This blog was written by Jessica our campus ambassador from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.
Tips on How to Balance Two Internships at Once
The beginning of my summer was plagued with a major dilemma of what I thought was an impossible decision. I had an awesome internship offer from an organization whose annual summer event brings in an average of 500,000 people to my small college town of 60,000. Yeah, it was kind of the type of place to be if you are majoring in Public Relations.
However, the internship was full time, and I was already employed as an intern at a well-respected PR agency in the region who expected me to stay with them through the summer. So, I had a decision to make. I either had to accept my full-time internship offer or stay where I was. Or… I could try to do both. Since my internship at the agency was only going to be part time during the summer, it was possible to do one full-time internship along with a part time one. At first, the thought of it was scary, but I made my decision and so far I have been managing it well!
Below are some tips if you plan to juggle multiple internships this fall:
Buy an agenda planner
Yes, a separate one from your school planner. I found this out the hard way when I tried to write my tasks down for each internship, my volunteering and my PRSSA (Public Relations Student Society of America) duties. Imagine adding school to that. It is really important to stay organized and know how to separate what is going on/due at each of your internships.
Get to know as many people as you can
Take advantage of your opportunities! There is no doubt that you will be meeting double the amount of professionals than those with one internship (duh) and you should network as much as possible. It will only benefit you in the future.
Make generic business cards
During your internships, you will probably have the opportunity to attend some company events or networking nights. Since you are employed at two different places, you don’t want to align yourself with only one of the companies. It’s best to simply identify yourself as a student and explain that you are currently interning when you make a connection.
Create a solid schedule and stick to it
Since you are working at two or more places, you may have days when you will visit more than one company. Although it may be difficult sometimes, try not to change your schedule from week to week. For example, say you normally work Mondays and Wednesdays at internship A, but have a really important meeting to attend there on Tuesdays. Your first instinct would be to leave internship B (worked on Tuesday and Thursday, let’s say) to attend the meeting. Unless it’s really important, don’t do it! It will only inconvenience internship A and offset your whole workweek. Not to mention, you will start to get really confused.
Wear comfortable shoes
What may seem obvious is often overlooked. I learned this one the hard way after running from building to building throughout the day, often on a deadline. Take my advice on this one: cute shoes are only cute until they cut your feet up.
Make a lunch
Often, I am driving from internship to internship during my lunch break and don’t have the luxury of eating in the employee break room. At first, I got in the habit of stopping at Subway or Starbucks on my drive. Quickly, I realized that I was spending an unnecessary amount of money on food and I was wondering where my hard-earned paycheck went. Now, I make a lunch in the morning and eat that in my car instead. It takes a little bit longer in the morning, but the savings are worth it!
Remember, you over-achievers, enjoy your internships! You worked hard to get them and they will be huge assets to your future career search. I would love to hear about your internship-balancing act. What do you find successful when managing more than one internship?