So You Have Summer Classes & A Job… How To Prioritize

This upcoming summer trimester, Bentley’s unique offer of summer classes has caused many undergraduate students to take advantage and take summer classes. But… They have internships and jobs (often, full-time) too! Of course, everyone’s situation will be different, depending on the internship and job requirements, the number of summer classes a student is in, and, most importantly, your priorities.

If you are taking classes and also working, you might be stressed about not having enough time. You want to do the best you can at your internship so that you can maximize your chances of getting a return offer (if you want one), and most students on campus are also very academically-motivated and work for good grades. The way to achieve both a successful internship and do well in summer classes is through extremely good time-management, prioritizing tasks, and also communication if something does not go as planned. Let’s discuss each one of these crucial components.

  1. Time management is essential when you’re working full-time and have classes to worry about. For starters, when creating your summer schedule, individuals should understand that leaving work for a class is something that is rarely appreciated in a work setting, meaning that each class that you need to take should be asynchronous or taken outside of work hours. That does not factor in overtime that you may need to put into your job unexpectedly or the time you need to block out for studying for your classes. Managing your time, whether that means unfortunately neglecting all social activities or family time during really busy weeks, is something that is to be expected. This, of course, can take a huge mental toll on people, so make sure that you are realistic with what you can personally handle. Taking too many summer classes, while beneficial for your schedule and possible graduation date, can overwhelm you, as well, so just be on the lookout for signs of burnout.
  2. Prioritize. The purpose of this blog is to drive home the idea that even if you decide to do everything like the overachieving person you are, you don’t need to do everything perfectly. Maybe you don’t need to 4.0 every class this summer like you have in the past. Letting your GPA take a tiny hit in order to succeed in your internship, get class credit, and preserve your nerves & mental health is more than worth it. This is not to encourage slacking off, but if your internship is important to you and you want to receive that return offer, you should let summer classes become an obstacle, no matter how free they are. Prioritizing is a tactic that most people understand but fail to put into action, so read this awesome blog on how to better prioritize. It’s crucial, as you start to have more things (clubs, classes, jobs, opportunities) going on, to learn how to prioritize and leave time for yourself. Practice priorities this summer, if wanting to do everything all the time is something that applies to you and if you’ve taken on a huge load of work.

Communicate with your employer and professors as needed. Employers are extremely understanding when it comes to interns, and while you do not want to unnecessarily worry or alert an employer about sub-par work due to classes, if classes start to interfere with your work quality and/or ethic, you need to let someone know. Similarly, if you’re not meeting assignment deadlines or really having issues with a class, you should schedule a meeting with your professor to discuss your circumstances. While your professor will be unable to give you special treatment, he or she may be able to assist you with better understanding the material, creating a schedule to stick to, and even general advice on working full-time (since most professors have been there!). Communication, however awkward it may be, is better than silence… every single time.

By Alina Minkova
Alina Minkova Creative Blog Curator Alina Minkova