How to Balance Your Internship During the Semester

by Susan Mullin

Feeling overwhelmed by your workload?

Balancing an internship when you have a full course load can be quite a challenge. It’s great to gain real-life experience while in college – as long as you’re able to dedicate time to both things. Today we are joined by our social media intern Madi Grogan who offers insight into how she manages her current social media internship with her spring semester coursework while still having a good work-life balance!

How do you set time aside for your internship while balancing classes?

Madi: I use the online program called Notion and it’s a lifesaver. I create a to-do list daily for both my internship and my school work. I also created a class schedule that allows me to be done by noon every day with lots of time to do other things! I am a big organizer and I think that really helps in balancing classes with other things. 

How have you communicated with your manager about flexibility with schoolwork?

Madi: When I started the internship, I told my boss when I am available and how many hours I can put in. We found a time that works best for our weekly calls – for both of us – and a time to assign tasks for the upcoming weeks. We also communicate via text regarding social media posts for faster communication. 

What are some weekly/monthly tasks that you do for your internship? (Blogs, social media posts, research on competitors, etc)

Madi: Here are some of my responsibilities:

  • Create bi-weekly outlines of social media posts 
  • Create content for social media  
  • Create weekly reports on social media metrics
  • Research competitors’ Instagram accounts

What is something you didn’t expect going into your internship?

Madi: I had never worked with social media by myself before so I did not expect the amount of time editing each post takes. It’s not as simple as taking a picture and writing a caption. A lot of thought, time, and research goes into each of the posts which takes a lot more time than expected! 

What has been the biggest challenge of balancing an internship with school?

Madi: If I have a week where I am not on top of things with school, it messes up everything else in my life including my internship. For example, this past week I had two papers and a test due as well as the added stress of graduation coming around the corner. I let some of my tasks slip away from me and ended up doing them much later than I wanted to. 

What advice would you give someone planning on doing an internship during the academic year?

Madi: Form a relationship and understanding with your boss. My boss is so amazing and so understanding and being transparent with her about busy school weeks and my schedule helps immensely.

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