How to balance an internship during the semester

By: Bailey Talaska

A major stress factor of college is being able to balance things such as work, an internship and school. It can be tough to manage. To find out some of the best ways to balance an internship, I talked to Joshua Geary who works part time for Tanner Friedman, while working 15 hours and balancing 12 credits.

1. Prioritize

Before starting your internship, know your priorities.

Give some thought to which you value more, your internship or school. They don't have to be at odds, but if you have a busy schedule during the semester, putting more time into one and less into the other may unfortunately be the case.

Knowing your priorities ahead of time allows you to avoid making rash decisions. Time management is important as well.

Geary said “You are building towards your future by balancing both, so set time aside for both responsibilities.”

2. Be upfront about your school schedule

It's important that the company you're interning at knows your school schedule ahead of time and knows your commitment to sticking to it. Communicate with your supervisor and professors to stay on top of your work for classes and your internship. Ask yourself, “Am I stretching myself too thin?”

Geary said “Being involved is good, but being too involved may not be as fruitful if you were involved with less and were more invested in fewer involvements.”

3. Schedule down time

It's not healthy to fill up every part of your day with school, work and your internship. Having time to relax will  allow you to perform better in school and at your internship. Self-care is important and you don't want to burn out. Whatever gives you energy or a physical or mental break, do it. Be sure you have enough time to eat and sleep, and if you realize you can't handle all of your responsibilities, let something go.

Listen to yourself because not every moment of every day has to be productive.

4. Plan, plan, plan

Be organized with the way you spend your time off the internship clock. Make a list of what you want to achieve or cross off your to-do list in the amount of time you have. Although the amount of time you have available may vary, be productive in the time that you do. Use tools like planners or google calendar to organize your days to know what you need to get done, in addition to having it written out will help you stay organized and reduce stress.

5.Pick the right internship

As long as you pick an internship that you enjoy and are trying to make the best of it, everything will be alright. It might be stressful at some points, but know that it will not be like that forever and that all your hard work will be worth it.

Posted on October 24, 2018 .