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NEW FUND OPENS UP INTERNSHIPS FOR STUDENTS

By Karen Alley

THE CHANCE TO GAIN real-world work experience just got a little easier for students at Guilford College, thanks to the new Annual Internship Fund created by Steve Trout ’82 and Athena Trout.

“Financial constraints often impede a student’s pursuit of internships, as many internships are unpaid or pay a wage that does not cover living expenses,” says Karrie Manson ’82, Director of Integrated Career Advising. “Thanks to the support of Steve and Athena, this fund will provide financial assistance to help mitigate these financial hurdles.” The fund will be awarded to one rising senior per year, chosen through an application process.

This is part of the reinvigorated emphasis on internships and networking created by Guided Discovery. The new advising program connects students with Guilford Guides, academic and career advisors that help them explore and prepare for internships. The newly launched Advancement Volunteer Program also connects students with alumni to find internship opportunities and mentors.

“The internship is a critical component in engaged learning, and allows students the ability to gain basic workplace proficiencies such as adaptability, collaboration, communication skills and the ability to solve complex problems,” Karrie says. “Guilford remains committed to supporting the development of these proficiencies.”

Sierra Mendez-Neff '20 interns for the Greensboro Farmers Market, learning how to growth of local food and artisan goods businesses improve Greensboro's economy and build social and community connections.
Photo by Jenna Schad

Steve created the fund as a way to reciprocate the financial support he received during his own academic career. “When I visited Guilford as a senior, I was blown away by the engaging faculty and staff and the friendly and inspired students,” Steve says.

He has seen first-hand the value of work experience. “My employer, Wintrust Financial, invites 100 college students to explore careers in banking as summer interns, and we hire many of our interns upon graduation,” Steve says. “Having professionally relevant work experience offers graduates a significant advantage in securing employment and admission to graduate and professional schools.”

Steve says he also created the Annual Internship Fund in honor of Professor Emeritus Paul Zopf, who has always been dedicated to helping students achieve their goals. “He not only was a great lecturer, but supported me in following my ideas and helped me grow as a student, and this fund will help other students pursue their passions.”

Steve, a Dana Scholar, has remained one of the most authentic, kind, intellectually curious and successful people I have ever met. He values greatly the education and relationships made at Guilford, which is so consistent with the ways he exhibited that in his friendships and academic work as a student. 
— Karrie Manson '82