Published: Nov. 10, 2020 By

The fall semester is in full swing as MENV students continue to dive deeper into projects within their specializations. Although presentations, exams, workshops, and webinars can take up a lot of time, many MENVers have taken it upon themselves to work part-time jobs outside of the program. Whether the job is within the environmental realm, service sector, or elsewhere, working as both a student and an employee can be both an incredibly rewarding and challenging experience. Finding the correct work/school balance while also leaving room for social lives and downtime is key to student success and comfort. This week, we sat down with a few MENVers to hear some of their tips and tricks on juggling their busy school and work schedules. Check it out!


Delani Wood, Server at Twisted Pine Brewing Co.

Bartender filling beer from a tap“It’s really important to plan out tasks well ahead of time to make sure that you won’t forget to complete any key assignments. My go-to is keeping planners for both school and work to make sure everything stays organized. It’s also important not to overload yourself with work (if possible) so that you can stay on top of the main focus, which is the MENV program. When you have some free time and don’t know whether to use it to safely hang out with friends or start on your list of chores, I’ve found it useful to multitask by running errands with a small group of friends. Then you can do both at once!”


Camila Restrepo, Sustainability Tech Software Worker at Intellect Technologies

My success in finding a great work/school balance comes through constant communication with my manager, fellow students, and MENV faculty. For example, it’s really helpful to let group mates for a class project know that I can be very busy on certain days. This helps us all find the best time for a Zoom meeting where we can do our best work. In terms of time management, I think that no matter how much work you may have, it’s also very important to prioritize downtime. It’s easy to want to be at home relaxing whenever you have spare time, but it’s good to also add in some sort of social interaction to switch things up.”


Jack Wertheimer, Lead Line Cook at CU Dining Services

“To balance work and school, I find it useful to try and match my credit hours with my workload. By taking a lighter class schedule this semester, I was able to more easily complete my tasks in both areas. I also recommend not creating too much overlap between your classes/classwork and work schedule. This can make it more difficult to keep track of what you need to accomplish. I also think that work can be a good way to take a break from studies. When classes start to become more intense, I can look forward to work as a nice change of pace. My words of advice to others interested in working while studying in MENV: Don’t overwhelm yourself! Everyone needs time to decompress.”


Lindsey Schad, Communications Specialist at POINT

“It’s necessary to give yourself enough time to adjust to juggling school and work. You aren’t going to feel 100% comfortable with this balance right from the jump and there is nothing wrong with that. From my experience, creating a schedule with structure is the best way to stay on top of things. When you organize your schedule, make sure to carve out specific time chunks for each task to make sure that you are allowing yourself enough time to complete them. I like to create a daily to-do list each night to give myself a clear vision of what the next day will look like. This helps get rid of confusion and can be a good stress reliever.”


Jena Vangerwen, Bartender at Upslope Brewing Company

“A key to maintaining the work/school balance is eliminating procrastination habits. Doing work ahead of time is a must if you want to feel comfortable with your workload for the week. It’s very important to gauge how your week will look and keep a close eye on any deadlines ahead of time so that you aren’t surprised by anything at the last minute. Communication with co-workers is also a necessity because it lets them know what prior engagements you might have. They are usually very understanding that school comes first and will do their best to accommodate this."


Determining whether or not you would like to pursue school and work at the same time is not always an easy decision. However, it is far from impossible! By staying organized and allowing time for rest, many of our MENVers have found this combination of work to be gratifying and a phenomenal use of time. If this seems like something you would enjoy in the future, you’ll have plenty of other MENV students by your side.