Working as a student

Student jobs are a great way to learn valuable life skills. BSc Business and Marketing student Lois tells us her tips for finding a job at university, and balancing work and study.

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Adding the responsibility of a job alongside your studies may seem daunting, but it is an incredible opportunity to develop key life skills. I have worked a variety of roles and have found that each have a lot to offer. Working can be a great experience, so here is some of my advice to help you get started!
A photo of student Lois Turley.
Lois Turley
BSc Business & Marketing

Having a job alongside your studies can be a very rewarding experience. It allows you to earn money while developing new skills you can use in the future. There are a range of jobs that you can undertake whilst you study, these can vary from hospitality, retail, starting a new business, or finding something within your future industry.

Working in hospitality helped build my confidence 

During my first year, I worked part-time as a bartender at a local sports club. I’d normally work a couple of weeknights and Saturdays. This worked really well for me because my regular shifts allowed me to plan out my uni work for my classes and plan to spend time with friends. However, working on weekends did mean that I missed out on some social occasions with my friends. On the other hand, the community feeling at the club was a great way to meet new people. A role in hospitality is an excellent way to learn more about customer service, helping you to develop skills such as time management, teamwork, and confidence. 

The flexibility of the side hustle

I've tried out some side hustles such as auditing and selling clothes online. The best thing about this was the flexibility it offered me, as I could pick my own hours around my existing commitments. There was always the option to take on additional work which was great when I had the time.

I now work as a student ambassador at the university, which makes the perfect side hustle. It offers a range of shifts with great flexibility. I enjoy this role as it means exploring different areas of the university and having a wide selection of responsibilities. 

Student ambassadors welcome visitors to the student centre.
Student ambassadors welcome visitors to the student centre.

Gain industry experience

You may prefer to find a role that will provide industry related work experience for your course. Having the chance to put theory into practice can be a fantastic way to gain context around what you’re studying. This will prove valuable when searching for graduate roles in the future.

Volunteer work

While working, many students choose to volunteer as a way to give back to their local community. The university has a great range of opportunities with varying time commitments, so you can volunteer as little or as much as you’d like! There are also local charities which have roles available.

Talk to the careers team

The university careers team is a great resource for you to use in your job search. They can help point out some great resources, find local role vacancies and support in developing interview skills. There are also Careers Fairs which take place to provide more awareness about job opportunities in the local area and after you graduate. The Propeller hub is an excellent way to develop skills through workshops and to start your own business with the guidance of a mentor.

Find something you like

My advice when looking for a job alongside studies is to find something you enjoy and stick at it. It can be hard to find the motivation to keep going if you don't like the role you are in. Make sure you choose a role that allows flexibility with your studies so that you are able to keep on top of your learning. Additionally consider if you will need to go on placements or travel home at points during the year.

A student job is a valuable opportunity to gain important skills while earning an income to support yourself through your studies. Picking the right role that will fit with your timetable is the best way to get the most out of the two.