Currently, I serve as an intern in three locations: an online blog called Uloop, a newspaper called UWeekly, and a non-profit medical organization called MMORE—Multiple Myeloma Opportunities for Research and Education. These internships are for my journalism major and professional writing minor, and thus they require an ample amount of time for writing.
As summer term wraps up and I reflect on how I balanced these three internships, I have compiled a list of four tips to help you balance your own internships for the upcoming terms.
1. Cut the procrastination.
One internship site provides you with a large enough amount of work; imagine squeezing in two or more internships. It becomes important to cut any ideas of procrastination early on, especially if you are a chronic procrastinator. While you may be used to getting work done the night before the deadline, attempting to throw together triple the amount of work is ill-advised, especially if you want to produce good work. An internship is a great way to stand out among other job candidates, but if your supervisor gives you an unfavorable review because your work is sub-par, you may have wasted your time. Keep your stress levels low by getting your work or preparations done early.
2. Create a master list each week.
An efficient way to stay organized is to make a master list of all of the work you need to finish for a given week. Placing all of your deadlines on one paper can give you a nice perspective on how much time you need to allot to each task. This will also ensure that you do not forget a certain task or project. How embarrassing it would be to show up at your internship site unprepared for a presentation! Or, how would you feel if you forgot to email a very important document to your supervisor? Making these lists will help you to stay organized and look at the big picture of your internship responsibilities. This is also a good excuse to use Post-its.
3. Separate your work.
“Wait a minute,” you’re thinking, “didn’t you just say to keep track of your internship tasks by keeping them all on one list?” I see you have been paying attention. While it is important to keep the big picture in mind, it is equally important to keep your internship work separated. Whether you have hard copy documents or online files to keep track of, file folders or folders on your computer prove helpful in separating your documents; find your documents quickly for any of your internships and watch your crazy schedule become a lot less hectic. Likewise, create separate folders in your email inbox to maintain organization.
4. Set specific deadlines.
Set specific times for when you need to complete outside assignments for each of your internships and also for any remote internships. For example, because one of my internships is remote, I need to set aside hours each day that I will only spend working on assignments for that internship. This way, I will complete all of my tasks on time and avoid scrambling to finish anything. Setting a rigid schedule allows you to give equal time to each of your internships and will prevent you from spending more time on one than another. This will also aid in reducing procrastination.
Follow these tips to keep your schedule balanced and a little more stress-free.