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Balancing Work, School & Travel

January 12, 2016

So you’re working during the semester and you also have other things to do, how do you balance all the things you want to do while still being responsible for your hours at your internship?

This is a question a lot of people have asked me specifically this semester, actually, which surprised me. It’s true, I’ve been busy – busier than I’d anticipated due to a variety of factors, but nothing abnormal in comparison with what hectic college life has been like, I think.

I also think my friends would disagree with me on that count.

But don’t worry! The first time you meet your employers, someone from CEA comes with you to kind of mediate, and also to make sure you have a support system with you just in case. You have a preliminary meeting and discuss employee expectations – things like code of conduct and expectations of dress and what kinds of things you’ll be doing at work.

At this point, you’ll have been going to classes for a few days, so you know your schedule. Because the internship is an educational requirement you’re fulfilling this semester, your employers will agree that academics come first – you won’t be scheduled to work at the same time as your classes. They’ll work around that for you.

This would be a good time to bring up the days you know you won’t be available – CEA recommends you not to have travel plans this early in the game simply because you’ve only just arrived, but you will most likely know the days of CEA excursions at this time, and you can request those days off if you need to.

Because I knew I’d be traveling over fall break, I requested that week off, and also asked if I could get back to them for a few other days I may be traveling. My employers were completely fine with that, so a few weeks later when I had a better idea of when I’d be traveling on my own time, I requested a few days here and there. They added them to the calendar and that was that!

Also, one of my working days is a Friday when the university doesn’t have class. That doesn’t necessarily happen to everyone! There were just no other days that worked with the schedules of the other employees, and that happens sometimes, but is by no means common. For me, I’m working Friday mornings when I would normally have class anyway, so it was fine with me. And I still have time to travel!

Proof to that point:

 Sunset in Paris!
 Notre Dame de Paris - fall break

Michelle Robins is a Fall 2015 MOJO Blogger in Prague, Czech Republic. She is currently a junior at Augsburg College.

Read more about our CEA MOJO Bloggers & Photographers.
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