Working whilst studying

It’s an unfortunate truth that whilst your student loans and grants will get you by, it’s often necessary to top up your income with a bit of part time work. The vast majority of students will, at one point or another get a job but remember your studies do come first, to help you out I’ve put together a set of handy tips!

Flexible hours

Although the salary attached to a full time job is tempting, unless you’re in possession of a Time -Turner (a la Hermione Granger) it’s highly unlikely that you’re going to be able to hold down a full time job as well as achieving the best grades with a full time degree, however some universities and colleges now offer two-day timetables, which enables students to commit to working set days of the week. The idea of a zero hours contract might sound intimidating, but if you’re with a reputable employer (think high street chains) then chances are you will have a minimum number of hours to work each week with the added benefit that you’ll be able to make requests to fit your work schedule around your studies.

University is for studying

It might seem tempting to work every single shift thrown your way, but you’ve got to remember that you’re at university to get a degree not ‘Employee of The Week’ at your local burger chain or pub –although there’s nothing wrong with that, try and ensure that you arrange your shifts around your studies, not the other way around! You’ll top up your loans without compromising on the outcome of your degree.

Keep it local

Travelling to work can take up a lot of valuable time, so try to find somewhere close to home or close to your uni. Also there are a lot of uni’s offering jobs through the Student Union, library and Student Ambassadors. At Kaplan Holborn College, students can top up their income and gain valuable skills by working as Student Ambassadors, check out your uni and ask whether they have a Student Ambassador scheme.

Use your skills for summer work or internships

Whilst you might not think pouring pints is relevant to your dreams of becoming top Criminal Barrister, think more about the kind of skills you’re developing and use them to secure an internship or more relevant work experience during the long university holidays. The Blacksmiths Arms might seem a far cry from the Old Bailey, but time management, customer service and keeping cool under pressure are all essential to a legal career. Part time work alone won’t get you an internship, but when combined with good grades and a demonstrable interest in that career or company it can swing things in your favour. This is especially true when you’re doing a 2, 3 or 4 year degree from the various start dates universities offer now.

Don't let it take over your life!

You’re at uni to study, but it’s also important to allow time for rest and for having fun. If you’re not careful, part time work can take over your spare time so make sure you weigh up the benefits of the extra cash versus the benefits of having an active social life and some chill-out time. Don’t take on too much, especially in your first term.

Get creative!

If you’re not sure that you can manage shift work and studying, there are some creative ways to make money without even leaving the library! For example, there are now companies that will pay you for using the internet. Yes, you read that right. Save the student put together this little article as a guide, check it out.

Where next?