Best of Both Worlds: How to Manage Being a Full-Time Student and a Full-Time Intern

By Emily Dillon

Living the life of a full-time student while being a social media management intern can be full of surprises. One day you are sitting in a classroom listening to a teacher and thinking about your future career in the real world, and the next, you are living it out. For me specifically, that means being a Public Relations and Advertising major with a minor in Creative Writing at DePaul University and a Social Media Management Intern at iScape Outdoor Design.

After joining a business fraternity, building a network of connections, and taking classes with other like-minded people, I was finally feeling ready to do something more and go beyond my student status. Near the end of February, I reached out to my network, landed three interviews in March, and began working at the start of April. And as the next three months of school went by, I was able to learn and experience the value of time management and how to balance the best of both worlds of a full-time student and a full-time intern.

So, here are my tips from this rewarding experience:

1. If you want it bad enough, it will happen.
Reaching out to my network of connections took a little more than just talking. After building much confidence and trust in my own potential, I was able to land my first interview through my business fraternity and a second one through research on LinkedIn. After both positions proved unfit for me however, I began to lose hope and the confidence I once had. I knew deep down, however, that I still wanted a chance, so I decided to reach out to a few unlikely connections at home. And to my utmost surprise, I landed a third interview that would later give me the perfect opportunity to get me started on my feet. Never did I think I would find such an opportunity so close to home, but I was finally able to feel the reward of working hard for what I wanted.

2. Time management can save a life.
Balancing between school and work is no easy feat. Taking 16 credit hours of class while working up to 20 hours a week can be stressful as well as physically and mentally exhausting. That’s why making lists and planning out each week by the day became a necessity in my daily life because it allowed me to prioritize my tasks of the day without placing more importance over the other, making it truly the best of both worlds.

3. Keep ALL of your ideas, even the bad ones.
Starting something new in your schedule can bring out a lot of new ideas and inspiration, especially when it comes to something you’ve never done before. In joining iScape’s team, I learned what a valuable resource this outdoor design app was for homeowners and landscape professionals alike to use in creating designs and making them come to life, especially being the #1 app for designing outdoor living areas. And while I came up with many good ideas on how to approach promotion through a social media standpoint, I had some other ideas that didn’t necessarily match up with the team’s vision. But instead of tossing those aside, I was able to explore those ideas in the classroom and work one-on-one with my teacher to carry out my vision and develop them into a Grade-A project for my final presentation at the end of the quarter.

 Emily Dillon is an upcoming junior studying Public Relations and Advertising with a minor in Creative Writing at DePaul University. Skilled in social media management with a high interest in writing and media, she is looking to continue her studies as well as gain more experience in PR.  

2 thoughts on “Best of Both Worlds: How to Manage Being a Full-Time Student and a Full-Time Intern

  1. My name is Trai Blissett and I am a student at Southeast Missouri State University and I am interested in learning ways to manage time better being a full-time student now, with a full-time job. I eventually want to take on an internship for a filed I would be interested in. I would like to know the benefits or why you would suggest a summer intern over a school year if you had to compare.

    Thank you!

    1. Due to more jobs than potential employees, many firms are willing to work around your schedule so internships are quite possible during your school year. One Chicago agency just hired two of our students, asking them to work any 15 hours a week that is possible, so the students are focusing on these jobs after they finish homework and on weekends. Such experience builds resumes as well as provides some much-needed cash.

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