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Preparing for Summer Internships – Balancing Work and School

Summer internships are a great way to get some real-world experience and explore potential career paths. But let’s be real, balancing an internship while keeping up with your studies can be a total juggling act. Don’t worry, though – with some smart planning and time management skills, you can totally rock both!

Set Realistic Goals

First things first, take a step back and get real with yourself about your commitments. Understand what your internship role expects from you and the workload you’ll be dealing with in your upcoming courses. Set some realistic goals for what you want to achieve this summer, both professionally and academically. Prioritize your tasks and be ready to adjust as needed – flexibility is key!

Create a Schedule

Next, create a schedule that’s your new best friend. Block out specific times for your internship, classes, study sessions, and some much-needed personal time. Treat these like non-negotiable appointments and stick to them! Use productivity apps or tools to help you stay organized and on track. And don’t forget to schedule breaks and downtime—burnout is not a vibe.

Communicate Effectively 

Communication is everything when it comes to balancing your internship and studies. Talk to your internship supervisor about your academic commitments and ask for their understanding and support. Keep your professors in the loop about your internship responsibilities and any potential conflicts. Being upfront and proactive can go a long way in managing expectations and avoiding unnecessary stress.

Leverage Resources 

Don’t be afraid to lean on the resources around you, both on and off campus. Reach out to your university’s career centre, academic advisors, peer mentors, or our Lifestyle Manager for guidance and support. Explore online tools, study groups, or tutoring services to help you stay on top of your coursework. Asking for help is a strength, not a weakness!

Practice Self-Care

Last but not least, prioritize your well-being. Make time for activities that help you recharge and destress, whether it’s hitting our gym, indulging in your hobbies, or hanging out with your friends and fam. Get enough sleep, eat well, and take breaks when you need them. Self-care isn’t selfish – it’s essential!

Balancing a summer internship and academic responsibilities can be a challenge, but with proper planning, time management, and self-care, you’ve got this! Embrace the opportunity to grow both professionally and academically, and don’t forget to celebrate your wins along the way.


Here are some relevant links to internship resource pages for students attending schools in Ottawa:

For Carleton University students: 

For University of Ottawa students:

For Algonquin College students: 

For La Cité students: 

These links provide information on international internships, co-op placements, career services, and resources to find internship opportunities for students at various colleges and universities in the Ottawa region.

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