A User-friendly Guide to Balancing School & Interning
The idea of balancing academic life and an internship may seem daunting. You want to bring your A-game to both and build your academic and professional skill sets, but there are only so many hours in a day. Add in time for socializing, sleeping, eating, and maybe even another job, and your plate is looking a little full and a lot messy. Is it a piece of cake? Not entirely. But as the saying goes, “nothing worth having comes easy,” and with proper time management and organization, you can have your cake and eat it too.
Plan Your Schedule in Advance
Given the nature of an internship, like mine at Arcane, your work schedule is set in advance. Your shifts don’t change every week as they do in many part-time positions, meaning you don’t work the internship around your schedule so much as you must work your schedule around the internship. There is one obvious benefit to this: you’re never up in the air. You know when you’re working, so you can plan the rest of your schedule in advance. And plan you should.
I won’t even try to pretend that I had everything planned out perfectly in my first few weeks. Towards the end of September, when school started picking up and I was given more responsibilities at my internship, I learned just how important careful schedule planning is. Simply failing to flip my calendar over to October for a clear view of all my upcoming deadlines was enough to send me into a tailspin. But I can happily say that I caught up and learned a valuable lesson: keep a visual on your schedule at least two weeks in advance.
Be Realistic and Make Time for Yourself
I usually try to get some school work done after a day of work, but it doesn’t always happen. Sometimes the thought of watching a movie with my roommates is far too appealing. That’s why it’s best to be honest with yourself when coming up with a schedule. If you know you can’t commit to doing school work after a day of interning, don’t make it part of your plan. It’s never wrong to make time for your interests outside of school and work as long as you plan for it as much as possible.
Reach Out for Support
Even though I’ve only spent a month at Arcane so far, I’ve already experienced its extremely supportive company culture. I’ve had the benefit of meeting most of the people at the company in the form of internal meetings or one-on-one conversations, so if I’m ever in need of help balancing the work on my plate, I know who is available to reach out to.
There are also regular meetings where teams can discuss resourcing openly to minimize the risk of anyone feeling stretched too thin. Being involved in a company culture like this not only helps ensure that my time on the job is being managed effectively, but leaves me with the feeling that my time is valued.
A Little Time Management Goes a Long Way
While simultaneously juggling an internship and studies may be intimidating at first, it’s more than possible (and a fantastic way to brush up on your time management skills). More importantly, the work that goes into balancing it all is completely worth it given the multitude of personal, academic, and professional benefits an internship brings with it. So yes, at times, you may have a full plate on your hands, but the meal is delicious.
To learn more about working at Arcane or to find out about internship opportunities here, reach out today!