Economic Organizations Internship Seminar Helps Students Prepare for Careers

Internships for Credit Open Doors for Trinity College Students Across Industries

​Hartford, Connecticut, December 13, 2017 – Some Trinity College students who complete internships with businesses in Hartford get more than just work experience. Trinity’s “Economic Organizations Internship” seminar digs deeper by providing an academic lens through which students analyze their workplace environment, intergroup relations, and corporate responsibilities. “We really want to broaden the students’ work experiences through shared discussions,” said Visiting Assistant Professor of Economics and Public Policy Cindy Jacobs


​(Left-right) Ian LaClair ’19, Max Herman ’19, William Woods ’18, and Brian Crowe ’18 were enrolled in the Economic Organizations Internship seminar in the fall 2017 semester.
The seminar meets once a week and integrates student experiences with readings covered in the course. Students are asked to critically analyze the organizations in which they are interning and the environment in which their work takes place. Jacobs said, “The seminar focuses on three areas covering workplace culture in a broader context. The first area of inquiry is to try and create a broader experience for students to connect their internship with their work culture; the second component addresses career-planning and way-finding; and the last component concerns organizational sustainability and environmental responsibility.” Other topics of discussion include office structure, relations among employees, ethical and interpersonal problems faced by various groups of workers, gender concerns in the workplace, and issues associated with employing interns. Students also are introduced to the capabilities of the Bloomberg Professional workstations in the Financial Research & Technology Center in Trinity’s Raether Library and Information Technology Center. They are required to use sources from the Bloomberg terminals in their final research projects.

Economics major Ian LaClair ’19 has been immersed in the investment management industry this fall by interning at Bradley, Foster & Sargent in downtown Hartford as he charts his own career path. “Participating in the economic internship seminar has encouraged me to reflect on the culture of my particular workplace as well as the broader workplace dynamics of the financial services industry,” LaClair said.

Brian Crowe ’18, an economics major, has been interning remotely this semester for a small New York hedge fund. “The class has helped me understand some of the more detailed nuances of corporate culture that I never noticed in my internship experiences,” Crowe said.

Joseph Catrino, Trinity’s director of career development, said that seminars like this one can be very helpful to students as they explore possible careers. “The opportunity to reflect on internship experience and to have open dialogue about how it aligns with academic course content will prepare students for life beyond Trinity,” Catrino said. Trinity’s Public Policy & Law and Formal Organizations programs also offer similar internship seminars.

Trinity students across all majors can gain valuable work experience and academic credit through numerous internship opportunities in the Greater Hartford area. Programs including the Legislative Internship Program and the Health Fellows Internship Program provide students with in-depth, hands-on industry experience.

Emphasizing the value of Trinity’s internship for credit program, Victoria Sandoval, assistant director of strategic partnerships and outreach in the Center for Student Success and Career Development, said, “The program provides students with the opportunity to explore a particular career interest while engaging in an academic component assigned by a faculty sponsor.” Sandoval said that the academic component can unfold in a variety of ways but ultimately enables students to examine their experiences more closely. “This fusion between real-world learning and reflection helps students to think critically about their future, and equips them to build a career filled with meaning and purpose,” she said.

Trinity’s internship for credit program is accompanied by critical reflection through faculty sponsorships. Sandoval said, “An internship seminar provides a more organized way for students to make connections between workplace cultures and specific fields.” The intention behind such seminars is to help students better engage with factors of an organization with which they may have been unaware. “Students have the opportunity to explore workplace issues and themes that they will likely experience during their career trajectories,” Sandoval said.

Students interested in participating in the internship for credit program may contact Victoria Sandoval at victoria.sandoval@trincoll.edu. To participate in Jacobs’s seminar, students must submit a completed internship contract form to the Center for Student Success and Career Development.

Written by Kyle M. McGrath ’18