An Exploratory Internship enables you to examine a particular interest by working part-time or full-time in a company or organization over a substantial period. Exploratory Internships emphasize field experience, supplemented with regular academic work under the direction of a faculty supervisor.
Trinity students can earn academic credit for Exploratory Internships both during the academic year and during the summer. Exploratory Internships earn a half credit and are graded on a pass/fail basis. Students may complete up to four Exploratory Internships during their time at Trinity, for a total of two credits toward the 36 credits required for graduation.
In some circumstances, departments an programs may sponsor one-credit courses with internship components, allowing you to study a topic or issue at greater depth. Some departments also allow students to complement Exploratory Internships with 0.5-credit independent studies. Students should consult individual departments or faculty members for information about one-credit courses with internships and independent study options.
Arranging and Registering for Internships
To locate internship opportunities, begin by reviewing the Internship Directory and searching Trinity eRecruiting. Internships not listed in the directory or posted in eRecruiting must be approved by the Career Development Center to be eligible for academic credit. Career Development staff are available to assist with internship searches and applications.
Once you have secured an internship placement, you should obtain the support of a faculty sponsor who will supervise the academic component of the internship. Your faculty sponsor should have some expertise in a field related to the content of you internship.
Next, complete the Exploratory Internship Contract, which details your responsibilities in the field as well as the nature of your academic project. The completed contract should be signed by your faculty sponsor, the sponsor's department chair, and your field supervisor. The Career Development Center will review your contract, and will either approve it or request revisions. Once approved, your contract will be forwarded to the Registrar, and you will be registered for the internship.
Legislative Internship Program
Students gain first-hand experience in politics and government by working for a member of the Connecticut General Assembly. The Legislative Internship Program takes place during the spring semester. Since most legislators don’t have a big staff, student interns often shoulder a lot of responsibility and are treated like regular members of the office. Most students enroll in the program full-time, working 40 hours a week at the Legislature for four course credits. You can also do this on a part-time basis, working 20 hours a week for two course credits.
All interns also participate in a weekly seminar led by a faculty member in the Political Science Department. The seminar examines the scholarship on state legislatures nationwide. The seminar’s academic foundation is informed by the students’ real-world experience in the Connecticut General Assembly. For more information, contact Professor Diana Evans.
The Cotter Congressional Internship Fund
Endowed in memory of U.S. Congressman William R. Cotter ’49, this fund provides a stipend for students doing summer internships in the offices of any United States Senator or Representative. Preference is given to internships with Connecticut Senators and Representatives and to legislative interns in Washington, D.C. If you are planning such an internship this summer, please submit a statement of need and a letter of acceptance to the Career Development Center by May 15 to apply for a stipend.