You’ve agonized over the application, gotten through the (multiple) interviews and finally landed that perfect internship you’ve been fawning over for months. You think about all the great opportunities ahead of you in the coming months- networking with professionals, gaining first hand exposure in your field and boosting your resume. Awesome, right? Not so fast…you still have all of that never-ending Uni work to worry about.
Will your grades suffer? Will your internship work suffer? How will you have time to do it all? Creating that seamless balance between work and school can be challenging, but don’t second-guess your decision of taking on an internship while attending school. It is possible to take advantage of every learning and networking opportunity during your internship while still maintaining good grades. Pull it off flawlessly using these tips:
1. Make a schedule.
Your best bet for staying balanced is to create a schedule you can manage. Set aside blocks of time dedicated to each class so you aren’t stressed about having loads of homework to deal with while you’re at your internship. Try to schedule your classes only two or three days a week, leaving the other weekdays wide open for your internship. This will help keep your mind straight with what you need to get done on what days, and save you time from running back and forth between priorities.
2. Communication is key.
Author Nora Roberts said it best, “If you don’t ask, the answer is always no.” Don’t be afraid to ask! Most employers will understand that school does come first. Ask if you can leave an hour or two early to get in some extra study time for that exam you have the next day. In the same sense, if you have a slow week in terms of coursework, let your employer know you are willing to take on more projects or stay longer hours
This can be especially hard when you’re a 20-something college student with a social life, but you may have to sacrifice some personal adventures during this high stress time. It’s completely worth it. Would you rather have one night out on the town with the girls, or have a quality internship that gives you real-world experience in your field, making you a better full-time candidate post-graduation? Think about it. Sacrifice now will benefit you later
4. If possible, do the internship for credit.
If your employer offers an option for school credit, take advantage of it! Receiving credit for an internship can alleviate the stress that would go along with taking an extra class in its place. Plus, it’s a chance for you to grow even more since your internship credit will probably require assignments and projects along the way!
Believe it or not, it isn’t always obvious. Take it one day at a time and know that it will all be worth it in the end!