Chamnan Suon, a junior at Beloit College, reflects on her virtual summer internship and the lessons she learned.
In summer 2020, I had a program research internship at BlueHub Capital Inc. I was very fortunate to have this opportunity in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and I am grateful to the SHE-CAN community for connecting me with BlueHub.
BlueHub Capital Inc., or BlueHub, is a national mission-driven nonprofit organization located in Boston, MA.
The organization focuses their mission on developing a sustainable blue economy among low-income communities around the nation. I am inspired by their mission and work. Their practice in developing sustainable communities shifted my perspective, and I want to use my knowledge from this internship experience to help my community back home in Cambodia.
With my position as a program research intern, my responsibilities included research, retrieving data and information, analyzing the data, and submitting the results to my supervisor. These results are used to support and construct the business plan of a program that BlueHub uses to
serve millions of people in the United States. In addition to my research and analytical work, I was welcomed into virtual meetings on other projects related to this program. I also had opportunities to share my ideas and opinions on different topics around the program. At one meeting, I got to share my ideas to develop the logo for the program. At the end of each workday, I had a call with my supervisor to discuss my work progress, my reports, and my next tasks to work on. It was a productive internship, even with it taking place virtually during a pandemic.
I am really grateful to have had the chance to work as an intern at BlueHub Capital. I gained real world knowledge and experience, and the knowledge is also applicable in my academic field. I am a student at Beloit College majoring in quantitative economics, so working as a program researcher gave me research skills and the ability to interpret data into persuasive information.
Working in the real world is absolutely different from the one I have in school. Many aspects are considered when making any decision, including working ethics and social responsibility. This expanded my perspective and taught me to see things in a bigger picture but also acknowledge the small details. This lesson came from when I
observed how all the meetings I participated in came together into one big blueprint to achieve the program. When I was taking an Asian Economics and Business course at Beloit College, my group partner and I developed a business plan, and it was my first achievement in a business course. However, the business plan I was working on during this internship is much more in depth than what I created in class. In addition to researching, analyzing information, and writing papers, I learned it is necessary to talk with many different internal and external specialists to develop a network, to evaluate the market situation, to understand how current politics affect goals, and more.
With the opportunities to get involved in many meetings and discussions, I developed effective communication, productive collaboration, and creative problem solving skills. For example, I was confident in presenting my results when appropriate in a discussion. Additionally, as an international student taking an internship in the United States, I improved my cross-cultural competencies, which is valuable knowledge and experience for my future career goals.
I had an invaluable internship experience where I earned not only the knowledge from the internship itself, but also the tremendous support from people in the SHE-CAN community who helped make my internship in the United States possible.