Hartford, Connecticut, July 20, 2018—Trinity College economics major Salma T. Alam El Din ’20 has a for-credit, paid summer internship at Hartford Investment Management Co. (HIMCO) as part of its Business Intelligence Team. A member of the Trinity women’s squash team and an international student from Egypt, Alam El Din has volunteered at Capitol Squash and is actively involved in Trinity’s Muslim Student Association and The Arabic Club. She will be studying abroad at University College of London next fall. Alam El Din shares some of her experiences from her summer internship below:
Why did you choose this internship?
It is a great opportunity to learn about the investment industry and acquire technical and analytical skills while being close to campus.
How did Trinity’s Center for Student Success and Career Development help you with the internship process?
Career Development helped me prepare for my interview, know my strengths and weaknesses, and why I am well suited for this position.
What are your daily responsibilities?
I am part of the Business Intelligence Team, which entails daily meetings with my team and the business side to discuss our work. I also attend lectures as part of the Talent Speaker Series, which is specifically designed for interns, and participate in weekly meetings as part of a trading game made of teams of interns.
What do you find most challenging about this internship?
I found learning to operate systems like SQL and Tableau—which I had no prior experience with—and being able to utilize them in daily tasks for the IT Department to be the most challenging part.
How has this internship improved your professional skills?
It has immensely developed my communication, presentation, and leadership skills, as well as my analytical thinking and being able to work in a team.
Why did you decide to apply for an internship in the United States? Does this internship experience connect with your academic focus or classroom discussions at Trinity?
As an international student, I am exposed to a different experience that makes interning here rewarding. Last semester, I attended a panel discussion between three Trinity alumni, organized by [G. Fox and Company Professor of Economics] Diane Zannoni for her macroeconomics class, who spoke to us about their successful careers. The panel included American and international students. The talk was engaging and inspirational. They appreciated the integral role Trinity played in shaping their personalities and career prospects. It made me appreciate my education at Trinity even more and realize that the characteristics that make me stand out from my American peers are unique. This internship familiarizes me with the work environment in the U.S. while helping me create networks with various people and trying to connect my economics education with my career goals.
What are the challenges and benefits of being an international student in a U.S. work environment? What have you gained from being an international student working in the U.S.?
Working in the United States is a culturally educational experience. It is interestingly shaped by the economic and political situation of this country, which I have learned to stay updated on in the past weeks. It is a great learning experience, and being a part of a very diverse and competitive team such as Trinity’s squash team has certainly given me the confidence to take on challenges like these. It also makes me appreciate the culture I am in as well as the culture I am from. Not to mention, the work and social skills I have picked up from daily interactions in the workplace have deepened my understanding of America.
What do you hope to gain from this experience? Has this internship influenced your career path plans?
I am hoping to gain a deeper understanding of the investment industry and where I see myself in it. The internship has helped me realize the variety of opportunities out there. It has made me realize the strength of my analytical and decision-making skills and makes me want to apply them in a role in investment management.