Currently, I'm a student at the University of Pittsburgh and, this summer, an intern for CNBC Make It. But the summer after my freshman year, I interned for a local newspaper company in my hometown of Birmingham, Ala. I was incredibly shy. I stayed at my desk the entire day, spoke only when I was spoken to and hesitated to ask for advice about assignments.
I was afraid that the editors and writers were too busy, and I didn't want to intrude on their hectic schedules. Additionally, I didn't want to bring up "stupid" questions and look incompetent.
In hindsight, I hurt myself tremendously. At times I was told to revise stories or reschedule interviews, which could have been avoided if I had simply talked to my supervisors. I prevented myself from becoming a better reporter.
Now, I've learned that asking questions is an important part of internships.
"Too often interns will think they have to do everything by themselves — you don't! Your managers and teammates are there to help you overcome roadblocks and manage tough questions and issues," Sara Sparhawk, recruiting manager at Amazon, tells CNBC Make It.
"Interns should always be open to learning new things and not be afraid to go out of their comfort zones," says Steffie Eduarte, manager of diversity and campus recruitment at The New York Times.
Here are 10 more actions experts say to avoid.