Newest Review: ... competition is even more fierce for jobs, but there are opportunities for the savvy student out there. Much can be completed online, but t... more
To work or not to work....
Jobs whilst you are a student
Member Name: Saltire
Jobs whilst you are a student
Date: 01/04/01, updated on 01/04/01 (135 review reads)
Advantages: May be necessary, keeps student loan/overdraft at bay for a while?
Disadvantages: May interfere with your work/health/social life!
Working whilst a student is a thorny issue. It's nigh on impossible in this current economic climate to survive without additional help, be this from family, friends or by taking a part-time job.
As an undergraduate, I had several part-time jobs and worked during the long summer vacation through necessity, not choice. I did receive a grant, but with the maximum payout at that time of <£1500 p.a., it clearly wasn't enough. My parents were a big help, but I couldn't expect them to fund my social life!
I first sought employment whilst at school, and did a series of mundane jobs and got paid a pittance. It was better than nothing, and the experience helped when moving to another job. Them's the breaks! On reaching University, I got a job in a function suite. This was fairly irregular hours, and often meant working 15 hours non-stop. The money was okay and I couldn't complain.
I then got a job in a bank, which paid comparatively well. During the vacation, I was working 8:30-5 in the bank, then 7-2 in the function suite - weekdays! The function suite was very busy at weekends, and so necessity required that I work over 20 hours at the weekend alone. This was fine for a while, but soon I made myself rather ill. No amount of money is worth that. Thankfully, term was starting back and I managed to ease myself out of the 'full-time' function suite hours. Lesson learnt - no matter how much you need the cash, how much work are you prepared to put in?
Some student jobs are appalling. One of the Universities in Edinburgh recently ran an advert in its student newspaper looking for girls to work in a sauna! After much lobbying, the advert was pulled. I'm sure they still received applicants, though.
If you're studying for a degree, it's often worth finding out about degree-related projects. I did a summer stint at a major industrial firm, and it totally changed my perspect
ive on my degree (as well as shaping my career descisions immensely!). Frequently, you will be paid a good wage to do this to it's certainly worth finding out about.
In conclusion, working as a student is a necessary evil. Since the withdrawal of benefits for students in the 80's (which would otherwise have meant a massive government payout with >40% of school-leavers now progressing to university), it is impossible to live on the pittance provided. In order to keep the student loans and overdrafts at bay (for a while, at least), it's certainly worth it. Just be aware of how much the money means to you and what you're prepared to do to get it!!