This week has been extremely busy and stressful for me. Between being a full-time student and an intern I felt like I had a million things to do. I had two interviews, a quiz, two reports and a presentation due before Friday and on top of that I had classes and work three days a week. I somehow made it through the week alive because I am sitting here writing this post. As I was sitting back and reflecting on this week I began to think about what I have learned, besides the fact that coffee is a lifeline.
I found that organization, making to-do lists, creating your own deadlines, staying positive and having a sense of humor are critical to being a student intern. I put these four things into some tips for any other student or intern that struggles sometimes.
1. Stay organized
I cannot stress enough how important organization is. Anyone who knows me personally can tell you I am constantly organized. When you know exactly when something is due and how much time you have to accomplish it you will be able to complete those tasks on time and probably relieve some of that stress you have. So my advice is to keep a planner and write everything down. If you look inside my planner you will see everything is color coded. Green pen and highlighter are for my internship duties and pink pen and highlighter are for school. Being able to separate the two is what really saved me this week. Write everything down when it is due and color code it.
2. Make a To-Do List
This goes along with tip number one, staying organized. Along with writing everything down in your planner, make a separate to-do list of the short-term tasks you need to accomplish that day. This might seem repetitive, but it will help you stay on track and get things done faster. It also gives you a small feeling of accomplishment every time you get to cross something off your list.
3. Create your own deadlines
This really only applies to your internship duties. One of the major differences between college and the work force is that you do not have a syllabus telling you what the assignments are and when they are due. Most of the time you have to figure out when it is appropriate to have something accomplished. I always decide whether the task is urgent and needs to be done that day or if I can put it off till the next day.
4. Stay Positive
This one is challenging for me sometimes. When you have a million things going on you need to be prepared for something to go wrong and when it does having a good attitude is what will save you. Having a positive mindset can change your bad day around in a minute. If you dwell on that one assignment you couldn’t get right you are keeping yourself from your other responsibilities. Whether you make a mistake or if you spill your coffee all over your white pants before your interview when you’re already five minutes behind, stay positive!