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The Student News Site of Simmons University

The Simmons Voice

The Student News Site of Simmons University

The Simmons Voice

5 things I wish I knew before my first internship

Internships provide an excellent opportunity to work alongside industry professionals, learn from their expertise, and gain valuable feedback.
Photo+courtesy+of+Boston+Book+Festival
Photo courtesy of Boston Book Festival

As college students, we all have specific milestones to achieve in our four-year journey. For some, it might be attending homecoming, finding their passions, graduating, or joining organizations. For me, it was securing an internship related to my major.

This past summer, I successfully achieved this goal. While it has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life, there are a few valuable lessons I wish I had known before starting my first internship. 

  1. Don’t be afraid to speak up

This is particularly important for introverts like myself. Internships often involve a large pool of interns, making it easy to go under the radar. To truly benefit from your internship, you must stand out and establish a name for yourself.

Internships provide an excellent opportunity to work alongside industry professionals, learn from their expertise, and gain valuable feedback. However, to tap into these resources, you must take the initiative and introduce yourself.

During my initial weeks, a mix of nerves and imposter syndrome led me to remain in the background. Only when I observed other interns’ skills improving did I realize why I had a stilted learning phase. Reach out to your supervisors, coworkers, and even other interns. This will enhance your skills and show your eagerness to learn.

  1. Get to know the people you are working with

While professionalism dictates that we can only discuss work-related topics with our professors and supervisors, I believe it is important to also create human connections with our colleagues.

This will help you bond and feel more comfortable seeking out help. It can also inspire your professional journey. Hearing about my coworker’s journey made me realize the many opportunities there are. 

Next time you are in the office, ask your coworkers about their day and interests. You will be surprised how such small connections can be significant growth opportunities.  

  1. Set personal goals for yourself

While your company may have specific goals they would like you to achieve during your internship, it is also important to create your own. These can range from something simple like learning a new skill to potentially getting a rehire offer. Having specific goals gives you opportunities to grow and learn throughout your internship. 

  1. Don’t be afraid to ask questions

There will be moments when you will feel lost and unsure of what to do next. It’s okay, don’t freak! Everyone has experienced this throughout their professional career. 

If you are unsure, don’t be shy and seek help. Your supervisors will likely be eager to teach you. The more questions you ask, the more you will be able to learn about how the company operates and adapt to future challenges. 

  1. Be proud of your achievements

This is something I wish someone had told me when starting: you deserve to be there, so be proud. Internships are not as easy to find as they were before so it’s important to acknowledge your hard work.

It’s often seen as taboo to talk about good news or boast about yourself. I believe that you will put your best foot forward by constantly affirming that you deserve to belong in these spaces. It takes courage to put yourself in an unfamiliar place. By doing so, you gain invaluable skills that shape your future. You are chosen for this position for a reason, so take time to honor yourself.

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About the Contributor
Chiosna Bernadeau, Staff Writer
Chiosna Bernadeau (2025, she/her) is a Communication major with a concentration in Journalism and minors in PR, Marketing, and Social Media. Outside of The Voice, Chiosna DJs her own radio show on Simmons Radio: The Shark, called Nervous Breakdown. She also enjoys reading, skating around Boston, and is a self-proclaimed foodie.

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