Thoughts on 20-hour/week internship or 40-hour week gym job?

Hey everyone -

I am figuring out plans for the summer and am debating between a 20-hour/week internship at a top tier SaaS company or a 40-hour week job that I currently have with a 24 Hour Fitness. 

The SaaS job doesn't pay as well and the hours aren't great so I'd be losing money compared to 24 Hour Fitness and I kind of need the money. But I know the internship would be pretty cool.

I'm not sure which one to go with. Thanks in advance for the help.



My two cents: take the internship, hustle your way to pay off rent (you mentioned Lyft), and cut back on any extra activities ie dinners out, concerts, etc. You will learn a lot about yourself during this experience. I know I did when I was making less than $30k and going/paying for grad school at NYU.

Most importantly during the internship, which you will not get at the gym job, *network* with as many people in the tech company (and community) as possible. And after you meet anyone, from the receptionist to the CEO, connect on LI immediately. 

Not only do you need to build valuable experience but you need to build and cultivate your personal network. 

Unfortunately, a lot of the people running (and working at) tech companies have no concept of taking a less-than-ideal job because you need money to pay rent and buy food and stuff. If your situation is anything like that, take the damn gym job. You can learn a lot at any job as long as you keep your eyes and ears (and mind) open.

That said, if it's not going to make your financial situation a serious problem, the internship is probably the way to go.

Yeah I think the opportunity at the SaaS company is a good one but I really need to make rent. Maybe I can supplement the internship income driving lyft or something.

Appreciate the advice!

The internship is 100% the way to go. That gym job will pay you pennies compared to what you could earn if you get the internship and then turn that into a full time offer.

If the hours aren't great at the SaaS company (I'm assuming this might be some off-hours support role or something), is there any chance you can do both part-time?  If it's one or the other, I'd go with the SaaS company - the growth opportunity there is probably going to be much greater (and the skills you build much more relevant for post-graduation employers), especially if you make a strong impression.  The worst thing you can do is make a short-term financial decision in lieu of a long-term investment in your career.

Thanks for the help. I didn't think about negotiating to do both since the internship is a strict Monday, Wednesday, Friday job while my current job is 40-hours but varies every week based on who is available. 

That last sentence makes a ton of sense though and gives me a lot to think about. 

What are the responsibilities of each internship/job? What are you trying to do after school? Do you want to get into tech after college?

I'd really like to get into tech after college. Maybe something in the sales or finance field. 

The gym job is mostly your standard receptionist stuff. The internship is a analytics internship so the job description says I'll be running some reports with a final presentation at the end of the internship which sounds kind of cool but intimidating. 

The job at the tech company sounds like it will help you develop skills that will be far more attractive to companies after you graduate. Being able to pull reports, work within a crm, and leverage data will be super helpful in either sales or finance, and will put you ahead of most other entry level candidates entering the job market. 

"Cool, but intimidating" should be the goal for every job you take on for the rest of your life. That tells me right away that that is what you should do. Challenge yourself and see how you do, but I also agree with the comment below about potentially trying to do both. 

Best of luck, sounds like you are setting yourself up to be successful, no matter which role you choose!