It’s by no simple coincidence that SCAD touts a 98% employment rate. An internship is something that will set any recent graduate aside, giving them a much better chance of employment upon graduation. It’s the difference between “I’ve graduated and really need to start looking for jobs” and “I’m about to graduate and already have a job lined up for me.” It’s no wonder that a lot of SCAD alumni graduate with one if not two or three internships behind their belts.

Paid or unpaid, in your hometown or hundreds of miles of way, when it comes to an internship it doesn’t matter how, when or where you’re doing it but what you get out of it — the experience — because that is what will snag you a job post-grad, doing what you love at a company that speaks your language. This summer, SCAD District’s Intern Diaries will outline the various internships SCAD students are participating in across the U.S. and beyond. Stay tuned to find out the many benefits of gaining experience in your field before graduating.

Few college students are lucky enough to have a paid internship and even less are privileged enough to be working at one of their dream companies. Bayamón, Puerto Rico native, third-year student and interior design major, Xioana Berríos-Torres, however, is one of those lucky few.

Berríos-Torres is currently working at Perkins+Will in the Financial District of Boston, Massachusetts as one of only two interior design interns in the team of seven interns.

Berríos-Torres isn’t a first timer, however. Her first internship was in San Juan, Puerto Rico with E.Go Design Studios, a small architecture, and interior design firm.  

Despite this being only her second time interning, Berríos-Torres mentioned how much SCAD has helped her prepare for the fast-paced and professional work environment of Perkins+Will

“For the company, time management is extremely important, and that is a skill I have developed through my studios at SCAD,” Berríos-Torres said.

Berríos-Torres works from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday making sure to stop by the company’s coffee station every morning before she begins her day.

During the week Berríos-Torres participates in client and team meetings, Design Discussions based on the evolution of current projects and Lunch & Learns that involve lunch with manufacturers who discuss innovative products and provide software training.

Berríos-Torres has also been working with the hospitality team in the FF&E and Design Development phases.

Boston is not a cheap city to live in, but like any smart college student, Berríos-Torres thought to save up some money for the flight and first few weeks, assuming that she wasn’t going to find a paid internship.

“Being offered a paid internship was crucial for me take the final decision of moving to Boston, MA for the summer, along with the help of my family for the relocation and living expenses which are high in this city.

Just to reaffirm both the difficulty and the possibility of landing an internship with one of your dream companies, Berríos-Torres shared how astounding and rewarding her experience has been working at Perkins+Will.

“I would say that even though I have been getting great feedback and compliments from the project manager and my supervisor, the best feeling was when the operations director told us that there were more than 400 applications for this position, and that not only were we lucky to be interning in a company like Perkins+Will but that they were even luckier to have our talent in their office.”

And with that said, Berríos-Torres leaves her fellow peers with these sage words of advice:

“Never limit yourself, be brave, and know that you can do a lot more than what you believe that you are capable of.”

To find out more about the type of work Berríos-Torres is doing, visit her website.