How I am Learning to Balance College and Work, by Baneesha M.
A new semester has started. New classes. But I am still in the Yes She Can job skills program at Girl Again boutique. I am in my final year of college, just two semesters away from hoping to get a job. But with new classes, I am struggling to balance school and work at the same time. My classes are business classes, and they require a lot of school work.
How do I manage to get everything done in just a short amount of time?
My management class is related to Girl Again in so many ways. The management class has taught me a lot of things about what happens in the workplace, including stress among employees, change in the workplace, employee selection, and managers’ positions in the workplace. At the Girl Again store, change is a continual process; when seasons are changing, then the store has to be rearranged accordingly in order to attract more customers.
For example, in October, trainees have to learn to put Halloween costumes for dolls on display so that customers would become attracted to the store for some ideas on what costumes kids should wear this year and to buy costumes for their doll. Then, we move into the holiday season; we put away the costumes for next year and put the Santa outfits and other holiday clothes out on display.
The holidays are a stressful time for trainees. Stress is normal in the work community. Trainees may face a shift in their work to something they have never done before in their lives. For example, a trainee who is used to researching and inventorying prices may feel stressed when having to do transactions, something that that trainee has never done. The job coaches are there to help support the trainee with shifting to new tasks and new ideas.
My Excel class taught me to use applications on excel, including how to make graphs out of data, how to organize data, and how to manage data. It allows one to change the table styles, the number formats, and how the data should be arranged onto a single spreadsheet. The Excel used at Girl Again is made on a Google Doc, so the functions here are more limited. However, the Excel that I use at Girl AGain helped prepare me for my Excel class. I learned how to enter data into cells, which is what the Excel class requires one to do. The Excel class helped to differentiate between the spreadsheet l used on Google Docs and Microsoft Excel functions.
What I’ve learned as the semester went on is how to balance work and school at the same time. There are some days when I am unable to focus on work because of the workload I get from school and midterm exams, and there are some days when I feel more relaxed and able to get into full swing. These classes I am taking are related to the work I do at the Girl Again store because I face stress, change and Excel work during my shift.
Of course it’s important to work hard and do your best, but sometimes, you need a break. I have learned so many things at Girl Again that relate to my classes: managing stress, dealing with change and all sorts of issues that can come up in a work environment. It has been so helpful and I am so glad to still be working with Yes She Can.
Baneesha is a senior at Manhattanville College and a Yes She Can trainee.