Managing Two Internships

By Jessica Leano

What seemed like 200 internship applications later, I finally read the words every college student longs to see. “We’d like to offer you a position for the summer.” After several stressful weeks of trying to find an internship in California, I landed a position as a production intern with a small non-profit radio broadcasting company.

As a transfer student from a public university where most students don’t do an internship, I wanted to get all the experience I could out of my last summer in college. In addition to my radio internship, I also applied for a marketing internship, and was hired at a loan management company.

Every college student knows that multitasking is a necessity, and working two jobs similarly requires careful time management. Here are my tips for balancing two internships at once.

1.    Establish a set schedule.

Before flying out to California, I discussed my availability with both of my supervisors. To demonstrate that I was equally committed to both positions, I negotiated my hours early on. Having a solid schedule also helped me set goals for completing assignments and plan out my work for each day. I also worked more effectively having less time at one job than the other interns.

2.    Find connections between your internships.

Inevitably, schedule conflicts come up. With my marketing position, I was invited to attend an email-marketing seminar on one of the days I would be at my other job.

After speaking with my supervisor at the radio internship, I found that both companies use the same email-marketing vendor. When I asked for the day off to attend the seminar, I assured my boss that I would take good notes and share the information, as well as make up any missed work on the weekend.

3.    Talk regularly with both supervisors, and make both sites feel important.

Several times, I found myself having to resolve issues at one company while physically at the other. I do not recommend being glued to your cell phone while at work, but in cases where coworkers urgently need your help; make sure they are able to reach you by email or phone.

Fortunately, my co-workers at both companies were always flexible and understanding anytime I needed to step out and make a phone call. If you treat both jobs equally, your supervisors will know that you are a dedicated worker, not just prioritizing one position over the other.

  1. Get plenty of rest when you can.  Two internships can be demanding so you can’t stay up late and expect to be on top of your game the next day.  You want to be eager and enthusiastic at both sites.

Although I never planned on doing two internships at once, and didn’t think it would even be plausible, I came back to Elon with not only two more jobs to list on my resume, but experience working in two different areas of communications.  And, I returned to school much more confident in my abilities, both in and outside of my concentration. I would encourage aspiring interns to explore all their options and, if possible, to take on more than one job. Two jobs mean more work, but also double the career advice and double the lunches with coworkers!

Below are links to two articles about how to handle two internships at once!

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/20/education/edlife/to-double-dip-or-not.html?_r=0

“To Double dip or not”

http://heatherhuhman.com/2011/04/a-tale-of-two-internships-one-paid-one-not/

“A Tale of two internships”

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