Is it Realistic for an Intern to Have a Side Job?

By Georgia Warrington| July 18, 2017

Share on Facebook Tweet this

Can Interns Manage a Side Job

Can interns manage a side job and life?

An internship is a real opportunity to gain some firsthand experience in your chosen field. That’s why so many students and recent grads apply for and take full advantage of internships. There’s a growing trend, though, of people choosing to work a part-time or temp job alongside their internship. What gives? Is it even possible to juggle life and that much work?

Is there enough time?

Internships generally take between 25 and 40 hours per week, depending on the opportunity. These are serious positions with real demands… big, big demands. On the upside, they provide a first-hand look into your chosen career path and they give you a lot of cred on your resume. Many people consider them to be full-time positions (with good reason).

So a part-time or temp gig would be tough going based on that fact alone.

There are only so many hours in the day. Going through an internship and working a part time job is going to cost you nearly 60 hours of work a week, if not more. That’s quite a task for even the most ambitious students.

Can Interns Manage a Side Job

Are you going to diminish the value of your internship by working on the side?

Internships today are vitally important, and they should be taken seriously. Interns benefit from keeping their schedules open for other things, like exercise, eating well, seeing friends and of course, sleeping.

A side gig can become a diversion from your main career path and sap your energy.

Doing so ensures that they will get the most out of the program and be an asset to the company during that period. A high level of performance during an internship can often mean a job offer after the internship period, which is something else that serious students should keep in mind. It’s just not a good look to show up half asleep because your side gig is zapping your energy.

Can Interns Manage a Side Job

What if you had the part-time job before you landed the internship?

Since most internships only last a semester or a summer, a workaround for some students is to work part time all throughout the school year, then take the summer off for an internship.

This strategy leaves you with money for expenses, while providing enough time to focus fully on the internship. It’s a good option for students that aren’t having trouble keeping up with their workload throughout the school year.

Some run into snags, though, if employers won’t agree to hold their position while the student is away for their internship. It’s understandable – summer is a very busy season for a lot of industries – but for you, that means making the choice. For what it’s worth, if you leave your year-round job on a high note, chances are pretty high that they’ll give you your job back or put in a good word for new work upon your return.

Read more about the politics of political internships

Be honest: Can you manage without the side job?

Listen up, workaholics. If you can get away without working two gigs at once, you’ll be much happier and healthier in the long run.

If it’s not already too late, try to set aside enough savings to get you through your intern semesters without going the hole. You’ll be doing yourself a favor if you simply choose to live frugally and limit the amount of cash you need for this very short time.

At the end of the day, your future success is what you should be working on right now. Leave the unnecessary expenses for when you have disposable income to burn.

Interns-DC-view-rates intern housing

Apply Now