(Rising Stars is a series of thoughts, reflections and perspectives by the interns at Devine + Partners)
By Olivia Horan
Here are two things I’ve learned about myself during three and a half years of college and an internship: I like to be kept busy. And I also need to be organized.
The transition from high school to college is something that is difficult in a way that no one openly discusses beforehand. It is something students are thrown into with little preparation, as they must learn how to build a stable routine to ensure they get the most out of each day. One thing I did to help me build a routine in college was to make sure I was kept busy each and every day. It may seem overwhelming, but I saw it as a distraction when I felt anxious or homesick.
As a senior, I have gotten over the difficulties of transitioning into college – and I’ve learned, of course, that busier is better. Once I arrived at Syracuse University and saw the drive of the students and the realm of clubs and organizations, I decided to go for a major in Public Relations. I made the switch my sophomore year, and ever since then all my coursework has been extremely major-intensive.
This school year, I was happy to work as a fall intern for Devine + Partners, and I have learned how to balance schoolwork and preparations for a career in public relations and develop many important skills that aid me in balancing my time.
I try to stay organized by keeping a separate notebook for intern work where I keep notes on each meeting and a checklist of the assignments to be completed for that day. I keep most of my schoolwork in a Google drive, so it is good to have the intern work written out in terms of to-do lists, etc. Each Monday, Wednesday and Friday I start the day by creating a checklist of all of my tasks, along with the due dates. On these days, I focus on the internship work and typically close out the day by checking off the boxes on the to-do list.
Another important tactic I have learned this semester is how to use class breaks to my advantage. In most cases, I would go back to my apartment and relax during breaks. I now utilize this time to sit at the library or student center and complete intern tasks. This way, I am usually done before the end of the day and can reserve the time after classes to do homework for my classes. I live off campus, so forcing myself to stay on campus in my free time motivates me to do work instead of taking a nap or scrolling on TikTok.
Overall, the balance of an internship and being a full-time college student has certainly been a challenge, but nothing that is completely unmanageable. With a few tips and tricks to stay organized it can be done and will ultimately help in one’s career by showcasing time management and organization skills to employers.
Olivia Horan, from Morristown, NJ, is a senior Public Relations major at Syracuse University.