How to Utilize The Bantam Network

Last week, a friend from Trinity visited me here in Rome, Italy, where I am currently studying as a member of Trinity’s Rome Program. Although we went sight-seeing and tried new restaurants together, the majority of my friend’s time was not spent with me, but rather in an office. Indeed, as a first-semester senior who was already offered a job in Rome, she had spent last week enjoying an employer-paid visit to attend a week-long conference. Come July, her job will officially begin.

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I asked her how she had gotten so lucky.  She replied simply, “I interned there last summer.”

My friend’s experience reinforced what I had already suspected, that internships are an integral and necessary rite of passage for any successful college student. Yet, from the experience of most millennials, these internships are also often unpaid and, depending on where you are from, could be inconveniently located. Certainly, finding the perfect internship, and later, the perfect job, can be a very daunting task.  Fortunately, Trinity College is an incredible resource. 

Prior to the beginning of my first year, all members of my incoming class were invited to an alumnus/alumna-hosted event, located at the home or club of the alum. There were multiple events hosted throughout that summer, in locations spanning the entire nation, so that as many students as possible could partake. These meet-and-greets were attended by many alumni, current-students, professors and other incoming first years. Notably, these events occur every year, for every Trinity-class. Apart from being an occasion to make new friends or to meet your professors, it also presents an amazing networking opportunity. 

Such was my experience when I attended a reception in the Hamptons, Long Island, at the home of a highly successful entrepreneur whose business had gross sales in excess of 500 million dollars. She was not simply a gracious hostess, but very generously provided me her contact information with an offer to apply for an internship with her Manhattan-based company during the summer of my junior year. 

Without question, the Bantam alumni are a tight-knit group who are dedicated to transitioning the next generation of graduates into the work place.

However, if offers from alumni are not enough, there is also an on-campus Career Development Center. There, you can find leads for internships, seek help creating a resume, schedule a mock job interview or simply seek advice from a career advisor.

Notably, Trinity also offers rare and unique student research opportunities. Since Trinity does not have a science-graduate program, all of its’ research is conducted by its’ undergraduate students. As early as your first year, you can begin to conduct professional research alongside your professors. Many of my friends who are majoring in Engineering and Biology have benefited from these programs. They spend their summers on Trinity’s campus, taking advantage of this exceptional opportunity that so few other institutions of higher learning offer.

As for me, I am currently teaching English to children ranging in ages from 8-12 years at a middle school here in Rome. I obtained this internship through Trinity’s Rome Program, which offers countless other opportunities depending on your level of Italian competency. For instance, if you speak little to no Italian, you can work with an Italian (but English-speaking) chef. Or, if you’re fluent in the native language, you can give tours in museums or conduct research in basilicas alongside church authorities. There are a variety of internships that fall along this spectrum, such as my position at the middle school. It certainly has been one of the most satisfying and transformative experiences of my life, and I do not doubt that it has given me skills and experiences that will help me secure a job in the future.

Although the prospect of searching for internships and jobs can be stressful, it is reassuring to know that Trinity’s wide-ranging alumni connections, offered-programs, and opportunities available in locations such as Hartford and even Rome, guarantees something for everyone. As I prepare to enter my senior year and graduation draws near, I am confident that Trinity will provide me with all of the necessary tools to successfully transition to the work place and that, if I utilize them, the future will be mine for the taking!

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Mather Dining Hall Hacks, Pt. 1

When I first came to college back in September, I was anxious about a lot of things, many of which circulating around on how I was going to survive on dining hall food for the next eight months. With the help of my creative friends, I have learned how to make the most out of my Mather experience and actually (surprisingly) enjoy college food.

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When you walk into the dining hall on the first day of school, you will be overwhelmed by the plethora of choices available to you. Although it is hard to decide what to get, it’s also incredibly hard to decide what not to get and you may find yourself realizing that you have seemingly picked a food item from every station. No need to fear, this simple guide will help you steer your way around Mather while simultaneously channeling your inner Guy Fieri.

If you are going for Breakfast and you want something to last you throughout the day, Mather has got you covered. You can choose from the Bakery section where they have all different types of muffins and scones or from the My Pantry where you can find almost every type of cereal, bread, or bagel imaginable. Coming from a seasoned Mather-goer such as myself, I have learned a few tricks of the trade when it comes to breakfast. One thing that I have learned is how to make your own breakfast sandwich from the omelette station. You go up and order your omelette, where you can choose from a variety of toppings, and then go over to the pantry section and toast a bagel while you are waiting. Once your omelette and bagel are done, you put the omelette in between the two slices of toasted bagel and you have yourself your own beautiful bacon egg and cheese!

If you don’t want something that heavy in the morning, you can always choose from the available yogurt, fruit, and cereal combinations to create your own type of yogurt and granola. If you are running late for class and just want something quick and on the go, the smoothie station is the place for you. Although there are many different combinations of fruit, vegetables, and bases to choose from, my personal favorite is peanut butter, banana and soy milk. I find that it keeps me full throughout the morning while tasting like a delicious milkshake. If you are someone who likes coffee in the morning but is ballin’ on a budget and can’t afford Peter B’s everyday, you can make your own type of Peter B’s coffee just at the Mather coffee station! One hack that I have learned is how to make your own spinoff of the Dunkin’ Donuts Dunkaccino. All you have to do is fill your cup half way up with hot chocolate and then the rest of the way with coffee and mix.

Once the later afternoon approaches and your stomach begins to rumble, Mather beacons once again. During lunch time, my favorite place to go is the sandwich station. They have a series of delicious sandwich combinations, as well as some bomb homemade chips. You can also stop by the Mexican station for a delicious burrito bowl, or maybe grab some Asian stir-fry. I also find myself liking to sample from all of the various stations and putting it together into a type of salad. Not only is it delicious, but it is also the perfect solution if you are indecisive like me. If you find yourself still hungry when its time to leave, grab yourself a to-go cup of Mather’s very own Mather Mix! Mather Mix was an invention that I pioneered earlier in the year and I have sworn by it ever since. All you have to do is grab an extra coffee cup from the coffee area and fill it up with a mixture of the sunflower seeds and dried cranberries from the salad station. Mixed together, the fruit and nut mixture makes the perfect afternoon snack. Seriously, don’t knock it until you try it.

And there you have it, the first edition of Mather Hacks brought to you by your very own, Trinity College Mather Dining Hall. Stay tuned for next time, where we will explore the numerous dinner options and how to pick and choose like a pro. Stay hungry.

Posted in Advice, Around Campus, campus tour, Chips, Class of 2021, Community, cuisine, decisions, dining, donuts, fall semester, First Year, First Years, first-year experience, Food, How To, Introduction, Lifestyle, Mather, Mather Quad, Moving In & Orientation, On Campus | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

To Write or Not to Write: Senior Thesis

Some of you reading this may be sophomores or juniors who are considering writing a thesis for your major, but are unsure as to whether or not you are ready to take on the time commitment and dedication to a single topic that will occupy your lives for an entire year. Others reading this are probably first years or prospective students who have no idea what to declare a major in, let alone what you would write about for 50-100 pages. There are a number of reasons why someone might write a thesis: it is required of their major, it is required to receive honors in the major, there is a topic they have studied at some point during their first three years in college and want to go further in depth with that topic, or they want to study something entirely new!

Senior thesis writers can reserve their own carrels on the 3rd floor of the library.

Senior thesis writers can reserve their own carrels on the 3rd floor of the library.

I knew I wanted to write a thesis in American Studies since my sophomore year. Even though I am a double major in English as well, I was so interested in the vast array of topics American Studies offered. I loved studying the 20th century (especially the 1950s), gender roles, and representations of women in the mass media. However, those were still extremely broad themes and I didn’t know how I would find a unique topic that hadn’t really been studied before.

I made a list of topics I was interested in writing my thesis on: family based television shows from the 1950s to the present day (think Leave It to Beaver, Full House, and Modern Family), commercialized female cultural icons (Rosie the Riveter, Betty Crocker), comparing Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys and the shaping of gender roles among youth, and American Girl dolls as symbols of girlhood and companionship (this is the topic I ultimately ended up deciding on)!

My four pieces of advice for whether or not to write a thesis would be:

  • Find a topic you are really passionate about. I mean, really REALLY passionate about. Something that you could work on all day, everyday and not get sick of. (I wish I could only research and write my thesis and not have to take any other classes).
  • Choose an advisor who not only will be able to help with your research and outlining your chapters, but will also be your personal cheerleader. (I am so lucky to have the MOST positive thesis advisor I could possibly imagine!)
  • Listen to your gut. It seems stupid but you will absolutely know if a thesis is the right thing for you. If you have any doubt that you’re not up to the task, think about a one semester thesis or independent study!

Once you find a passion or an interest that you can’t let go of, committing to write a thesis will be an easy decision!

P.S.: If you decide to write a thesis, do as much research as possible over the summer. This was a huge time saver when the fall semester started and I was able to start writing my chapters right away!

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Overnight Visit at Trinity

While I was applying to colleges, I had a pretty good idea of how I wanted my school to look like. I already knew that I wanted to attend a small liberal arts college in an urban area. Therefore, my search was narrowed to many schools in the northeast. For this reason, I decided to schedule overnight visits to some of my favorites. Amongst these schools, Trinity College in Hartford, CT had a program specifically tailored for prospective students, and I decided to apply.

While visiting Trinity, I immediately fell in love with the campus. Despite being in the middle of a city, Trinity contains many green areas and having a quad full of elms did not harm the image. Trinity also boasts beautiful architecture around every corner. The Long Walk has old brick buildings with artistic engravings on it. I cannot forget to mention the beautiful chapel located in the middle of campus, which many people enjoy taking photos of during winter or summer.

Unlike other overnight visits, Trinity actually made me feel welcomed. The people I met during my overnight stay were very friendly. They actually made me feel part of the community, even if they knew that I might not be coming here. Everyone I met that day made a good impression on me, and I still say hello to them when I see them going to their classes. The people made me realize that Trinity is made up of a vibrant and friendly community. In addition, the small campus size allows more interactions with people. You will meet many people in your classes, and you will be able to say hi to them around campus or at the dining hall. I knew that I wanted my college experience to be filled with people I knew, not random strangers every day.

In addition to a friendly community, I enjoyed visiting a class during my overnight stay. I could choose which classes I wanted to walk into. I decided to enter a psychology class out of curiosity, and saw that students were engaged and eloquently contributing to the discussion. The professor was friendly and willing to help. Now, as a current student I can say that by far the professors at Trinity are the best part of coming here. They are always approachable. The professors at Trinity made my experience far better compared to other schools.

Consider coming to Trinity and visiting. This is the only way that you can experience how it feels to come here. After my visit, I loved the experience so much that I decided that I wanted to experience it far more than just one day. The people are friendly. The location inside and outside of campus can only be described as perfect. Furthermore, the professors are among some of the best people you will ever meet on campus. I suggest considering Trinity as a serious option for your next four years of your academic career.

Schedule an overnight visit to Trinity here: https://connect.trincoll.edu/portal/overnight-visit

Contact Sarah Wolcott (sarah.wolcott@trincoll.edu) with any questions!

Posted in Academics, Admissions, Admissions Process, Advice, Around Campus, class registration, classes, Early Decision, First Night, First Year, In Hartford, Mather, On Campus, Orientation, Trinity, Welcome, Working in Paradise | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gateway Programs

During senior year I quickly got used to receiving up to ten promotional mailings from various colleges and universities every day. Many were generic letters, some including visually striking postcards, and a few schools even sent full-color view books. However, the college mailing that had the greatest impact on my life after graduation was a packet from Trinity with brochures for each of their Gateway programs. Each Gateway program consists of several thematically linked courses taken with a small group of passionate students in the first (and sometimes second) year. I was intrigued by the broad spectrum of these programs at Trinity and the availability of such unique learning communities within the larger liberal arts college lead me to apply to Trinity. Here’s a brief run down of each of Trinity’s Gateway Programs:

  • InterArts Program: This program is perfect for artists of all kinds, and spans two semesters. Each year culminates in a big InterArts showcase where students display their work for the entire campus.
  • Interdisciplinary Science Program (ISP): The ISP allows driven science students to begin research in their first year. The program prepares students for successful careers in the sciences.
  • Cities Program: This program involves four courses over two semesters that take advantage of Trinity’s Urban Studies department and unique location in Hartford.
  • Humanities Gateway Program: European Cultures: This three-semester program invites students to explore European culture through an interdisciplinary study of classics, philosophy, religion, history, and literature.
  • The Community Action Gateway: This two-semester program allows students to get involved in Hartford and learn about mechanisms of social change.

Each Gateway Program appeals to a unique set of students and provides a small learning community. I loved being a part of one, and think that they offer a unique start to the Trinity experience. Learn more about applying to one of them here!

Posted in Academics, Class of 2021, Community Service, First Year, first-year seminar, Gateway, Hartford, InterArts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

On Moving to a City

For 18 years of my life I lived in a town with a population of about 10,000. My high school had about 200 kids per grade, kids that I had gone to kindergarten with and graduated high school with. It is a “quaint New England town”. And the one thing I knew I wanted when looking at college was to be in a city. I wanted to experience city living for a while and see what I was missing.

Riverfront Recapture connects Hartford business and organizations to the community.

Riverfront Recapture connects Hartford business and organizations to the community.

Hartford is about twelve times the size of my town, in terms of population. There’s a public transportation system, there’s more than just two restaurant, and the city has so much stuff to do. Connecticut has a rich history dating back beyond the Revolutionary War with many historical sites dedicated to different parts of history. Bushnell Park, the center of the city, is beautiful, especially the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial arch, which I got to go up in my first week on campus. Being from Massachusetts my only real experience with city halls was the Boston City Hall, which isn’t the prettiest. Hartford’s on the other hand is magnificent. When I round the bend on the highway coming back to school and see the stunning golden dome rising above everything else, I know I’m home.

One thing that I didn’t expect was the noise level. I knew it wouldn’t silent living in a city. It took a little while to get used to cars driving around all the time but I grew accustom to it and it doesn’t bother me now anymore. It’s almost like white noise. But when I went home for the first time after living in the city for a few months, it seemed like it was deafeningly quiet. At night the only sounds were the cicadas and the occasional call of a bird. I found myself missing my noisy city.

Another aspect of city life that I really love is not having a car. Don’t get me wrong, I love driving probably more than the average person, but living a city, you don’t need a car. In my town if you didn’t have a car, you didn’t have a life because the closest anything was always a 10 minute car ride away. In Hartford I can walk really anywhere I want to go. First-years aren’t allowed to have cars on campus but even as a sophomore, I don’t feel the need to bring a car down. Getting off campus is easy without a car and like most cities, it’s difficult to find parking.

Sometimes I do miss home and the simpler “country” living but I wouldn’t trade my city school for anything and I can’t wait to keep living here for at least a few more years.

Posted in airport, Around Campus, Community, Connecticut Historical Society, Connecticut State Library, Culture, Hartford, In Hartford, Trinity, XL Center | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Take a Trip to Trin

When I was applying to colleges, I began to feel like every school was the same. I spent countless hours perusing university websites, pulling up different campuses on Google Maps, and creating a detailed spreadsheet with all the information that seemed important to me. There were so many options available to me, and I became so overwhelmed with the college application process. I found that actually visiting the campuses I had spent so much time analyzing on paper remedied this confusion.

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I remember my first visit to Trinity so well—the sun, the Long Walk, and even my first experience with Mather Dining Hall. As I walked around campus, I could see myself playing my clarinet at the Austin Arts Center or attending services in the Chapel. I knew that a liberal arts college in an urban setting was unusual, but it wasn’t until I visited that I felt the vibrant energy of Trinity’s location in Hartford. I was able to sit in on a class within my potential major and talk to Student Admissions Associates about their experiences of Trinity.

Once I visited Trinity, I grew in confidence that I had found the college for me. My campus visit helped me convert my mental knowledge of the school into a practical understanding of the college’s atmosphere and my place within a dynamic student body. If you’re currently in the middle of the college admissions process, now is a great time to plan a visit to Trinity!

 

Posted in Admissions, Admissions Process, applications, Around Campus, campus tour, Class of 2021, Community, In Hartford, On Campus, Student Activities, Trinity | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Double Major, Double Trouble?

Like most sophomores at Trinity, I am in the midst of deciding on a major to declare. Or in my case, majors. Many people are a little shocked when I tell them I’m planning on double majoring in both English and Psychology. The top responses I get are “I guess you aren’t going abroad,” “Don’t you want to leave room for other classes?,” and the classic “WHY?”.

From the moment I left high school I knew I was interested in English and psych. Many schools I looked at had minors in both but I just couldn’t see myself devoting less time to one of my passions. Psychology fascinates me, especially developmental and social psych, particularly the psychology of schools. English is a subject I’ve thrived in, passionately loved, and can’t imagine not focusing my life around it. I couldn’t choose just one. So I decided, when entering Trinity as a first year, to double major.

At Trinity, students cannot declare their major until sophomore year. This gives them time to explore their options of majors by taking a variety of classes. Of course if students know exactly what they want as a major, or majors, like me, they can get started on their major classes right away. This is especially essential for double majors, because they will end up with twice the required classes. And if students kind of know they might want to double major but aren’t entirely sure, taking foundation classes is always a smart move.

When students are considering double majoring, many are deterred from the thought because they think they might not have time to go abroad, due to the influx of requirements. But as I said, getting started as early as possible is one of the best things a potential double major can do. This allows for some wiggle room to go abroad. Plus, depending on the department and where you want to go, you might be able to fulfill requirements while away.

You don’t just have to take classes focused around your majors. I’ve taken an Arabic class every semester in addition others like music and film while still taking psych and English classes. Chances are not every required class will fit into your schedule so there’s always opportunities to take classes that just sounds interesting. And who knows? Maybe that class will end up counting towards your major. I took a class my first semester in college just because it sounded really cool, and it ended up fulfilling a major requirement. And the class was really fun!

So if there’s anything to take away from this is if you really, truly want to major in more than one area, start planning right away. If down the line, you decide you want to focus on just one major, that’s totally fine. But above all find a major you’re happy with and want to study and stick with it. You never know where it’s going to take you.

Posted in Academics, Advice, class registration, classes, Course Selection, courses, Declaring a Major, Semester Abroad, Trinity | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Six Activities to Do Around Hartford

Living in a small city can have its advantages, especially around holidays. Hanging out around Harwith friends is so convenient considering that there are not that many miles to walk through. Hartford is a vibrant place with many activities to do. Here is a list of great things to do around Hartford county:

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1) Movie Night

The city of Hartford contains several movie theaters. Trinity College has the privilege to be home to Cinestudio, our on-campus movie theater. However, if you want to leave campus, transportation is always available to take you into West Hartford where you will find Cinepolis, a standard six-screen movie theater showcasing the latest hits. Personally, when I want to catch a movie outside of campus, I try to go to Bow Tie Cinemas in Hartford since they have sales every Tuesday and your wallet will surely thank you.

2) Art Exhibition

Hartford has a thriving art community. Why not experience it with your friends.? Downtown Hartford is home to Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art. The Museum holds several pieces ranging from Samuel Colt’s guns to surrealist paintings from Salvador Dali. (Trinity students also receive free admission!) Hartford is also home to Real Art Ways, an independent art gallery and movie theater. This gallery holds pieces from up and coming artist from around the area. The gallery also holds several events such as Creative Cocktail Hour, where people from all ages are invited to come and talk about art over Mocktails (or real cocktails if you’re 21+). Finally, you can always hang out around the city and take the public art tour and experience all the public art that Hartford holds.

3) Good Food

Hartford holds several great restaurants that provide great food. Since there are too many to name, I will name my personal favorites and make suggestions of food that I have enjoyed in the company of friends. If you are in the mood for southern cooking, Black Eyed Sally’s is the place to go. If you go, I recommend the Chicken and Waffles or the Macaroni and Cheese. Another great restaurant is Ted’s Montana Grill, which has great burgers made from buffalo meat. Right next to it, you will find Bear’s Smokehouse BBQ, where the flavors will overwhelm you (in a good way!). Finally, if you are in the mood for Mexican food, I recommend either El Sarape or Coyote Flaco (a debate that can never be settled in my room as to which restaurant is better).

4) Physical Activity

Maybe you are in the mood for some physical activity. A fun place to go with friends is Hartford’s trampoline park, Launch. You can bonce and do flips and overall just have fun as if you were a child. You can also share a couple of slices of pizza with your friends while you’re there. Finally, if you are up for more of challenge, you can go hiking around Hartford’s surroundings towns. The town of Newington holds Cedar Mountain, a good place to hike, read poetry, or just talk once at the top.

5) Stay In

Just stay in and do some homework  with friends or by yourself. More work will probably get done if you are by yourself.

6) Park Day

A good place to visit is Elizabeth Park in West Hartford. During the spring semester, you can visit several of the beautiful gardens around the park. Spend some time taking in the rock garden with a couple of friends and move to the rose garden with that special someone. Try to enjoy an ice cream cone from the local restaurant or eat a hot dog. Meet new people in the park, go look at the dogs, or even take some photography. Overall, this should provide a relaxing experience with friends and will allow you to unwind from the week.

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Spring Break is here!

A college Spring Break is a break like no other. Spring Break seems to come with impeccable timing. Some students choose to spend it on a tropical beach with their friends. Others head home with dirty laundry and a full grocery list for their parents. Still, others hibernate in the library, hoping to catch up on their work. Spring Break fosters a time for relaxation for those who leave campus, but for those who chose not to, Trinity is still bustling.

Residential Halls will remain open. However, Dining Services like Mather Dining Hall, Bistro, and the Cave will be closed. The meal plan will be suspended following the evening meal on Friday, March 10th. The Bistro will close after lunch on Friday, March 10th and will reopen Monday, March 20th. The CAVE will be closed Friday, March 10th and will reopen on Monday, March 20th. The meal plan resumes with the evening meal on Sunday, March 19th.

Ferris Athletic Center will be open Saturday, March 11th, 11:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday –Thursday, 7:00 am to 9:00 pm, Saturday, March 18th, 7:00 am to midnight, and Sunday, March 19th 7:00 am to midnight.

The Trinity College Health Center will be open Monday – Friday, March 13th – 17th 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, and both the on and off campus shuttles will run on their normal hours.

Some spring sport teams that would otherwise be on campus use spring break as a time to practice off campus. For example, the Men’s Baseball team will be traveling to Florida and the Women’s Crew team will be traveling to Virginia for training.

A community service oriented club on campus, JELLO, will still have their weekly food pantry trips on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning.

As well deserved as our needed Spring Break might feel, students are always happy to return back ‘Neath The Elms when the time comes.

Posted in Admissions, Around Campus, Community, dining, Dorms, Hartford, Home, In Hartford, On Campus, Spring Break, spring semester, Trinity | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment