The Good Intern
New Year, New Goals
The First Day
Posted by Michelle Pence - - 2 comments

Recently, on The Good Intern there was a poll on the homepage where students voted on whether or not they would be participating in a fall internship.  The poll asked "Are you participating in a fall internship this year?" and the options were A) "Yes, definitely.  I'll intern during any season", B) "No, fall is time to focus on school", or C) "I want to, but I haven't found one yet."  When the poll first launched, option A and B were both extremely close to being the winner, but by the time the poll closed option B won with 42% of the votes.  The majority of the people who voted would not be participating in a fall internship because they want to focus on school.

The results of the poll left me thinking about what exactly is involved in a fall internship.  It's true that an internship in the fall can be more difficult than summer opportunities because of the need to balance the responsibilities of being an intern with classes, extracurricular activities, homework, and maybe even a job, but fall internships also present an entirely different set of benefits than summer internships.  To list some of the perks, for upperclassmen it may be one of the last opportunities to intern for someone who might be a potential employer, you are able to network and gain experience in a different community than maybe you would at home during the summer, plus as a fall intern you might be asked to intern for the entire school year.

Photo Credit

Since I am obviously a major advocate for fall internships, here are some tips to help fall interns succeed during the fall semester which might even persuade those on the fence to reconsider whether or not to seek out a fall internship.

Be clear about your schedule

Many supervisors will be flexible with your schedule as long as you are upfront about your time commitments.  The time involved in a fall internship is something that should be established during the interview so you have a realistic idea of if you will be able to do the internship without your other obligations suffering.  Before you start your internship, sit down with your supervisor and work out a schedule that works for both of you.  Draw out an estimated weekly schedule beforehand that accounts for work, classes, time for homework, meetings, and any other commitments, so you have a clear idea of when you are available.  Also, offer to do some work remotely at home or on evenings/weekends if the company will allow it.  E-mail makes it extremely easy to stay in touch with your supervisor if you are working from another location.

Run a tight ship

In order to succeed as a fall intern your need to be extremely organized.  I recommend keeping two separate planners; one strictly for school assignments, and one for your internship and other time commitments.  When your schedule is packed, things have a tendency to fall through the cracks and can lead to major dilemmas, so keep your life organized to avoid any slip-ups.  If you aren't used to using a planner it can be hard to remember to pencil things in at first, but after a while it will become automatic and make your life much easier.

Learn to multi-task

As a fall intern you will have to wear many hats such as student, intern, sorority/fraternity member, employee, etc. and need to be prepared to play numerous roles in one day.  For this reason, I recommend keeping lists of tasks you need to accomplish for each different category, listed by importance, that you can easily access at any time.  I like to keep multiple lists on my Blackberry since it's pretty much with me at all times.  That way, no matter where I'm at I can recall what I need to do without having to rely on memory alone.

Take time to breathe

It's so easy to get caught up in the stress that interning and going to school at the same time can bring.  To avoid losing your mind schedule time for yourself, whether it's spending time with friends or settling down to watch a movie alone, make sure you are still doing the things you enjoy and that allow you to lighten up a little.  College is supposed to be fun, remember?

Here's what some of The Good Intern's Twitter followers had to say:

(Visit her blog here)
@ Yes, internships are important, but make sure you still have time for school work. Be honest with yourself. 

2 Responses so far.

  1. Barb says:

    I agree - a lot of the time students forget that they have to balance their social and academic life into the schedule. It's all right to admit to yourself that your semester may be tough one and that it may best for you to sit this one out. Be sure, if you are working, that you don't take on too many hours at work, which can leave you drained by the time you get around to sitting with your homework.

  2. Anonymous says:

    This is a very informative post, my girlfriend is balancing an internship and her classes, which is hard for her because she is an undergraduate business major. Luckily for her following the rules and guidelines you have laid out comes naturally. Balancing school and an internship is hard, but if you are organized enough to pull it off the benefits can be astounding.

Leave a Reply

Category List

application (1) apps (1) ashli pollard (1) ask the good intern (1) back to school (2) boredom (1) boss (1) budget (1) business attire (1) business casual (1) CAMPUSPEAK (1) career (3) career advice (1) career center (3) classes (1) college (6) college grads (1) conflict (1) cover letter (3) coworkers (2) do's and don'ts (1) down time (1) dream internship (4) election (1) employer (1) end of internship (1) entrepreneur (1) etiquette (2) evaluation (1) extra opportunities (1) facebook (2) fall (1) fall fashion (1) fall internship (4) fall internships (1) fashion (1) fashion internship (1) finance (1) first day of internship (4) first impression (2) foursquare (1) fraternity (1) full-time job (1) goals (1) google (1) gossip (1) graduation (1) her campus (2) hobbies (1) holiday party (1) holidays (1) hot jobs (1) humanitarian internship (1) independence (1) initiative (1) intern style (1) intern supervisor (1) internship interview (2) internship wrap-up (1) interview (2) job (1) job interview (2) job search (1) law school (1) leadership (1) legislative internship (1) letter of recommendation (5) linkedin (3) links (5) majors (1) mental health (1) mentor (1) missouri state university (1) money (1) multi-task (1) networking (9) new internship (1) new year (1) non-profit (1) non-verbal communication (2) office fashion (1) office party (1) organization (1) organizational products (2) oversees internship (1) paid internships (1) passion (1) pete mockaitis (1) phone (1) phone etiquette (1) political internship (1) portfolio (1) positive attitude (1) post-grad internships (1) privacy (1) productivity (1) professional attire (1) promotion (1) recent grad (1) research (1) resume (7) salary (1) schedule (4) scholarships (1) social media (2) social networking (3) social skills (1) sorority (1) speaker (1) start-up (1) stress (3) study tips (1) summer internship (5) thank you note (2) thank you notes (2) time management (3) timeline (1) to-do list (2) to-do lists (1) twitter (1) undecided major (1) unpaid internships (1) upperclassmen (1) Washington D.C. (2) websites (1) work-life balance (1) wrapping up an internship (1) wrapping up internship (1) writing sample (1)