Next Stop: Your Magazine Dream Job

How to Manage Your Intern Workload—Like a Boss

This is one of a series of posts from The Intern Diaries, a summer guest blogging project hosted by Ed. Follow our intern from her first day to her last, and learn more about this crazy exciting industry.  Click here to read more from this season’s blogger.

As interns we’re super excited just to be in the office and will pretty much do anything to help out the team. But sometimes, that enthusiasm can bury us under a pile of assignments that are nearly impossible to crush before our time at the mag is up.

And while taking on as many projects as possible during your internship is a great way to learn and leave a lasting impression, when your workload becomes too much it can be hard to perform at your best.

This is exactly what happened to me. In the middle of my internship, I had a hard time juggling my assignments, and it was no one’s fault but my own.

I was so excited to be a member of the team that I went around asking everyone on staff for work to do—and they gave it to me. All of sudden, my workload went from 0 to 60.

While juggling assignments from the digital team, print team, and individual editors the quality of those assignments started to take a dive. I was not nailing it, to say the least.

When I started receiving embarrassing emails about making simple mistakes (#checkyourwork), I realized I needed to talk to my editors about scaling back a bit. But it wasn’t easy. I was nervous that I would look incompetent, lazy, and like I couldn’t handle the job. But when I finally swallowed my pride and spoke with my managers, they were all understanding and helped me figure out how to prioritize my assignments. I felt like I could finally breathe and stopped dreading the email chime on my computer—and my work became better than ever.

The bottom line is that you need to make sure you aren’t being overly aggressive with your assignment hunting. Obviously, you’re a hard working, dedicated intern, but you’re also a human and taking on more tasks than you can handle seriously screws with the kind of work you’re turning in. That can be worse than not turning in any work at all.

Have you ever been overwhelmed with your intern tasks? What did you do to take some of the weight off of your shoulders? I can’t wait to read your stories!


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