Working whilst at university…
… by Ellie / from United Kingdom / studying Business Management / 4th year
One of the initial challenges of moving to university is having to budget for the first time. For many people this involves supplementing their student loan with income from part time jobs. Throughout my four years as an undergraduate I have tried and tested multiple different jobs and gained exciting and relevant experience from them all.
- Part time internship
I am currently completing a part time internship with the Student Recruitment and Admissions department at the university. This has by far been the most relevant part time job I have had in terms of the applicable experience gained from it. It has also offered the best hours, 9 hours a week spread across two mornings. I really recommend other students apply for part time internships whilst at the university. This is because it not only enhances your CV but also helps you to work out what you actually want to do as a career.
- Working at a bar
During my third year I had a part time job working behind a bar 2 to 3 nights a week. This was my most fun part time job as it involved meeting new and exciting people and regularly going out after work. However, it also meant working late nights which led to me struggling to make it into uni the next morning. I therefore recommend other students only work in bars on weekends or when they have no lectures the next day.
- Brand ambassador
Being a brand ambassador is a popular part time job among students due to its flexible nature. I was a brand ambassador for RBS which involved me organising events and sharing marketing material targeting students. The main benefit of this job is that you can choose your own hours and there are bonuses if you do a good job. However, this flexibility came with drawbacks mainly that I was often asked to organise events with short notice. This made it very difficult to get the numbers that RBS wanted as well as meaning that my wages were not consistent.
- Student Caller
The University of Edinburgh development and alumni department employs students to catch up with alumni on the phones and raise money for the Edinburgh fund. Being employed by the university allows you to work flexible hours and understands that people want to go home during the Christmas and Easter holidays. This experience allowed me to develop my communications skills and provided me with the opportunity to speak with some really interesting alumni. The downfall of this role is that you will deal with a lot of rejection and can often go an entire shift without speaking to anyone.
If you are unable to be contracted to a specific role, I have found other ways during my time at university to gain both experience and earn money. Throughout my degree I have gained additional work experience through my involvement in societies. Being a committee member in a society not only allows you to make new friends and attend interesting events but can also enhance your CV and confidence. The university offers a range of jobs that can be done on an adhoc basis. Firstly by signing up to be a student ambassador or help out on an open day you are able to earn additional income without making a regular commitment. Secondly there are always other one off opportunities such as starring in a university promotional video or participating in a research project. This is a great way to get an additional £10 for an hours work and normally involves completing a series of tasks or answering questions.
All in all I have found having part time jobs whilst at university not only beneficial to my future career and my budget but also a great way to make friends and get more out of my time at university. MyCareerhub is a great place to look for these jobs as well as other jobs sides in Edinburgh.