MIS 3581, Summer 2016–Laurel Miller

Discussion Question #4: How do you do it all???

It’s hard to balance your schoolwork and your internship.  Tell us how you are handling it and what tips you have for keeping it all together.

33 Responses to Discussion Question #4: How do you do it all???

  • I’ve found that physically scheduling time into my calendar to work on my schoolwork has allowed me to stay on top of things. I typically set aside a few hours a week – either after work, on my lunch break, or on weekends – to sit down and get some school work done. Additionally I’ve found that informing coworkers and friends of my summer course has been helpful. They tend to bring it up in conversations and ask how it is going which is a nice and friendly reminder. In general I would say I have been handling it pretty well but I definitely see my stress levels rising during fieldwork where I work 50+ hour weeks and then have the summer course on top of it.

  • When it comes to handling my schoolwork and my internship, I have found the best way to be productive is to do the schoolwork in between my work assignments. Right now in my role I am converting data and then uploading it, but it can take about 10 minutes for a single file to upload. My colleague told me that while a file is uploading I can just hang out or work on anything else I need to do, so I do my schoolwork when a file is uploading. When I have schoolwork, I am constantly switching back and forth between converting and uploading a file and my schoolwork. However, there are days where I have much more data files to deal with, so I need to spend all of my time working on them. I figure since I have a pretty long commute to work each day (an hour and a half or more each way), I could work on my schoolwork during that time. The shuttle I take to work each day has WiFi, so that’s pretty clutch! All in all, I have found balancing my internship and my schoolwork not to be as hard as I might have expected even a month ago.

  • My Google calendars are what keep my life together. I would not be able to get everything done without them. I plan everything: class times, work hours, special appointments, gym time, and commute times. I allot specific blocks of time to do my homework. One hour for this course, 45 minutes for the second, etc. When I’m really busy, I remind myself to each lunch. At work, I take full advantage of my Outlook calendar. I plan out long-term project deliverables and goals, and then I schedule time to specifically work on achieving each goal. I also complete short-term tasks as quickly as possible to get them out of the way. Reminders ultimately keep me on track. I think this approach works best for me because it keeps me accountable and I have access to my schedule everywhere I go.

    • Hi Alexandra,

      Which do you prefer, Google Calendars or Outlook for keeping organized? Like you I use Google calendars for pretty much everything in my life, but I use Outlook at work. So far, I would say that Outlook seems to be the superior tool for collaboration which is completely necessary in a business setting. However, I don’t think I could ever stop using Google Calendars, especially since I am so integrated into the Google platform. Temple utilizing a gmail server just makes Google calendars that much better for my personal and school life.

      Have you discovered any iphone apps besides the one developed by Google that host Google Calendars well?

  • Balancing school and work has been relatively easy for me at this point. I usually have free time at some point in my work day so I take advantage of that time to do schoolwork. Since I’m only taking one course this summer, I don’t find it very difficult to balance these two things. My internship at Subaru of America is for an entire year, part-time during this upcoming school year, so I think at that point it time it will become more difficult to balance work and school when I have a full-time course load. When that time does come, I will have to be very smart with how I spend my free time.

  • My work and school balance so far this summer has been terrible. I completed MIS 3504 in Summer I (got an A-), but I neglected this class by accident. The first week of my internship was on boarding followed by orientation, which were 12+ hour days (good overtime paycheck though). As a result, I responded to the first few discussion posts a bit late (which I apologize for). However, now that 3504 is over, my work school balance is much better and I look forward to completing this class and my internship smoothly.

  • Organization and time management. I have always been very organized, but have had to work on my time management because I can easily spend too much time on one thing for work or for school and not have enough time for the other. It is also challenging for me to switch back and forth between the two due to the different mindset required. I have found that writing out lists and allotting specific times to each/prioritizing is the best way to keep up with school work and work work. I write down even the tiny things and it makes me work more efficiently because it feels good to cross something off the list and stay within my time allotments.

  • Balancing my schoolwork and my internship has not been too much of a challenge so far. Personally, I am a very organized person so getting things done on time has never really been a struggle for me. I get to work early in the morning and set aside a few minutes to add quick notes into a journal I keep so when it comes to writing status updates I know exactly what I did the past few weeks. I also had alerts the day before and the day of a status being due. That way I have a slight buffer to complete my work. I also put the due dates in my calendar at work, on my phone, and in my google calendar. As some of my other classmates mentioned, my managers all know that I am taking this course as well as interning so they specifically ask how it is going and if there is anything they can do to make it easier for me to complete my work on time.

  • I make sure that I leave work and everything about it at the office when I leave at night. Doing so, when I come home, I’m able to focus all of my time on completing personal tasks, such as schoolwork. I use my handy dandy Temple planner to organize and prioritize personal tasks, while using Outlook on my work laptop to organize all work-related tasks. Tight cyber security policies prevent me from doing any classwork during my internship, so I need to make sure I stay on top of all schoolwork during my personal time, which can be tough.

  • Balancing a 9-5 internship and seven credits worth of summer classes in summer I was extremely challenging for me. My organization and time management skills were really put to the test. I found that I am most productive and focused early in the morning, and I get burnt out by the end of the day. Which was a major problem for me, when I still had hours worth of schoolwork to complete after leaving my internship but was exhausted. I tried to do at least an hour of school work each night and get a lot done on the weekends. Eventually, I knew it was getting to be too much and that I was stretching myself too thin so I asked my boss if I could have one day off to play catch up and spend the entire day working on my school work. That one day off helped me tremendously and I was able to get back on track with all my assignments. I also found that informing coworkers and friends of my summer classes was helpful because them bringing it up in conversation was a nice reminder.

  • I have planned my balance for the schoolwork and the internship in a very smart way. Since my internship is going to be a year long ending in May 2017, I decided to take three summer classes (2 Summer I and 1 Summer II) in order to work part-time along with attending school. Since I took three summer classes, I only have to take three classes in Fall and two classes in Spring which balances out my schoolwork and internship. At work, there’s plenty of free time to do some schoolwork if needed. The managers have been very flexible with us interns and gave us the freedom to do schoolwork while working. Considering the future, I planned to take some summer classes in order to balance schoolwork and my internship.

  • Since my summer school workload is fairly small, balancing my 40 hour work week with this class is going pretty well. However, this is completely different during the Fall and Spring semesters. Since my internship is all year round, it can get extremely difficult to manage if I do not prioritize time for school and work. Luckily, my internship allows flexibility in the hours that I work. I can choose to work any time that I want as long as I meet the minimum requirement of 16 hours a week during Fall and Spring semesters. This is extremely helpful when you can never schedule classes that meet what you need. In order to manage everything you are responsible for, planning ahead and prioritizing is the most important in my opinion. From my personal experience, professors can careless if you are balancing 17 credits while working full time and vice versa with supervisors.

    • Hi Kevin!

      I completely understand your situation! As a full-time employee the limited summer workload is welcomed by me, while I dread the spring and fall semesters especially scheduling. I also find that most teachers only care about their particular class. It seems many believe it’s up to the student to schedule correctly and deal with their decisions. I can understand this logic and agree with it often, but I sure do wish professors would take into account when students have to work full time while attending classes. I must admit though that my supervisors and company fully support me finishing my degree as soon as possible with as high of a GPA as possible, so dealing with problem situations is much easier with their flexibility. I hope the company you’re interning with understands your situation as well as aide you towards reaching your standards of success as my company has!

      Have a great week!

  • During the summer, my schedule isn’t that crazy because my internship is from 9-5 each day during the week. I use Outlook to keep track of all my meetings and calls for work. During the fall or spring semesters, it is much more hectic because I have a full course load as well as two of my part-time on-campus jobs. I manage my time through Google calendar to input when all of my classes are, my work hours, and block out time for homework or studying. Thankfully my boss is very understanding and will let me take off if I am feeling overwhelmed. It is very helpful to prioritize my classes so I can spend the most time on my most important classes, which is usually my MIS classes.

  • Google calendar and the calendar on Outlook, and their respective apps, have been very useful to me, because they allow me to coordinate my personal, school and work obligations. Without checking on the events for a single day, I would have no way of knowing what is on my agenda. Also by writing down every event I have in advance, I can see which days/weeks are busy and which aren’t so that I can plan in advance and balance my work load. Color coding the different categories of tasks (ex. homework assignments for school, intern events, social events and intern projects) helps me quickly gauge what amount of work I need to pay attention to on any given day.

  • When I interned in the winter it was honestly hard to balance your schoolwork and your internship. I was only taking the MIS capstone. It wouldn’t have been bad at all but the internship was during busy season so I was working until 10pm (sleep wasn’t getting much) and my client was in King of Prussia. I left at 5 on Tuesdays to catch a 530 class while traveling on I-76 (the worst road). So getting to class on time and really the stress to get there sucked. Also because of that I missed out on so much money. A few grand easy (stress). As far as the course work it wasn’t that bad. I simply would have done better on some of the assignments if I don’t intern but nothing major. I studied completely for the first exam on my drive to Philly from KOP because I waited had no other time. I also helped Professor O’Donnell with 2101 that gave me headaches and took up time that I don’t have. ADVICE – do as much work as possible on the weekends but all of you are working until 5:30 and there is so much time to do work after that. But the weekend is still a great time to knock that stuff out!

  • I keep up with my work by using a planner and the calendar on my phone. I feel that it helps to write things down to visualize my week and what I need to prioritize. I also set alerts in my phone calendar which is synced with my email. Since I always have my phone with me I am constantly reminded of what I need to be doing. It does get hectic because I work everyday of the week between my internship and my waitress job and with classes on top it can get tricky. I like to try to keep a balance and stay motivated by still making time for friends and working out so I even schedule these things into my life and treat them the same way I would with a work event. Some days the balance isn’t there but I keep trying and prioritizing all aspects of my life.

  • Drawling a line between my personal life, schoolwork and my internship is extremely important. Work needs to stay at work and schoolwork at home. Because I’m always on my computer I use sticky notes to outline my week (school and work) and then I break up future tasks with current tasks in order of importance with the deadlines on the same line. I typically share the notes on the cloud and sync them to my work computer and cell phone. School, work and general tasks are broken up into different colored sticky notes to clearly show which task is which. I also use my calendar in Microsoft Outlook on my work computer and cellphone, so I can easily manage meetings and deadlines.

  • Balancing my time between my internship, school work, and social life can be tough at time. During the summer and the school year I find that using a planner and keeping a calendar helps me stay on top of my work and helps me work ahead when I can, knowing what is due and when. During the summer I find it easier to do school related work being that I am only at my internship from 8-4 unlike school where I find myself working all day and night. However, this extra time available in the summer has allowed for more time to spend with family and friends. This distribution of time and work has created a nice balance that I have found work well for me.

    • Hey Connor, I can definitely relate to this. I use a planner as well to stay organized and keep track of all my assignments during the school year, I would probably be lost without it, haha. That’s pretty sweet that your internship is only until 4pm, that gives you so much more time in the afternoon to relax. Hope you enjoy the rest of your summer!

  • I would definitely say that it helps to have an agenda. With this, you are able to keep up with due dates and can plan accordingly. Writing down everything I need to do definitely helps me remember it and reduces the chance of me forgetting about my duties completely. I am usually able to do most of my schoolwork throughout the work day as there are lull periods where I am not really doing much or on lunch break. Telling my fellow interns about my coursework has helped too as they often bring it up in conversations which reminds me that I have schoolwork to do if I forget about it. So far, I am balancing it all pretty well!

  • Hi Everyone!

    I struggle with keeping balance between work, school, and life on a daily basis. Aiming for perfection on every task makes this an even more difficult challenge. It’s taken me a long time, but I’ve learned how to better prioritize tasks allowing me to accept good enough for some things. This skill along with using tools to manage my time, such as a digital calendar and task manager, has changed the way I deal with the world as I no longer think about time. Trusting in these tools has taken me awhile and I still can rely on these tools more. I preach the use of technology tools to help businesses all the time, yet I fail to use them in my personal life to their full potential. The tip that has helped me more than anything else in dealing with balance is to make sure to get away from work. When I was young I would work endlessly, which resulted in me burning out a few times. As time progressed I learned the importance of getting away, both mentally and physically, from your work for at least a half hour lunch as well as properly using weekends and vacations. As a natural workaholic, I still work way more then I should with the combination of work and school, but I make sure to fully unplug for set times every day and week. Hopefully the three lessons I’ve learned, prioritize task importance, use technology to manage time, and to schedule unplugged time, have helped me better manage my struggle with balance. I hope my lessons can help someone else too!

    Have a great week!

  • Between taking 6 credits worth of classes and working a full time internship, my organization skills and self-discipline are proving to be what is keeping me afloat. Organization and productivity tools aid me significantly.
    Firstly, I keep my work calendars and personal calendars separate, which is both company policy and an advantage to me. Separating my tasks allows me to keep work at work and compartmentalize tasks so that I can get the most out of my day. My company uses Outlook, which is a great collaboration tool. I consult my work calendar and work email at the beginning of each day, and I make it the first product thing I do. This way, my brain immediately enters “work”mode and I am not distracted by thoughts of school assignments or other responsibilities.
    During my lunch break, I then consult my personal Google calendar to keep track of any academic or personal obligations I have to take care of after work. I also consult my personal and school email accounts, and make any updates to my calendar. I color code my Google calendar so it is easy for me to find when assignments are due for my two classes, and I send alerts to my phone.
    During my break, I also go to the on site fitness center to be active, which helps me refocus for the rest of my afternoon at work.
    I also use another productivity tool called “Wunderlist”, which is essentially a digital to do list. Using a digital to do list helps me keep track of the smaller tasks I need to do that do not necessarily fit into to the constructs of a calendar. Having a digital to do list can really ground me and make me feel on top of things.
    Lastly, I try to make completing my school work a more enjoyable task. Sometimes I sit on my porch to do readings or short assignments, or I listen to my Spotify weekly playlist while doing work.
    I also cannot forget to mention everyone’s favorite productivity tool, caffeine.

    • I also use Wunderlist as well! I find it very useful and think a lot of people would find value in it. It is very personalized.

  • For myself, I had a little bit of a different situation. I not only was working an internship and taking a class, but I was studying abroad in Rome. This means that I had to not only stay organized, but also be cognizant of different time zones while communicating with different professors. Of course being in a foreign country, I wanted to travel all the time to see different cultures and monuments. In order to be able to have a healthy balance between exploring and work, I found myself doing my best to keep on top of everything. I would daily check on what was do in the next two weeks and any free time I had, I would try to work ahead if possible. Some other tools that I have used is Google Calendar, alerts on my phone, and a to do list website called Wunderlist. In terms of staying on top of everything at work, I would make sure to do what needed to be done during my time there and to be productive so that I would have to take my work home with me.

  • When I have to handle both my internship and schoolwork together, things can become tedious but it is always important to meet deadlines. One of the most important things I notice is to pay attention to when new items are posted for school by checking the course site on the go. By doing this, I make sure to keep note of any new announcements that became available and to be sure to respond to them as soon as possible. As for items with deadlines, I make sure to set reminders prior to the due date to ensure that I remember to complete and submit them on time for the class. With my internship, travel has been heavy and more work assignments have been appearing so things can get a little overwhelming and some school items may be forgotten about in the moment which is why setting the reminders are key. For the most part, balancing the coursework as well as the internship is not too bad, it is just a matter of when there is the downtime to go online and submit the particular items.

  • With work and school things can be stressful, but I find that to do lists have helped me through out the experience. Google calendar has helped me to set up alerts for important school assignments. For work we use an app that syncs out work calendar and mail with our outlook account which also helps to keep things organized. Sometimes it can be difficult to prioritize and sequence things in accordance with due dates and deadlines. I have a reminders task list that also helps with the process. During the school year it is more difficult to balance both but this is due to the increased number of credit hours and additional work load.

  • Getting rest. I am married with two kids. I wake up early and get home late. I have been working full time since I’ve been at Temple . Taking one class during the summer is feels like a break. I try to put all assignments in the calendar to keep up when things are due. When I’m rested, I feel like a new person. This allows me to think clearly, remember things better and have that “attack mode” to get things done.

  • Coffee. Coffee coffee coffee. Besides coffee I generally keep a running note pad of things to do in my phone, or just make mental notes of things and hope I don’t forget. If I’m being honest, I don’t really have that much going on so it’s not that hard to keep up with tasks. I go to work and make a checklist of everything that I need to do for work on Outlook or on a piece of paper and do it. I usually do my work for this class during work if I have free time or during lunch. I go home and, thankfully, don’t have too many responsibilities to keep up with outside of work. I try and keep my schedule fairly free during the summer and so far it’s been working out.

  • To keep everything in order at both work and school I usually use some sort of calendar system, as well as writing a list on paper weekly with my goals, and tasks I need to accomplished ordered by priority. I prefer to write my weekly checklist on paper, because I feel it sticks in my memory better that way and I end up accomplishing more than if I used a digital method, the same applies for my calendar. So far the Summer has been less stressful than the regular school year due to the reduced course load, but I still keep the habit. I also always remember to set aside time hobbies and relaxation, even during the busiest times, because it makes me far more effective and efficient in my work.

  • Balancing schoolwork and my internship with the Federal Reserve Bank has been very easy for me, especially since this is the only class that I am taking this summer. One way that helps me balance my schoolwork and internship is by keeping an agenda and writing down all my projects, homework, and meetings into a calendar. I’ve been in this habit since freshman year and get antsy if I don’t have the perfect agenda that can fit everything. But by keeping this agenda, I’m able to see what due dates are coming and what I need to work on ASAP. It is an easy way to help me prioritize tasks.
    Additionally, I also love using Outlook’s calendar! Sometimes I usually forget that I have a meeting and the time that it starts, but Outlook does a really good job with reminding me of these things because I set an alert to ring fifteen minutes before the start time. Fifteen minutes is enough for me to gather my belongings and head to the conferences room without me rushing or showing up at my meeting late.

  • I am lucky because my internship is part time and therefore have more time to handle school related and other work. However, what’s more important despite having ample time is organization and efficiency. I plan my week every weekend and make sure I follow it religiously. This weekly plan would usually include work hours, schoolwork completion and various other personal work that I need to complete by the various set deadlines. This way, I am able to simply follow a schedule/calendar and not worry about deadlines or if I have incomplete work. So my tip to get through a busy period is to plan ahead all the days so that you don’t end up stressing yourself.

  • For me it is pretty hard to balance schoolwork and my internship, however with time I have learned a new skill that has helped me a lot: Prioritizing. I also use an electronic calendar to remind me of things to do and this really helps me manage my time and keep track of deliverables that are due. One things I do to make sure I am not overwhelmed is to take short breaks when needed, get away from work and do some extra activities like going to the gym, or go to dinner with friends. This is really important as it helps you keep everything together, both mentally and physically. It is never good to spend hours doing work without taking breaks, because this can cause a lot of stress and in the long run affect ones mental and physical health. Organization tools are really helpful when I get back to work and I have to manage multiple tasks. Moreover, like Heather mentioned in her post, I also try to make my school work more entertaining, by sometimes listening to music while doing assignments.

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