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Holding an Internship in College

Interning while in college can be one of the most advantageous activities for your professional future, but it can also be one of the most challenging. On top of classes, extracurriculars, and social events, an internship might feel like too much to take on. This semester, I’m interning 20 hours per week while I take a full course load and write my senior thesis. I’m here to share why I decided to hold an internship during the school year, how to decide if an internship is a good choice for you, and some tips for making it work.

While interning at an East Coast tech company this summer, I received an offer to continue my internship into the fall. At first, I was a little hesitant to accept. It would be my senior year, and after two years away from campus (due to COVID-19 and study abroad), I wanted the chance to enjoy my final year on campus. However, I also really enjoyed my internship. I wanted to maintain professional momentum and increase my chances of a full-time offer at the company. I ended up deciding to accept the internship with the knowledge that I would be incredibly busy and feel overwhelmed at times, but I trusted that I could handle it.

If you’re faced with the opportunity to intern during your time at Scripps, there are a lot of factors to consider. Do you foresee yourself really enjoying your work? Do you want to work at the company long-term? How difficult are your classes? Are you good at balancing your workload? Do you predict that you’ll get easily overwhelmed? Everyone is different, so the decision to intern is entirely personal. However, you can always remember that summers are a great time to hold a job or internship that you may not have the time to do during the school year. Additionally, there will always be more time in your life to work a job, but your life as a student is temporary, so be sure to enjoy it! That being said, an internship can provide valuable work experience and even give you a leg up in the graduate job search. 

If you do decide to take on an internship, here are a few tips:

  • Take an easier or reduced course load. 
  • Schedule or organize your time and don’t forget to include valuable self-care and social time with friends.
  • Communicate with your professors and internship manager early on. It’s better if they are aware that you have a demanding schedule at the beginning of the semester. Your manager should be understanding if you have to miss a meeting or take on less work due to classes. 
  • Prioritize your well-being. Find activities that bring you joy and refuel you, then incorporate these into your daily routine.
  • Create strict boundaries between work, school, and life. Don’t do work for your internship when you’re in class (and vice versa). 

Wherever you are on your post-grad journey, whether that be in an internship, part-time job, or otherwise, you got this! Feel free to reach out to me with any questions about this decision or others at calbro7223@scrippscollege.edu

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