As a student, I know that when it comes time to apply for jobs, I want my resume to speak volumes. Managing my time efficiently between internships, organizations and school can be challenging, though.
I don’t want to show an employer that I was somewhat involved in the industry, I want to show an employer that I’ve had experience and here are the results from my involvement in the industry. This is the perfect concept, of course, but the tricky part is actually landing internships and taking opportunities that are going to reflect well on my resume and on top of that, ensuring that my coursework is done every week.
The great part about receiving one opportunity is that it opens the door to many others, if you network and use your connections well. So once I accomplished some of this, the problem arose to figure out how to balance my time– wisely.
The hardest lesson I have ever had to learn and ultimately the key to balancing work, school, organizations and the rest of my life was to not take on too much.
When you do pretty well in one position, you know you can take on a similar position elsewhere. Being involved in school helps me out because of the unending amount of resources, but I have to urge myself not to take on everything everyone asks me to do. Burning yourself out can take all the fun out of the things you should enjoy. It took one of my professors and PRSSA Faculty Adviser to point this out to me last Spring to realize it’s OK to say no. Better yet, in leadership positions, learn how to delegate tasks effectively.
This was another big lesson it’s taken me a while to learn. While it may seem like if you don’t have your hand in everything that it could fall apart- you have to realize that the people on your team were either elected, hired or appointed to take care of their duties. You have to trust them enough to do their job and if they aren’t, then restructure, but if you’re constantly checking everything or doing it yourself (AKA micromanaging), not only will you be frustrated but so will your team member. Everyone on the team can make a difference. I had to take some time and step back to comprehend this. I wanted to do everything but I didn’t have the time and most notably, when you don’t micromanage, team members can go above your expectations and surprise you, because they want to excel.
I’m also one of those people who has to write everything down or it will be completely erased from my memory. When I figured this out, it resulted in many more pages of note-taking (I now have a tablet), but I became more organized and when I left that classroom or internship and went home for the day, I remembered everything I needed to work on and future goals. I also use Google Calendar for everything- even scheduling phone calls. Not only does this allow me to know what’s coming up but it syncs through all of my devices and it helps me remember events as well. I would suggest writing everything in some calendar format so nothing slips your mind and eventually, you’ll use it everyday. If you forget to check something regularly but need to, such as a school website, make it your homepage. You’ll never miss it if it pops up every time you start your browser. While writing everything down is my way of keeping up with everything, it may not be yours. So find what works for you and run with it.