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FIRE prepares you to take fearless next steps after you complete our experience.

What happens after I complete FIRE?

FIRE students are strongly positioned to transition to next steps in their professional development after completing the FIRE 3 semester experience. In addition to the technical skills you have gained, FIRE students are career ready.

Use these resources as a guide for thinking about your next step. 

Reflecting on your FIRE Experience
Undergraduate researchers develop a multitude of skills during their time in FIRE. When reflecting on your own skill development, it may be helpful to conceptualize skills as being related to developing "research products" or understanding "research processes."

Research-Product Oriented Skills

Research-Process Oriented Skills

Take Note: 
Jot down what product-oriented and process-oriented skills you have developed in FIRE. Beside each skill, note an example of how you developed that skill. Consider which skills may be relevant in future opportunities you wish to pursue.  

Similarly, the National Association of Colleges & Employers (NACE) outlines the competencies for career readiness as... ​

Critical Thinking & Problem Solving

Exercise sound reasoning to analyze issues, make decisions, and overcome problems. The individual is able to obtain, interpret, and use knowledge, facts, and data in this process, and may demonstrate originality and inventiveness.

Oral & Written Communication

Articulate thoughts and ideas clearly and effectively in written and oral forms to persons inside and outside of the organization. The individual has public speaking skills; is able to express ideas to others; and can write/edit memos, letters, and complex technical reports clearly and effectively.

Teamwork & Collaboration

Build collaborative relationships with colleagues and customers representing diverse cultures, races, ages, genders, religions, lifestyles, and viewpoints. The individual is able to work within a team structure, and can negotiate and manage conflict.


Leverage the strengths of others to achieve common goals, and use interpersonal skills to coach and develop others. The individual is able to assess and manage his/her emotions and those of others; use empathetic skills to guide and motivate; and organize, prioritize, and delegate work.

Digital Technology

Leverage existing digital technologies ethically and efficiently to solve problems, complete tasks, and accomplish goals. The individual demonstrates effective adaptability to new and emerging technologies.

Professionalism & Work Ethic

Demonstrate personal accountability and effective work habits, e.g., punctuality, working productively with others, and time workload management, and understand the impact of non-verbal communication on professional work image. The individual demonstrates integrity and ethical behavior, acts responsibly with the interests of the larger community in mind, and is able to learn from his/her mistakes.

Career Management

Identify and articulate one's skills, strengths, knowledge, and experiences relevant to the position desired and career goals, and identify areas necessary for professional growth. The individual is able to navigate and explore job options, understands and can take the steps necessary to pursue opportunities, and understands how to self-advocate for opportunities in the workplace.

Global & Intercultural Fluency

Value, respect, and learn from diverse cultures, races, ages, genders, sexual orientations, and religions. The individual demonstrates, openness, inclusiveness, sensitivity, and the ability to interact respectfully with all people and understand individuals’ differences.

Take Note: 
Note which of these competencies you feel you have developed during your FIRE Experience. Beside each competency, note an example of how you developed that competency. 
For example, perhaps you developed competency in Digital Technology through your experience wrangling data and using newly emerging AI algorithms to analyze data. 

Preparing For Your Next Step

Resumes are typically tailored one-page documents outlining your work experience relevant to the internship or opportunity to which you are applying. A curriculum vitae or “CV” is a longer, comprehensive document outlining your academic experiences thus far. These often include subsections like “Education”, “Research”, “Publications”, “Presentations”, and “Service.” 

The Career Center and President’s Promise Office provide resources and Canvas modules on CVs and Resumes. 

On both CVs and resumes, you can (and should) include your FIRE experience. Here are a few examples of how FIRE Alumni have included FIRE on their respective documents. 


FIRE Alumni Resume Examples

Leveraging your FIRE Network

Developing Materials

Find as many opportunities to network as you can!


These opportunities can occur at research-centered events like conferences or Undergraduate Research Day. During events, do your best to connect with people in the field in which you are interested and let them know you are looking for opportunities. Carry around business cards (physical or QR code) or a resume to share with colleagues. Make a good first impression.


Develop your online presence to extend your network. Develop and keep profiles up-to-date on websites like LinkedIn, Research Gate, ORIC iD, or any other discipline-specific websites. 

You can also build networks in your day-to-day life here at UMD. Network with peers in courses or extra-curricular meetings - your peers now will be experts in their fields at some point in the future! Additionally, build and maintain relationships with faculty members on campus. An excellent way to develop and foster connections with faculty members is by visiting your professors during office hours. FIRE faculty members would always appreciate you stopping in to let them know what you’re up to after FIRE.


Many opportunities are available at UMD and beyond that FIRE students are uniquely positioned to consider. These include research, internships, campus engagement, community engagement opportunities, and more.

What were FIRE Alumni's next steps? 

Research Opportunities

Interested in continuing research after FIRE? Many resources and opportunities are out there - the challenge is finding the opportunity that aligns with your interests and goals.  


What are you interested in pursuing as a career?  What are your personal and professional goals?

How might skills you developed in research advance you toward your goals?

What research topics or questions do you have after FIRE? Are there subject areas you want to learn more about? 

Check in with your FIRE Faculty Mentor:

What suggestions do they have for continuing research (in FIRE, at UMD, beyond?)

Share with them your self-evaluated strengths and skills. Ask for feedback from their experience working with you. 

Staying Connected to the FIRE Community

During your time in FIRE you have built numerous connections with peers and faculty members. You may be wondering how you can stay connected to the members of your FIRE community and the larger research community at UMD.

  • Instagram

To keep up with all things FIRE, follow us on Instagram at @umd_fire. This is where all FIRE events and updates are posted regularly. 

  • Instagram

Keep up to date on undergraduate research activities, events, and announcements by following the Office of Undergraduate Research on Instagram @umd_our

You may also stay connected to the FIRE community by serving on the Student Leadership Council or by serving as a peer research mentor for your FIRE stream. 

Additional Resources and Opportunities

Many additional resources are available to help you navigate your Next Step. See Resources at UMD and from the Council of Undergraduate (CUR) Research Student Resource Center below. 

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