I’m often asked about work/life balance and how to manage school and an internship. In my book, (All Work, No Pay), I talk about a few key pieces of advice:
1. Have a “can-do” attitude. You CAN do everything, you just need a strategy and a plan of attack.
2. Write it out. If you can write out your schedule on a blank calendar template you’ll be able to visualize your days better and block scheduled classes (when possible) and activities. Start with a blank calendar and then write in your class schedule, work schedule, and look at which days you could potentially intern. For example, if you have class all day Monday, Wednesday, Friday perhaps you can intern all day on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
3. Internships don’t require as much time as you think. Most internships (especially during the school year) only require 12-15 hours of your time per week. If you can identify 12 hours of free time between 9AM – 5PM each week, your employer will most likely work around your flexible schedule.
4. Make a priority list. Everyone has different priorities. Most of us have school, work, and fun on our priority list at all times. Take a moment to write down what’s important to you – even the people who are important for you to spend time with (boyfriend, family, close friends) as we must make sure you get that in as well. Now, go back to your calendar and make sure you block out time for all of your “priorities”.
5. Go Virtual. Don’t forget about the virtual internship – the internship you can do from ANYWHERE. My company (InternQueen.com) offers virtual internships every semester. You have consistent weekly hours but you can work from your dorm or school. We have a lot of virtual internships posted on my site. Don’t overlook these in your search – especially if you’re worried about time management.
For more advice on school/internship management, you can check out my book HERE