Juggling a Fall Internship and a Part-Time Job
You just landed a fall internship in Fashion PR -- you are clearly on top of your game! The agency wants you to come in a few days per week and you aren’t sure exactly which days to devote to your internship. Here are a few factors to consider when deciding which days to intern:
1. Ask For Extra Time. When you intern during the fall, you have to plan around your classes, clubs/groups and part-time job (if you have one). Before committing to a set schedule at your internship, you want to make sure you have a handle on your class schedule. Your employer will be understanding about this. Just make sure they understand that you want to wait so that you can be more organized -- not because you are afraid to commit to the opportunity.
2. Look for Blocks of Time. Most companies are open between 9am and 5pm and will be pretty flexible in terms of when you can come into the office (especially during the fall semester when they know you have classes). I suggest searching for chunks of time a few days per week so that you can come in and stay in. When you are in the office for longer periods of time, the company begins to learn your schedule, assign you more tasks, and you’ll have more time for relationship-building. Often times if you are just popping in for an hour or two each day, you don’t have time to meet people because you are too busy getting caught up on your tasks.
3. 12-15 Hour Rule. Remember, if you are taking an unpaid internship, the company should only be requiring 12 to 15 hours per week. If you could come in 2-3 days per week for a chunk of time, that would be ideal.
4. Try to Block Schedule Your Classes. I know that you can’t always pick when your classes are -- but sometimes you’ll have flexibility. If you can fit your classes in on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings, you’ll have your afternoons and evening free for personal time/homework/studying/part-time job -- and then you can do your internship on Tuesdays and Thursdays (10am to 5pm) and really get a feel for the workplace. You could also do fewer hours and come in Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday after classes. It’s up to you!
5. Don’t Wait Until the End of the Week. I’ve had interns ask if they can only intern on Thursdays and Fridays. I think those days are great EXCEPT sometimes as an intern you don’t get to see the full picture of how projects come about. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday tend to be the busiest days in the office -- you want to make sure you are in for at least one of those days so that you see projects happen from start to finish.