The research explores the trainees' perceptions of their internship as an instrument for
the construction of their professional identity, by means of 56 qualitative interviews with
psychology trainees graduated from two Italian universities. The analysis showed 3 interconnected
themes: 1) the intern'search for identity, emerging in the interaction between the
interns' expectations and the concrete activities done in the organizational context; 2) the
coping strategies activated by the interns to overcome the problems faced during the internship.
Moreover, 3) the tutor, perceived as a socialization agent during internship program,
as an expert guide within the organization and a model for the construction of professional
identity. Results show some critical elements to be investigated in future research.