My excitement to come to Brandeis involved many different factors, but one of the biggest was this: I was beyond ready to write more essays.
You read that right! I went to a very STEM-focused high school, so my four years involved numerous chemistry lab reports, physics and calc problem sets, and biology tests. Being someone interested in the social sciences and humanities, I knew lab research and test-taking was something I wanted to avoid as much as possible in college. And avoid it I have. Most of my classes at Brandeis have involved term papers and oral presentations. However, my transition to papers was not glamorous. I may not have to sit in a classroom for two hours and take a test, sure, but there is definitely a time constraint. Brandeis students are all too familiar with the “last minute” papers: the ones that, admittedly, should take you three weeks to research and write and are 20% of your final grade, but end up getting written five hours before they are due with the strongest espresso drink the Starbucks in Farber can offer.
Before Brandeis, I had always prided myself on my time management skills, but now I recognize that is not one-and-done. Mastering time management is a constant process, and it’s a skill we’re always working to develop and retain during our four years. Very quickly, I also realized that consistent and effective time management is not something that gets utilized just in academia. All our teachers and professors are right when they say managing the way you spend your time in college prepares you for life after. Even though I still have two more years at Brandeis, my internship this summer has given me a taste of what time management in a professional setting really looks like.
With Jane Doe Inc., every day is a busy day, and no one day looks the same as they next! My work ranges from helping the outreach and communications coordinator create social media posts to refining de-carceration write-ups for the Policy Team to turn into talking points for JDI’s member organizations. I’ve learned to pace myself, set goals to stay on track, and keep myself accountable to the work. Acquiring time management skills during a global pandemic is especially hard, with our workspaces and co-workers all contained to a computer screen. One great tool JDI uses to aid in this process is Asana, which is an app designed to help organizations and teams organize, track, and manage their work. I’m able to separate my projects from one another, and upload tasks, assign them to people, and give them specific due dates. This has been incredibly helpful in developing and planning for my biggest project of the summer.
Titled “Multiple Truths: Survivorship in the 2020 Elections,” this virtual panel event will address the intersection of sexual assault and elections and highlight sexual assault survivors’ identities and voting decisions in the 2020 elections. Coordinating an event completely virtually has transformed the way I thought about time management. At JDI, time management involves updating your coworkers on your progress and asking for help when you need it. Streamlining the planning process by involving as many helping parties as possible has been crucial for the event. Now, just four weeks away, we have a full panel of speakers whose discussion I will be moderating. The event will also incorporate accessibility features such as an ASL interpreter for the full duration and closed-captioning in English and real time for the virtual audience. From a mere idea to nearly a full-fledged event soon to be held (August 6th! Mark your calendars and register here!), time management was one of the most important elements in bringing it together.
While I emphasize the importance of time management within my internship’s workspace, I’ve also learned this skill extends to after internship hours as well. Setting boundaries for myself is critical. This means avoiding checking my work email after I have clocked out for the day and finding ways to spend my time in the afternoons after work in a way that is personally fulfilling. Most recently, I have been turning this time into catching up with friends I haven’t seen in a while, finding new farmer’s markets, and enjoying the best views Boston has to offer.