It’s no secret that college students are extremely busy. Between classes, tests and homework, students must have proper time management habits in order to balance it all. Not to mention that the social aspect of college life full of extracurricular activities, clubs and spending time with friends leaves students with even more to juggle.
Some students even chose to work a job or internship while in school in order to earn money or gain work experience in their desired career field. To give you some insight into what it’s like to hold an internship while attending school as a full-time student, I asked Baylor alumnus and Campus Crates head Baylor manager Matthew Warden how he managed to attain a healthy work-life balance.
Q&A with Matthew Warden, Baylor Campus Crates Manager
Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Matthew Warden, and I grew up in Torrance, CA, a small suburb outside of Los Angeles. Coming to Baylor was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I just recently graduated as a Finance and Entrepreneurship student, and I have a full-time job lined up with AT&T as a financial analyst.
Q: What activities were you involved with during your time at Baylor?
During my time at Baylor, I was a member of the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity on campus. One of their philanthropy opportunities is called The Ability Experience, which essentially allows us to work directly with people with special needs in the community and the Special Olympics to provide services to them. For me personally, it kind of speaks to me directly because my sister is Autistic, so I was able to serve something I know pretty well.
Other activities I was involved with included the Phillip M. Dorr Endowment Fund in the business school. The investment fund was endowed to Baylor back in 2001 with about $1 million that now has $12 million. I was a student analyst on a panel in this organization where I was involved in decisions such as what to hold, what to buy, what to sell. I was also in the Professional Development program that puts on events for speakers and hosts different events for student’s professional education.
Q: Can you tell us about your role with Campus Crates?
I didn’t expect Campus Crates to be in my life as long as it has been, but I’m really grateful that it has been. I started interning with Campus Crates in Jan. of 2019. My first year I was tasked with being a storage co-intern with Matt Burton, to run all aspects of the operations including marketing, sales, customer service, logistics and even short term business planning. My first year was challenging but I was able to learn the ropes of the different aspects of Campus Crates.
The following year, I was promoted to the head Baylor storage manager position where I was able to oversee a team of three people and our movers as well. I laid out goals and created timelines with what we needed to do and how we were going to get there. We run a very meticulous ship; for example when we have to move out 200 people in three days, we have to conduct business in a very timely manner. I also helped navigate the team through the COVID crisis, where we actually had record sales.
I then came back for a third year, where I was able to oversee a five-person Baylor team as well as help lead new interns at our expansion schools, The University of Texas and Texas Christian University.
Q: What does a weekly routine look like during the school year while also working Campus Crates? How are you able to divide up your time?
Time management really came to me situationally. When I had a lot of things to do, I was forced to learn to manage my time. I like to compartmentalize different tasks and complete things one step at a time. During online school especially, I would block off certain days during the week where I would just focus on school, allowing time for homework and Campus Crates. It was my job to hold weekly meetings with the Campus Crates team to go over what needed to be done that week, and see which team members had heavier school loads that week to divide the work up accordingly. I would intertwine my Campus Crates responsibilities with my school work for the week, establish deadlines and plan out my weeks in advance.
Q: How important is time management when balancing life as a student, extracurriculars and an internship all at the same time?
Time management is everything. For me, I have a lot of things to do and it’s important to not get stressed. I plan things out ahead of time so things don’t creep up on you. I try to get my school work done ahead of time, so when something with my internship comes up at the last minute, I have the bandwidth to switch gears. Additionally, I aim to hold myself accountable to get things done ahead of time, so that I can be flexible with my time if I need to.
Some people think that the best way to manage time is to make your schedule very rigid with exactly how many hours you are going to work on a specific thing. In reality, life is very unpredictable. I also make a checklist for each day several days out, and cross things off as I go to help myself keep track of what needs to be accomplished.
Q: What is the hardest part about having an internship while balancing school and social life?
The hardest part is realizing that not only do you have a responsibility to the business and your co-workers, but to the customers that we serve as well. In other words, if I wasn’t properly time managing and available to work, those customers wouldn’t be serviced. I sometimes would have to sacrifice my social time to devote myself to this responsibility. You have to accept that there are other people counting on you.
Q: What is your favorite part about your Campus Crates internship?
My favorite thing about my experience with Campus Crates is that it’s so multifaceted. It’s good to feel that you’re working for a company that not only employs your peers, but also provides a service to your peers. Throughout my internship I know that I made some of my fellow Baylor student’s lives easier, while also getting some great business experience that will stay with me the rest of my career. It meshed so well with my college experience.