How to Balance an Internship and a Job

By Denver Regine Lark

Denver is a part of the TLC College Ambassador Program and attends North Carolina A&T University.

Taking on two strenuous tasks as such can be a lot to balance but let me reassure you that it is possible. Think of it like this, the internship is preparing you for your career field while your second job is just one that puts money in your pocket. This is extremely important if your internship, like many, is unpaid.

The first thing that may also seem complicated is to first find an internship you love! That way you won’t see it as a job and it won’t be a struggle every day. You want the work to be meaningful so you will get the true experience as well as the chance to see if this is the career for you. Many people say that if the internship is unpaid that they are not motivated at all, however you are only disadvantaging yourself and it is best to remember that this will only offer you the opportunity to advance in your career. You can always pick up that paid job at night or on the weekends. Use the struggle of balancing both as motivation. If your schedule is hectic, you will truly enjoy it and balance it if you have a passion for it.

If you really must have a job and an internship, consider working part time. That way you are not spreading yourself too thin. Always try to apply to jobs that have flexible hours and are willing to work around your hours. If you’re lucky you may even be able to work somewhere you previously worked and the flexibility may be that much greater.

 Nothing is worse than starting both an internship and a job and midway through, you realize you cannot handle both. The best way with staying sane is being able to communicate with both of your employers to where you all find a feasible schedule. The best way to avoid slacking on the job is by creating a schedule that allows for rest. Please remember that you are not of any use to anyone if you are not in good health. This means getting optimal amounts of rest and nutrition. Also some schools offer scholarships and or stipends to allow unpaid interns to focus on their internship without having to worry about a job so look into those options at your college.

College is a prime time many friends may feel abandoned with either both or one’s schedule being hectic. The best way to avoid this is by explaining to your friends ahead of time what your schedule will be like. You must remember that this is the time you are establishing yourselves and late night partying may become fewer as late nights preparing for the work week may become more common.

However, you can still make some time for yourself and others because college isn’t all work and no play. College is supposed to be one of the best times of our lives, and while it’s important to make the most of it in terms of work, it’s just as important to make the most of it socially.