Skip to main content

Thursday 27 February 2020

It can be beneficial to work while studying, and it is important to balance your commitments. Student blogger, Amy talks about how she manages her time to balance work and study.

Deciding whether to work while studying can be a difficult decision. One the one hand, you already have so much on your plate between assignments and social commitments. On the other hand, working while studying has some definite benefits. Extra cash is the first thing that comes to mind (that student loan only gets you so far). It’s also an opportunity to learn new skills and meet new people outside of your course.

It wasn’t until my first summer at university that I decided to look for a job. I was lucky that I had some previous experience under my belt, so I was able to find a catering job by handing my CV out to anyone who would take it and applying online to anyone who wouldn’t. I’m so glad I chose to work while studying. As well as the extra cash, I’ve made some wonderful friends who I will stay in contact with long after university ends, and it’s given me the opportunity to keep my customer service skills sharp (whether I wanted to or not).  

The number one tip I would give to anyone looking for work would be to make yourself a master CV with all your information on it, then tailor your CV to each potential job role to maximise success. Having all your information at hand is also a life-saver when filling out countless online applications. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from a careers adviser. At Solent University we have Solent Futures, who are a fountain of knowledge and job-hunting resources. If you have creative skills - such as photography - you can also get in contact with a creative agency for students. We have Solent Creatives who are great for providing for freelance work with clients, which is invaluable for building a CV and contacts in the professional industry.

So, how do you balance work alongside university life once you have a job? Although no one likes a zero hour contract, it’s made it much easier to organise my shifts around my workload. It also helps that my job’s within walking distance of both my home and campus. It can be a struggle to keep all the balls in the air, but one thing I’ve learned is that planning is key. Make sure you get all your deadlines down on paper early on, so you can predict how much time you need to put aside for them. Don’t be afraid to take time off work in advance if you know you’ll need to prioritise assignments for a couple of weeks. I also recommend planning your tasks for each week ahead of time. Ask yourself when you’re working what you need to get done and how you will fit these around one another. And finally, don’t forget to schedule yourself time for rest!