Managing a part time job at university

Managing a part time job at university

By Catherine Haworth,

Balancing part-time work alongside studies is a normal part of university life for many students. According to a survey undertaken by the University of Manchester, 45% of students at the university work part time during their term. But what jobs should you apply for? And how will it help you make the most of your university experience?

Below are some helpful hints for applying for jobs and ensuring that your work compliments your studies.

Setting boundaries: keeping work part time

There is a common misconception that working part time hinders students’ studies. But setting clear boundaries between working and studying ensures that a student can earn money and develop some important skills along the way.  Setting limits on your working hours, and keeping them to 16 hours or less ensures that your work does not begin to encroach on your study time, and going to the university for further advice also means that you can choose jobs that respect your degree, rather than interfering with your timetable.

Job Opportunities: getting started

When looking for part time work, the question is often where to start. Whether wanting to work on or off campus, going to the university directly for advice can be extremely helpful when searching for jobs and or looking to improve your CV. Reading University has its own dedicated JobShop, where part time jobs of 16 hours a week both on and off campus are advertised. If looking for work off-campus, websites such as display part time work to fit alongside your degree, as well as gap year and graduate jobs.

Working for the university

Considering working within the university environment means that your studies will be valued, particularly if you have a heavy workload or upcoming exams. There are number of jobs available, from ad-hoc leafleting for your department to working in the campus shop or union bar. Working as a student ambassador is also a good role, requiring knowledge of your local campus or city, and an enthusiasm to speak to people about your degree and university life.

Choosing jobs related to your degree

Having an enthusiasm for your degree subject is a useful skill when both working at a university and looking for jobs which can further your career and even help with your academic life.  If you are looking for a career in journalism, write articles for the university newspaper, or advertise your skills to online journals and blogs. If you want to become a teacher, set yourself up as a personal tutor or volunteer part time in a local school. In a competitive job market, when it comes to graduate careers, this will help you stand out from other candidates as you will have on the job experience.

Transferable skills: work and studies

Regardless of which job you choose, taking the initiative and demonstrating you are organised enough to manage work and good grades will make you stand out for future employers. Skills such as time management and problem solving are also transferable between degree and working life. A job can both offer an extra income alongside student loans and an interesting change from being on campus.