basic resume formats, schedule of events (career fairs, workshops, other)
2) Visit the Career Services office and find out about services they offer including:
resume/cover letter workshops
interview preparation (videotaped interviews)
database search for employee connections
3) Make use of the career services database to put together a target list of companies to query about internship opportunities.
4) Attend Career Service Job Fairs to meet with prospective employers and internship providers.
5) Recontact any employees that you previously interviewed with to let them know about the PSM program you are enrolled in and inquire if they might have an internship opportunity available. Contact PSM office to assist you with your communication about the PSM program to these folks if they are not receptive to your inquiries.
6) Attend departmental PSM Seminars (Math department) and other seminars (College of Management) which bring in speakers from industry and speak with the presenters about how your skills might be useful within their industry.
7) Attend trade association networking events.
8) Contact industry folks for information for any project you are planning to work on in your project management or other relevant course.
9) Network with your classmates.
Visit UMass Lowell Career Services.