Thursday, April 14th, 2011
Guest Post by Michael Ely
Urban Interns Brand Ambassador, Boston University
A common issue that many college students have trouble dealing with is time management. The typical college student must fit many different activities into their schedule including classes, club meetings, intramural sports, meals, studying and last but (hopefully) not least, sleep. With all of these commitments, it can sometimes seem impossible to maintain an internship. However, the only thing that would be harder than having one internship would be having two or three at the same time!
But there’s a strong argument for maintaining more than one internship. Reasons include: gaining experience in multiple industries; better networking opportunities; being able to transfer skills from one role to the other; needing to show a multi-faceted resume; and probably most significantly, not keeping all your eggs in one basket. Also, if you’ve got the time and the motivation, why not?
It can be difficult to pull off this level of multi-tasking, but it is not impossible. Simply securing multiple internships shows that you’re a multi-tasker by definition!
To help you out with managing your time effectively, we have provided you with a few tips:
• Buy a planner: Whether it is on your computer, your phone, your iPad or just an old-fashioned schedule book, a planner can be a busy person’s most important asset. Write down all of your daily events, due dates, and notes to remember shortly after you become aware of them, so you don’t forget to write them down later! Alternatively, consider online tools for task management, including Google Docs, HiTask, or Tadalist (all free).
• Rank your commitments: If you are thinking about taking on an extra internship, get out a piece of paper and write down all of the things you are currently involved in. Once you compile a list, rank each item from most-to-least important to you. Seriously consider dropping some of the things that you wouldn’t mind living without.
• Don’t overload yourself: Being busy is one thing, but staying up until 5:00 AM working on the next day’s problem set is another. Try to recognize when you are doing too much and always plan ahead so you don’t find yourself fighting to keep your eyes open.
• Have some “me” time: Everyday you should dedicate at least 15 minutes to taking a break and just trying to relax. Watching your favorite TV show, playing games online, taking a short nap, and listening to music are great ways to release any stress you may have after a busy day.
Just remember, it is better to be a successful intern and make a huge impact at one company, than it is to find yourself haphazardly juggling multiple internships at a time. If you are dying to get as much work experience as you can in college, make sure that you plan ahead and figure out how all of your activities will fit into your schedule.