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Can Internships be Done Whilst Studying?

Geni Carter

Heading to university can be a daunting phase to start. You have 3 or 4 years of studying ahead of you with lots of new experiences and fun to be had. With all this change and becoming a full-time student, you’re probably thinking that fitting the workload in around your social life will take up all your time.

So, is it possible to do an internship whilst studying? Will you have enough time to send off applications and take time out to do the internship? Yes, of course it’s possible! Here’s how you can make it work:

The title of full-time student is not the equivalent of a full-time job.

Many students assume that if you are studying at university you aren’t allowed to take on any other work. But that is simply not the case! In fact, the time you have before and after class plus long holidays is all yours – do with it what you wish. Most students can have a lot more free time at university than at school so make use of it! Your university experience should not be limiting and your university would certainly not want you to think that. It should be quite the opposite, it is a time to pick up new skills and find what you are passionate about. Therefore, it is the perfect time to take on an internship.

Internships are all down to your organisation and willingness.

Internships usually last between 6-10 weeks and, more often than not, they are offered during the summer. So, do you want to give up a part of your holiday in between studying for an internship? We certainly advise that you should as they will give you a taste of what working life is really like. Interning is a great way to boost your CV so will definitely be a very beneficial way to spend a holiday instead of sitting and watching Friends repeats.

You only have 3 or 4 years at university which goes extremely quickly, so organisation is vital. Internships tend to be offered to students in their penultimate year of university. You might be deep in the whirlwind second year and your application window could pass you by without even noticing. Applications for summer internships  tend to start as early as September before (Although, start-ups and SMEs usually have a much shorter hiring process and will be looking much closer to summer). So to find the right internship for you that will fit into your busy schedule you need to be organised – get those dates in your diary!

If the logistics work for you, you can definitely do an internship while studying.

Remember to take into account all those little logistical issues that come with being at university. Where are you going to stay during the holidays? What stuff will you need to bring with you from university for the internship? Are you studying abroad? If so, where are you thinking about applying to internships, home or away? Remember that if you are on a year-abroad for your penultimate year of university you might not be able to do assessment days for internships at home, or a Skype interview instead of face-to-face interview might be necessary.

So you could be studying at Durham, but on a year abroad in Spain, applying to internships in London but you live in Birmingham.You see our point? All things considered, if this isn’t an issue or a challenge you are ready to accept then what are you waiting for?! Getting an internship under your belt whilst your studying can really give you a boost in your graduate job hunt.

Completing an internship while studying will give you a taster for your future in the big working world (*gulp*) before you get there. The skills you learn could never be replicated or taught in a lecture environment at university. It will also give you a break from your usual studying routine. So, can you do an internship while studying? Absolutely! The sky’s the limit when it comes to the amount of work experience you can gain while studying, it’s just all up to you.