Balancing a Full-time Job and Internship

When I elected to go back to school a year and half ago for my Master's in Communications Management, I knew I wanted to re-vamp my skills; however, I also realized that I needed new work experience as well.

Prior to my time at Simmons School of Management, I worked in health care as an administrative assistant. It was a great start to my professional career, but not exactly what I wanted to do for my career. At the two-year mark at my health care job, I decided to go back into marketing communications, but the jobs that I applied to wouldn't consider me because my skills were outdated.

Since starting classes I have brushed up on my skills with team projects and writing assignments, but I felt I was still missing work experience, so I decided to add to my job search a part-time internship. I could not quit my full-time job as I am in the process of paying for a wedding and graduate school. However, I still wanted to gain new skills and experience in the communications field.

I searched the pages of Craigslist, job boards, as well as the Simmons Career Center job board. I continued to apply and had confidence that someone would take a chance on me. And someone finally did. In June of this year, I became the Communication intern for a non-profit firm based in Cambridge who empowers young girls and teens to explore science through events and workshops. Some days, I handle the balance between my internship and everything else well, and other days can be a bit of a struggle.

 It can be extremely tough balancing a full-time job, internship, and school. Here are a few tips for surviving the search of an internship:

Network: If you know someone at a target company of yours, ask them if they have interns. Tell them that you are looking for an internship to refresh and gain skills in that field.

Be honest: When applying for an internship be honest about your intentions in your cover letter. Let them know your schedule, the hiring manager will appreciate your honesty.

Utilize your school's career center: Your school can connect you with companies or organizations that have approached them looking for help. They can also help you formulate your target companies and research potential internship programs.

-  Do not give up: You may be turned away numerous times, similar to a job search, but keep your faith, there is an opportunity out there for you.

If you are passionate about making a career change, and want to gain the skills necessary to land your dream job - take the chance and dive headfirst.  I do not regret my decision and if anything, it has opened the door of opportunity.