Part time job while at uni

(37 Posts)
Agnesf Wed 17-Jul-19 17:42:15

Just wondering if this is feasible/ desirable. I'd be interested to hear about your DCs experiences. I'm not sure whether its a good or bad idea.

We have saved enough to fund DD through university but she's keen to get some real work on her CV. She's wonering about a part time job during term time or whether best to just look for something in the hols

OP’s posts: |
stucknoue Wed 17-Jul-19 17:55:06

Holiday work is quite important for the cv, term time depends a bit on what course, science, engineering and medicine are very time table heavy whereas dd works about 14 hours a week on an arts degree

BackforGood Wed 17-Jul-19 18:10:54

Does depend on the course.

Medicine - it wouldn't be practical.
Some science courses - you'd have to be organised with your time
Most humanities - you'll have oodles of time.

Overwhelmingly students can fit it in if they are motivated. Does depend on the getting a job of course, which is easier in some places than others.

There are many jobs that are flexible or zero hours contracts these days, which makes life easier.
No reason not to in the holidays.

LuckyLou7 Wed 17-Jul-19 18:13:31

My DD worked in MacDonald's throughout uni, zero hours contract, it worked perfectly - she could work as little or as often as she wanted. It gave her independence, confidence and cash to spend of whatever she wanted - mostly festivals if I recall correctly.

ClerkMaxwell Wed 17-Jul-19 18:30:52

My DSs have worked term time and holidays during uni. Science/engineering courses. University recommends 12 hours max during term time which they generally stick to. Neither are what you call high flyers by the usual mumsnet standards - everyone else seems to have first/high 2:1 children. However don't think not working would make my DSs study more.

DS2 struggled a bit finding something to suit. One supermarket job was too many hours and it was difficult to swap shifts, McDs too few hours in the summer plus pressure on you not to refuse shifts plus shift rota was very last minute. Found another supermarket which is perfect and very used to students.

BubblesBuddy Wed 17-Jul-19 19:12:58

I think it depends on the course and what she can find that’s suitable. Some students like socialising with friends and not working all hours. Holiday work is better in my view but again isn’t always easy to get if you actually want a holiday!

Also I assume you are not finding every penny of the degree and living costs. Unless you are very rich, this is madness. You do realise the loan is, in effect a graduate tax. If she has a fairly ordinary job after graduating she won’t pay much. If you have not seen it, read Money Saving Expert. Martin Lewis explains all of this. If you are thinking of paying everything, then this money is better spent on a house! If it’s just the top of the maintenance loan, then obviously that’s completely different.

Agnesf Wed 17-Jul-19 19:13:39

Just wondering if it helps with graduate recruitment if the uni job is not related to your chosen career or do transferable skills help?

I would not want her to neglect studies for sake of a term time job. Also DD does a sport quite seriously. Would there be time for that?

OP’s posts: |


Agnesf Wed 17-Jul-19 19:16:41

bubbles I understand student loans very well but as DD will get min maintenance loan and hoping to study in London we are going to have to make up the difference

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DC90 Wed 17-Jul-19 19:19:01

I worked fulltime as a youth worker and did my degree via distance learning so her having a part time job around studies can be done. Work experience will be valuable when she goes on to the job market and a good reference from past employers are worth a lot. For what it's worth I got a 2.1 honours .

DC90 Wed 17-Jul-19 19:21:12

At 17 I also did a HNC/HND at college while working 16 hours a week at british gas (call centre) it was really good for me to develop my work ethic, confidence and organisational skills

ErrolTheDragon Wed 17-Jul-19 19:21:46

It depends what course, and it depends what she means by 'real work'.

My DD is doing engineering, it's a full-on course so working in termtime wouldn't be possible (her uni doesn't allow it anyway). But in the summer she's getting intern type jobs - so it's relevant experience with decent terms and conditions. She did 12 weeks last summer, just started an 8 week stint this week.

That sort of thing may not be appropriate or possible for other subjects, but certainly doing some work of whatever type is better than none, provided it's not to the detriment of their studies and does allow them some time for fun. Depending on financial situation, interests it might be paid or voluntary, or a mix. I'm sure 'transferable skills' help when it comes to recruitment, certainly versus doing nowt!

midgeland Wed 17-Jul-19 19:27:28

I think when you're looking for graduate jobs it helps to have something on your CV showing you've turned up reliably, followed instructions even when difficult or boring, been polite to customers etc, even when it's not related to whatever you end up doing. So you might as well get paid to do it. I had a part time job in a bookshop while at uni which was basically ideal in every way and didn't prevent me from getting a 2:1.

Pythonesque Wed 17-Jul-19 19:41:33

Is there scope for her getting coaching work related to her sport?

Uberbeeboo Wed 17-Jul-19 19:46:00

During my degree I worked for the Student Union. I can imagine most Student Unions offer similar temporary contracts. They recruit every year in time for September for the bars, cafes and welcome desk. The positions are exclusively for current students and they give you shifts based around your lectures. When I applied in my second year they took on approximately 100 students and it was great fun. The contract ends when you finish your course. Ask at the SU reception if there are any positions.

Isthebigwomanhere Wed 17-Jul-19 19:52:19

Dd1 worked in a bar at weekend and on Monday evening.
She got a meal while on duty and enjoyed the work and extra money

SirTobyBelch Wed 17-Jul-19 20:41:16

Medicine - it wouldn't be practical.

Many medical students have part-time jobs. Some work as healthcare assistants to develop their skills, others pick up bar/restaurant/shop work as & when they can, just like any other students. Some do paid work for their universities (ambassadors, residence supervisors, etc.). Some of the ones who don't have paid jobs - and even some of the ones who do - do voluntary work in term time as well as holidays.

Fairenuff Wed 17-Jul-19 20:44:32

Both my dcs had part time jobs at uni. We didn't fund them at all.

goodbyestranger Wed 17-Jul-19 20:53:11

DS1 was a medical student at Oxford and managed a part time job in one of the coffee bars in town. He seemed to manage a good social life/ extra curriculars too.

Agnesf Wed 17-Jul-19 22:12:18

Thanks for all answers - very helpful.

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Stillabitemo Wed 17-Jul-19 22:20:26

To be honest a lot of it will depend on her timetable when she gets there! If her lectures and seminars etc are all clustered together she might find it relatively easy to fit in part time work. During my last year I had 2 days of 10-2 and one 10-12 so I could work 16-20 hours comfortably. A friend had 10-11 and 3-4 every single day so fitting in part time work was much tougher!

Generally most students can do a bit even it its 4 hours early on a Saturday morning in Tesco stocking shelves. But that will also be dependent on how easy jobs are to come by in her uni location.

Holiday jobs should be encouraged and maximised.

Any work experience is helpful on a CV for building transferable skills and showing commitment.

Youngandfree Wed 17-Jul-19 22:21:12

I worked all through uni in a restaurant/guest house.I worked Friday night, Saturday breakfast, Saturday night and Sunday lunch. Made oodles as it was quite high end!
Then every summer I worked in a pharmaceutical company on a summer internship (again fantastic pay) and I worked in the restaurant at weekends too!
I never had a student loan, I was lucky my parents paid my accommodation fees and even luckier that when I was in college it was “free” all I had to pay was my registration fee at the start of each year which was 1st yr 800, 2nd year 800, 3rd year 1000. Then I took a year out and travelled and did a teaching post grad.

Lazypuppy Wed 17-Jul-19 22:24:46

If she has time she 100% should.

I think not having/looking for a job until you're 21yo is bad, and looks bad on your cv.

VanCleefArpels Wed 17-Jul-19 22:25:03

Of focusing on CV building rather than needing the money then be careful to choose something if future value. DS worked all Uni holidays doing something he very much enjoyed hot was basically menial work. When he came to apply for grad jobs he was rejected almost across the board because he dud t have any office based experience (required even for entry level jobs 🙄😳). With 20/20 hindsight he’d have been better off signing up with a temp agency or just doing lots of unpaid work experience through friends and family.

BackforGood Wed 17-Jul-19 23:38:19

I would not want her to neglect studies for sake of a term time job. Also DD does a sport quite seriously. Would there be time for that?

My dd trains 4 times a week for her sport and plays both for the University and for a club side near University. When she has games for the club side, the travelling means she is usually out from 6.30am until about 1am that night. She is also Captain which means a lot of planning, and supporting the Team outside of that.
She is on for a 2:1 (without having done brilliantly in her A-Levels, so not a natural academic) and also works at least 10hours a week in the Union shop during term time, and has always worked in holidays when back home. So, from my experience, yes.

Fair play to them @SirTobyBelch and @goodbyestranger I just thought the placements combined with constant exams would make it impossible. smile

Some students like socialising with friends and not working all hours.
...... and most can fit in both. dd lives with 7 housemates, all of whom have PT jobs and all of whom (from what I can gather) have a pretty impressive social life. They are all on different courses so it doesn't appear to just be dd who can fit in both working and sport and socialising.

People I've spoken to who recruit people to jobs, aren't usually concerned about "relevant" job experience, more showing that you can turn up on time every day/ you can get along with people/ you can organise your time to be able to fit in a job alongside studying and socialising / that you are used to managing situations that arise / that you can cope with dealing with the public, or customers - especially if you can give examples of where you resolved issues etc.

Definitelyrandom Wed 17-Jul-19 23:48:51

The poster suggesting that your DD tries to get some coaching work makes a good point. DS2 trains a lot (and competes) in his sport at a pretty high level and wouldn’t realistically have time for a job as well as university work. He occasionally gets paid for coaching and other sports related work.

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