What is an Internship?
An internship provides an opportunity for college students to obtain hands-on work experience in a professional business environment. Students learn more about a particular field and increase their understanding of the business they are working in.
Internships prepare Trinity students for careers through academic training and work experience in a chosen field and allow a student to:
- Apply theory to practice
- Try out a career choice before committing to it
- Develop skills and confidence in their abilities
- Gain valuable skills sought after by employers
- Begin the process of career networking and obtaining employment contacts
Academic Internships for Credit
Important Update: For Fall 2020 and Spring 2021, all academic internships must be virtual or remote to ensure the health and safety of students and in keeping with Trinity’s re-opening plan. Students are not permitted to participate in any internships that require in-person tasks.
Most students in the College of Arts and Sciences are required to enroll in the academic internship course aligned with their major and complete 100 hours of internship across the semester. This requirement can be fulfilled during Junior or Senior year after a student has competed 56 total credits and declared a major. (Second semester sophomores may also petition to enroll in internship if they have completed significant credits in their major).
- Search for a place to do your internship based on your academic and career goals. Internships are available in every sector including, education, healthcare, government, social service agencies, private sector and enterprise etc. Handshake is Trinity’s primary internship and employment database. Employers post opportunities on Handshake daily to recruit students. Network with faculty, family and colleagues to learn about internships as well.
- If you are seeking academic credit for the internship, you must enroll in the appropriate internship course for your major. Review the academic catalog for major course requirements or talk to your Academic Advisor.
- Send introductory emails to companies/organizations expressing your interest in learning about available internship opportunities. Clearly outline in your resume, cover letter and internship application (if applicable) why you would be a good candidate.
- Once your internship site is confirmed, send out the template Trinity Internship Guidelines letter outlining the expectations of the internship site and supervisor. For employers that are new to Handshake, please share the following, Handshake Invite for Employers letter so that they can create an account.
- Complete the Academic Internship form to get approval from your Trinity faculty, internship supervisor and the Office of Career Services. All internship and practicum approvals must be submitted through Handshake. Go on Handshake and “Request an Experience” which requires electronic signatures from the student, internship supervisor and faculty for the academic internship/practicum to be approved. Review details on how to submit an internship approval form via Handshake Experiences or watch this video.
- Track the status of your internship/practicum approval via Handshake Experiences by following these steps.
- Complete all academic assignments and tasks at your internship site to receive credit for the course. Classes are graded pass/fail or with a letter grade.
How Do I Find an Internship?
The first step is to decide what type of internship you are looking for, credit or non-credit, paid or unpaid. Once that has been determined, the process of finding an internship is the same as finding a job. The most effective internship searches utilize a variety of strategies.
- Network: Let people know you are looking for an internship in your field. Network with family, friends and colleagues to find out if they know any leads. If you are looking for an academic internship for credit, talk with the faculty member teaching your internship course because they may have recommendations based on previous student experiences.
- Research: Explore internship opportunities on Trinity’s primary internship database Handshake, as employers post opportunities daily to recruit students. Refer to career related weblinks for a list of job search engines.
- Learn: Find out as much as you can about the organization by contacting other students, alumnae or employees who’ve worked there.
- Prepare: Update/create your resume and cover letter, make an appointment with the Office of Career Services to obtain feedback and practice interviewing.
- Apply: Submit your resume and cover letter to the contact person for the position.
Frequently Asked Questions
Up to how many credits can a student receive for internship?
Students can receive up to 6 credits for an internship they are completing for an academic course. Check the academic catalog for major related course codes or speak with your Academic Advisor.
Where can I find the required forms?
The Internship Guidelines letter should be given to your potential internship supervisor so they understand the academic program expectations. If they agree complete the Academic Internship form via Handshake Experiences. Go on Handshake and “Request an Experience” which requires electronic signatures from the student, internship supervisor and faculty for the academic internship/practicum to be approved.
Are all internships unpaid?
No, the employer determines whether an internship is paid or unpaid. You should clarify this particular question with the employer during the interview process. Both paid and unpaid internships are eligible for credit at Trinity.