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4 Things I Learned From My Summer Internships

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Pitt chapter.

This summer I had the amazing opportunity to do two internships in the field that I love – writing. The internships gave me a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and shone light on future careers in writing that I may encounter. The internship taught me valuable lessons and skills as well. Here are four skills that my summer internships taught me.


Coming into my internships, I had some anxiety regarding my performance. Having been a writer all my life, I knew that the internships were both something I was passionate about, but worried that my writing would fall short of expectations. After the first week of my internship, I found myself growing in confidence, and that confidence grew each week. With each new article produced, I found myself growing more and more excited to see what I would write next, and the worrying about expectations fell to the background. Each new article brought me more confidence in both my reporting and writing, and allowed myself to believe even more in my writing than ever before. Even though there are still times where I doubt my writing, and even question the words I put on a page, the internships gave me confidence that I’m not sure I would’ve received anywhere else. That confidence is something I wouldn’t change for the world.

Communication is Key

This summer was definitely one that had many challenges. This summer was full of curveballs, especially with the passing of my grandmother. Being in a completely different city, five hours from home, was very difficult to manage especially when trying to plan visits to go home and see my grandmother. However, with working on my communication skills, and being open and honest with my internship advisors, leaders, and professors, the stress of it all lessened. Of course, it was difficult trying to plan a visit home to see my grandmother before she passed during the stress of exams and internship assignments. But being open with my leaders and advisors helped me in the long run, and allowed me to let them know what was happening back home, and trying to figure out what the next steps would be. Without those communication skills, I’m not sure how exactly this summer would’ve gone. 

Organization is a must

Not only was I doing two internships this summer, but I was also handling the stress of a summer class as well. Honestly, at times it was a lot, and even super draining. Having three important things that you need to put almost, if not all, your time and energy on, was an anxiety attack waiting to happen. I knew that in order to conquer it all, my organization and time management skills had to be on point. Whether it was using my planner, a to-do list, or just looking at my Outlook calendar, I knew that I had to keep my time and myself in check, and ensure that I was getting everything I needed to get done, done. Looking back on it, a planner definitely was saving grace, and helped me keep track of all my assignments, exams, and homework that my summer was full with. No matter what the situation, organization is truly key. 

Forget about perfection

In the writing world, this idea of “perfection” seems irrelevant. There is no perfect first draft, perfect first story, or maybe even a perfect final draft. Instead, there is always the tool of revision and understanding that your work will evolve just like you. Coming into my internship, I feared that my stories wouldn’t be perfect enough (if that even is a thing) and they would leave me looking like a bad writer in front of my leaders and fellow peers. However, as the internship continued, I found myself learning that not every draft would be perfect, and that was perfectly okay. Instead of worrying about perfection, I instead began to focus on bettering my writing through revision and learning. Perfection may never be achievable – especially in writing – and I’ve grown to be okay with that. I might not have the perfect first draft, perfect second draft, or even a perfect final draft, but I can always strive to have a better draft, and that’s a process I’m willing to get better at.

This past summer was one that I will never forget. Having the opportunity to not only do one, but two internships, is something I will cherish forever. Even though the summer had it’s down, it was full of dozens of ups, and moments that I will remember forever. The internships brought me experience, memories, and skills that I will take with me throughout life, and that’s something I will always be grateful for.

Serena is a Junior at the University of Pittsburgh who is majoring in English Writing with minors in Creative Writing and Legal Studies. When she's not writing short stories for class, Serena loves to write for HC Pitt, listen to music, and watch Jersey Shore!