International Engineering Ambassadors
Insight into the life & course of international students.

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Part-time Job Whilst Studying

By Usman Sami Khan

Coming so far away from home, there is obviously a lot of financial pressure on a student when making an informed decision about their options available to support themselves financially upon reaching a new country. Part-time jobs are a very good way to be able to support at least your living expenses whilst studying at university. This also alleviates the burden from parents’ shoulders, which have to support their children’s education in some cases.

It is very much possible to do a part time job whilst studying at university. Such jobs add another social element to life, where you’re not only building up on your interpersonal transferable skills, but also meeting other students doing such part-time jobs in a similar capacity with the intention of getting something to fill their pockets. It also brings in an element of financial security, whereby a student has something to fall back on, if, God forbid, something were to go wrong financially.

However, it is essential as to not exert yourself more than what you can take; we all need to remember that academics need to be our first and foremost priority, and second to that come part-time jobs. For internationals, our visa states that we can work no more than 20 hours per week. However, the university recommends that students work no more than 16 hours a week in order to be able to prioritise their academics and strike a balance between studying and working. For internationals, the first thing to the route of finding a part-time job includes applying for, and obtaining a National Insurance Number, which every employer requires before you can start working for them.

The university runs a Careers Service, where experienced career advisors help you with refining your CV, and any other documents that you may need in order to apply for part-time jobs. Working on part-time jobs provides you something to put on paper-worth for your CV, and provides evidence to employers when applying for graduate jobs and summer internships that you really stand out from the crowd and have done more than just studying whilst at university. It provides you with an edge and gives you something to speak about in an interview and expand upon how it led up to building your interpersonal skills. In addition, the Careers Service runs a Skills for Work programme whereby students are pushed to completing 50 hours worth of work experience, upon which the Careers Service provides a student with a Skills for Work Certificate which is endorsed by leading companies and brands such as PwC, BT, The RBS Group, etc.

All in all, it is a blessing in disguise to be able to work on part-time jobs as they provide you with extra money to fill your pockets for the month. However, care must be taken that you prioritise your academics first over such part-time jobs and don’t let them get in the way of you reaching greater academic heights!

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