In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Trinity College students from around the world have taken on summer internships in a variety of disciplines to further their academic interests and explore their possible career goals.

Trinity’s Center for Student Success and Career Development emphasizes the importance of internships as an essential part of experiential learning and the perfect outlet to leverage a liberal arts education in the world of work. “It is through internships that students hone and develop their critical thinking and communication skills while becoming informed decision-makers about their career and life. Internships allow students to navigate and design their lives,” said Executive Director of Student Success and Career Development Joe Catrino. “One way we encourage student internships is by offering academic credit for their work. They collaborate with a faculty member and write about and document their internship experience.”

This summer, many internships have been offered in remote formats due to the safety measures put in place during the pandemic. “Internships—even completed remotely or virtually—are still important because they are providing students experience and exposure to the professional world,” Catrino said. “The pandemic has shown us how businesses can and will be moving online, and these student interns will be prepared for that.”

Here, five Trinity students talk about their internship experiences and how their summer roles have them looking forward to what is to come in their futures at Trinity and beyond:

Martina De Robertis IDP ’21

Martina De Robertis IDP ’21 internship
Martina De Robertis IDP ’21

Internships: The Latino Way—Hartford, Connecticut; creative marketing intern, and Maia Yogurt—Hamden, Connecticut; brand influence intern (completed in hybrid formats)
Major: English literature and world literature, concentrated in Hispanic studies
Hometown: Buenos Aires, Argentina

This summer:
“This summer I have two internships; I am a creative marketing intern at a Hispanic marketing agency called the Latino Way, and I am a brand influence intern for Maia Yogurt. The Latino Way owns a news channel called CT En Vivo, which is a Hispanic news channel in Connecticut. We have worked closely with the Office of the Governor to take over campaigns that are COVID-19 related. Our agency receives the campaign information about things like back-to-school policy and reinforcing testing, and it is my job to translate the message into Spanish. My position is called ‘creative’ translating because instead of doing a literal translation, I have to cater the message to the population we are trying to reach. The Hispanic population in Connecticut does not have the same worries as English-speaking Connecticut citizens.  I translate considering those different concerns; I have to go beyond just the message to communicate to the specific population. Then, at Maia Yogurt, I have taken the leadership role of our internship group, organizing bi-weekly meetings and check-ins to set weekly expectations.”

Looking forward:
“Both of these internships have introduced to me ways to do marketing. The Latino Way has shown me the media side of marketing and Maia Yogurt the product promotion side. They have helped me envision what I might want to do. Right now, I am leaning toward the media side and translating because of how successful my experience has been with the Latino Way. However, I am also interested in looking at options in marketing and communications with larger brands.”

Kinnard Hughes ’22

Kinnard Hughes ’22 internship
Kinnard Hughes ’22

Internship: Loomis, Sayles and Company—Boston, Massachusetts; global bonds intern (completed remotely)
Major: Economics
Hometown: Chicago, Illinois

This summer:
“The focus of my internship this summer has been to assist the global investment team with modeling financial reports, synthesizing weekly trading activity, and developing a stronger competence in Bloomberg and Microsoft Excel all while completing my summer-long group project. Overall, my experience has been extremely fulfilling, as I’ve learned so much about investment management and how fixed income and equity markets function. I’ve even learned more about myself through the various professional development sessions that the internship committee and other Loomis employees host. In addition, I was able to have a video call with Trinity alumnus and Loomis CEO Kevin Charleston ’88 around the halfway mark of my internship. It felt great speaking to him because since we are both connected through Trinity, we were able to have a really genuine and candid conversation. I got a chance to ask him a lot of questions as well. Having the CEO of a premier asset management firm as a connection still seems shocking at times, however, our conversation motivated me to keep working hard so that someday I can become a CEO.”

Looking forward:
“My internship has enabled me to think more about a potential long-term career in investment management. I had developed a strong interest in this career prior to my internship, and now my experience this summer has nearly solidified my interest. My experience has really motivated me because although COVID has altered my internship experience, I’ve been able to see how even in a remote space, it is possible to shine and to make the most of an opportunity. When possible, I will continue to take leaps of faith by stepping outside of my comfort zone, asking questions, and participating in group discussions as often as I can.”

Courtney Robb ’21

Courtney Robb ’21 internship
Courtney Robb ’21

Internship: International Institute of New England—Boston, Massachusetts; community services and resettlement intern (completed remotely)
Majors: Political science, international studies
Minors: Arabic, Middle Eastern studies
Hometown: Acton, Massachusetts

This summer:
“At the International Institute of New England, I work as an intern case manager with refugees, asylees, and special immigrant visas for Cuban and Haitian entrance. When I get a new client, I connect them with all the government agencies. I help them start their Social Security process, their health insurance process, and sign them up to receive food stamps. And for existing clients, I check for issues with the listed processes. There is a lot of advocating for my clients when I work with these agencies because the agencies will try to tell you that your clients are not eligible for these things, and you have to fax them the legal documents such as their asylum approval or certain legal entry laws that basically say they are allowed to be here and deserve every single right. Even a small victory is a huge victory for the people I am working with because they don’t have anyone else, and they rely on you to help with all the connections to their services. They are so grateful and so patient with you. When they say thank you for something I have done, it makes me feel really proud.”

Looking forward:
“I find myself more thinking about where I want to go after graduate school and what I want to narrow in on. I want to do more interpersonal work and international human security type things.  Ultimately, I would like to spend time working in refugee camps in Turkey with a long-term goal of starting a non-profit to rehabilitate ISIS women. I am interested in figuring out how to begin those interpersonal relationships, how to navigate the resettlement process in the United States, and how to understand how refugees and asylees are seen here and how I can help them. These are the questions I want to find solutions to so I can apply them to a high level of help in the future.”

Marco Rupp ’21

Marco Rupp ’21 internship
Marco Rupp ’21

Internship: Medtronic—North Haven, Connecticut; research and development pre-concept group (completed remotely)
Majors: Mechanical engineering, mathematics
Minor: History
Hometown: Wolfsberg, Austria

This summer:
“My internship with Medtronic has entailed many different aspects; I have been reading and summarizing research papers and studies, writing codes and conducting experiments, and taking measurements in labs with animal tissue. The focus of my internship lies on how to make current products better by implementing the findings we make in our research and labs. The main goal is to contribute to human welfare, and, in my case, I am focusing on the improvements that can be made in surgical stapling. In addition to summarizing research papers, analyzing data, and conducting experiments, I also have had to use different computer programs and was responsible for presenting the data at team meetings. The most fulfilling part of any engineering task—and I am sure every natural science person can agree with me—is that when experimental data fits your prediction. In general, it is every fulfilling to know that the work I do will help people in the future.”

Looking forward:
“Engineering is such a huge field and interning for Medtronic has helped me explore the biomedical aspect of it. Additionally, it is a great experience to work for such a big company and see what makes it so successful and innovative. The experience I am currently gaining is not only going to help me in my senior year, but also after graduating from Trinity. Medtronic has provided me with the opportunity to take data from animal tissue and has helped me explore beyond textbook solutions and to think outside the box. My internship has ensured me that the engineering path is the right one for me and that I want to work in that field. Hard work always pays off and seeing that motivates me to keep working hard.”

Grace Sanko ’23

Grace Sanko ’23 internship
Grace Sanko ’23

Internship: Inspirebytes Omni Media Publishing Company; publishing intern (completed remotely)
Major: English literature
Hometown: Westchester, New York

This summer:
“My internship has involved me learning about the publishing process and helping this start-up publish its first books. The focus of my internship has been around formatting, editing, and preparing books to be published, as well as administrative work between authors and illustrators. My responsibilities include formalizing the publishing schedules and then keeping authors on track for publication, researching social networks for marketing purposes, creating book trailers, and writing for the company’s newsletters. I have found the process of bringing someone’s creative thoughts into an official publication extremely rewarding. It is super cool to be publishing some of our projects to Amazon after having been so involved in their production these past few months. I’ve really enjoyed learning the ins-and-outs of the publishing world and what is involved in getting a book through to publication.”

Looking forward:
“This internship has helped me gauge my strengths and weaknesses within a corporate setting and helped narrow my interests for a future job or internship. For instance, I found value in my work with marketing, but also discovered that it is not of interest for a future career for me. While I’m not entirely sure what I want to do in the future, this experience has given me insight as to where my interests fall in line with my strengths. This experience has inspired me to find ways in which I can make a meaningful impact through my work. Whether that be through helping someone publish their ideas or being involved in larger-scaled initiatives, this experience has motivated me to pursue my interests in a way that is meaningful to others.”