Internships are often considered the golden ticket to acquiring invaluable real-world experience in your chosen field. They offer a sneak peek into the professional world you’ll be stepping into post-graduation. However, the challenge lies in maintaining an equilibrium between your internship responsibilities and academic commitments. Striking this balance not only enhances your employability but also sets you on the right path for future graduate jobs.
Here we will guide you through various steps to help you find the perfect balance between an internship and your studies.
Identify a Beneficial Internship
Embarking on an internship journey without a clear vision is akin to sailing without a compass. It’s crucial to select an internship that aligns with your long-term employment goals. While it’s not mandatory for the internship role to be an exact match with your dream job, it should offer relatable benefits.
Look for internships with the opportunity to learn and develop certain skills that will be valuable to you at the beginning and beyond of your professional career. These skills can range from specific technical proficiencies to essential soft skills like communication, critical thinking, adaptability, teamwork, and leadership. These competencies not only make you a more attractive candidate for graduate jobs but also prepare you for the challenges of the professional world.
The Nitty-Gritty of Skill Development
Internships are more than just a CV booster; they are a skill-building platform. Whether it’s mastering a new software, improving your project management abilities, or honing your public speaking skills, each internship experience adds to your skillset and development. These skills are not just checkboxes for your CV; they are assets that will serve you well in your pursuit of graduate jobs and throughout your career.
Schedule Shifts Appropriately
Universities often have varying policies when it comes to student employment during term time. Some may impose restrictions on the number of work hours per week, while others might offer more flexibility. It’s your responsibility to understand these limitations and plan your work schedule accordingly.
Don’t forget to account for travel time and decide whether weekend or mid-week shifts align better with your academic timetable. Clear communication with your employer about your availability is key to preventing over-commitment that could jeopardise your academic performance.
Plan Shifts Around Important University Dates
Keep a planner detailing every single deadline and exam you have over the course of the year, and keep regular tabs on the likes of lectures and tutorials. Bear in mind that catching up on the latter via online slides may make you feel alienated from your classmates and the course itself if you do it too often.
Keeping well abreast of all important academic dates will enable you to communicate with your employer in advance and swap shifts around with workmates in order to accommodate your university commitments.
Don’t Neglect Rest and Relaxation
In the hustle and bustle of balancing an internship with academics, never underestimate the power of downtime. Many students fall into the trap of believing that constant work equates to success. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Rest and relaxation are not mere luxuries or optional activities to engage in when you have “extra” time; they are essential components of a balanced life and, by extension, a successful career path leading to rewarding graduate jobs.
If you are a student or recent graduate looking for a short-term placement, internship or full-time permanent position, then get in touch with Step today to access a diverse and inclusive outcome-focused range of internships and placements, as well as graduate jobs across a range of industries!