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

One of the main criticisms that I hear from students about my blog and internships in general is the issue of some internships being unpaid or not paid very well.  While most people agree that internships are a great way to move forward professionally, the issue of pay seems like a dark cloud looming overhead.  People tell me, "An internship would be cool, but I really need to make some money so I'm just going to work instead."

My question to those people is why not do both?  Although balancing an internship and a part-time job requires excellent time management skills it is completely doable, especially during the summer.  With the mindset that you will be bringing in income while at the same time gaining valuable experience that will help your career, working your schedule to include both an internship and a part-time job should be no problem.

Be the master of your own schedule
Sit down with your schedule in front of you and block out all of your existing time commitments to figure out when you can realistically fit in an internship and time to work.  Since many internships will take place during the morning or afternoon look for a job that allows you to work evenings or weekends.  The important thing is to know how much time you can commit before you start applying so you don't end up stretching yourself too thin on time.

Make a budget
Force yourself to do a little math and determine exactly how much income you need to make in order to support yourself, including rent, groceries, spending, etc. Fit into your schedule enough work hours to make the amount of income you determine you need and then schedule time for an internship around that.  Another option for making a little extra income to support yourself is by asking your parents or other family members for a some monetary support.  If you explain that you really want to focus on an internship that will help you professionally they might be happy to temporarily help you out.

Be upfront
Many internships are more flexible with scheduling than you might think, especially unpaid opportunities that realize you need to support yourself as well.  Make a point to explain your situation to your supervisor and work out a schedule that works for both of you.  Being honest with your supervisor will also keep you out of tight spots like asking you to come in on days when you have other obligations.

Find some time for yourself
Never forget to pencil in some time for yourself in your busy schedule.  Even if time management isn't a problem for you, it can be easy to get so consumed by other things that you forget that you're young and should be having fun.  Finding a little time to unwind will help you keep your sanity and make it easier to enjoy work and your internship.

Think of it as a challenge
One of the best feelings for me is when I get through an especially hectic day and think back on everything that I managed to accomplish.  No matter how exhausted I am, the feeling of productivity seems to make it all worth it.  Challenge yourself by pushing to be productive even when you might feel like crashing because successfully balancing everything is a great skill and one you should be proud of.


If you have balanced a job and an internship how have you managed  to do it?  What are some other tips for managing both at the same time?

2 Responses so far.

  1. Unknown says:

    I currently manage an internship at two locations while also working 29 hours for pay and taking one four hour class. It was difficult at first but I am now able to get one full day off. You are right you can do this!

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