With a month and a half left of the spring semester, the pressure of finishing final projects and exams is quickly growing and students are anticipating a relaxing summer vacation. However, summer vacation is also an ideal time to seek opportunities that will help with post college plans and aspirations. Over the past several years, Trinity has established connections with several companies that hire students to gain real-world experience in their field of choice by working as interns during the summer. These, and other  internship opportunities — both paid and unpaid — are great ways to have a productive summer and improve communication skills, networking abilities and acquire knowledge and practice that will help with careers after graduation.

Since these opportunities are so valuable, Trinity has established two internships in the past two years that seek to support students of different majors and career paths post-graduation.

Internship coordinator Erin Hood emphasizes the value of internships and works to help place students in internships that will be beneficial to their futures after graduating from Trinity.

“69% of Trinity students that graduated in 2015 had completed internships in their undergraduate careers,” Hood said. “My job is to support more high quality internships that include meaningful and structured work that prepares students for what their future employers will be asking and looking for.”

Hood has been a part of a staff that has established two summer internships that both provide free housing to students participants over the summer.

The first internship, the Arts Letters and Enterprise program (ALE) is intended for students that are considering a major or minor in the arts and humanities, although students from all majors are allowed to apply. Multiple companies are involved in this program as well as different non-profit organizations that provide an immense amount of aid to the community of San Antonio. Students who apply and receive this internship will be able to work for different San Antonio companies that are fluent in the arts and humanities, as well as experience real world applications of the tools and skill sets they have learned during their time at Trinity.

Sophomore Meg Chase has been involved in the ALE program for the last two years, and had an internship with the Witte Museum. She views this as an experience that has had a vast amount of value in her undergraduate career.

“I applied to work at the Witte because I’m a history major who loves museums. I heard about ALE through a senior that had worked at the Witte,” Chase said. “I got offered the ALE student intern position after applying for the program, and it’s one in which I am better able to put into practice what I have learned while at Trinity. It combines aspects of my history degree with the business elements that I have learned through ALE courses.”

Chase elaborated on how the skills she learned through this internship are preparing her for the future.

“The ALE internships have helped me develop and refine skills needed to be successful after college. I think that it is important for students to be a part of internships in the summer because they really allow a college student to become a professional young adult,” Chase said.

The ALE program will begin accepting applications April 1 through April 15. To apply, contact Carl Leafstedt at carl.leafstedt@trinity.edu. The internships in this program are fully paid and the application process is competitive.

The second program, SA-Start-Up is a part of Geekdom, a young, collaborative company that enables startup companies to have a shared work space and the idea is to develop a tech community in San Antonio.

First year Liz Metzger has an internship with SA-Start-Up and has been able to have the opportunity to see what it is like to work with people of different ages.

“By seeing what it is like to work with other people of varied ages, it really helps you build confidence in what you do,” Metzger said. “Having an internship enables you to have a fuller resume by the time you graduate, and it’s a wonderful opportunity to meet passionate people who are doing what I want.”

Geekdom will have 30 internships available for Trinity students, and those accepted will have no cost housing, a $4,000 stipend, and will receive one internship credit hour. All majors are encouraged to apply, though priority goes to students interested in Entrepreneurship. Applications will be available soon on Hire-A-Tiger (hireatiger.com).