The Student Room Group

having a job during uni?

Hi, I'm just about to finish my A levels and so am casting my mind to university.

Is it a good idea to have a job during university? Can you still do well?

I have a job once a week during A levels but I really want to be as independent as possible while at university, so having a coupe shifts a week. Can you still do okay at uni??
Original post by milliex_grace1
Hi, I'm just about to finish my A levels and so am casting my mind to university.

Is it a good idea to have a job during university? Can you still do well?

I have a job once a week during A levels but I really want to be as independent as possible while at university, so having a coupe shifts a week. Can you still do okay at uni??


I worked part time during uni, and that didn't fare well for me. Having said that, I had a mental slump and I hated most of the modules that I was doing at the time, so I didn't do as well as I hoped anyway.

The thing is, your degree should take you 40 hours a week if you are studying full time. Whilst the number of hours you can can attend for lectures and seminars are less than this, to study properly, you should be at libraries and reading for self study to make up of those hours. If you are doing fewer hours than this, expect to not fare as well.

Whilst there's no problem with you working an extra 10-20 hours on top of university, bear in mind, that's like working a 50-60 hour week. That's not fun, and it will feel draining after a week or 2. An extra 5-10 hours won't hurt, but you're not going to earn that much on top.
If you're not used to doing a 50-60 hour week, then it's not recommended. You might be able to get away with it during your first year, but that's probably becuase your first year grades usually don't count towards your final grade. I would still advise against this anyway, because if you intend to apply for internships, you would still be using your first year grades as a proxy if they ask for them.

Aside from the hours that you actually worked, you would also have to factor in time you need to get ready and travel to and back from work. The hours adds up.

If you do end up working for any reason, expect to have little to no social life should you want to maintain some sort of decent grade. Something will eventually have to give.
Original post by Anonymous
I worked part time during uni, and that didn't fare well for me. Having said that, I had a mental slump and I hated most of the modules that I was doing at the time, so I didn't do as well as I hoped anyway.

The thing is, your degree should take you 40 hours a week if you are studying full time. Whilst the number of hours you can can attend for lectures and seminars are less than this, to study properly, you should be at libraries and reading for self study to make up of those hours. If you are doing fewer hours than this, expect to not fare as well.

Whilst there's no problem with you working an extra 10-20 hours on top of university, bear in mind, that's like working a 50-60 hour week. That's not fun, and it will feel draining after a week or 2. An extra 5-10 hours won't hurt, but you're not going to earn that much on top.
If you're not used to doing a 50-60 hour week, then it's not recommended. You might be able to get away with it during your first year, but that's probably becuase your first year grades usually don't count towards your final grade. I would still advise against this anyway, because if you intend to apply for internships, you would still be using your first year grades as a proxy if they ask for them.

Aside from the hours that you actually worked, you would also have to factor in time you need to get ready and travel to and back from work. The hours adds up.

If you do end up working for any reason, expect to have little to no social life should you want to maintain some sort of decent grade. Something will eventually have to give.


Okay thanks. I just sort of have to work to afford things like food and accomodation as I won't get that much student loan money. For my A levels I did 40 hours a week for the past 3 months but it's been super tiring and I'm ready for a break, I suppose I'll have to have a think about what to do. Thank you anyway!
Original post by milliex_grace1
Hi, I'm just about to finish my A levels and so am casting my mind to university.

Is it a good idea to have a job during university? Can you still do well?

I have a job once a week during A levels but I really want to be as independent as possible while at university, so having a coupe shifts a week. Can you still do okay at uni??

Hi there @milliex_grace1 !
This completely depends on the circumstances and the employer. I didn't have a job in my first year, I just chose to save up my money by working full time the summer before I went. I wanted to get the most out of my first year and settle into university life. It was definitely manageable to get a job in first year, I just didn't want to. In second year I got a part-time job working as a bartender. This was good for me because they gave me three shifts a week and more during the holidays because they needed the extra support anyway. What I will say is depending on the company, they may take advantage of students and put you down for more hours than you asked for and then you feel like you can't say no. That's when things become more difficult and it might start to affect your university progress.

I would recommend looking for a job that has contracted hours rather than being on a zero-hour contract. That way, anything over your contract has to be consulted with you first and then it would be classed as overtime. To answer your question, you can definitely still do well at university if you have a job. You just have to have your priorities right. I've always found chain companies to be better with handing out manageable hours than small businesses are but that's just my personal experience. You do find with chain companies that there's more priority on making money than the staff but I found them to be the kindest hospitality managers I've worked for, as opposed to small business hospitality jobs. There's lots of care for staff members in terms of training and checking up on you throughout the shift in a chain establishment. It's up to you whether you decide to get one, as long as your priorities are with university and you don't slip into the habit of putting work first because you feel like you can't say no. I'm going into final year next year and i probably will get a part-time job, but I'll make sure it's one I can cut my hours down for during the time I'm writing my dissertation.

Hope this helped!
Lucy - Digital Student Ambassador SHU
Original post by milliex_grace1
Hi, I'm just about to finish my A levels and so am casting my mind to university.

Is it a good idea to have a job during university? Can you still do well?

I have a job once a week during A levels but I really want to be as independent as possible while at university, so having a coupe shifts a week. Can you still do okay at uni??

Hi @milliex_grace1,

I'm a second year at Lancaster University and I have two casual jobs during term time and then tend to work over the summer to get some extra savings.

Having casual jobs really works for me because I can choose when I work based around when my deadlines. However, the downfall with this is that there are sometimes limited shifts or the shifts available don't work around my timetable. This style of work really works for me because I'm not looking to earn tons of money, I am just trying to top up my student loan. I found these jobs through the university's employment and recruitment service so I am employed on campus for the majority of the time which is helpful because it's not far away. Also, my managers are working at the university as well and are aware of me being a student so are really understanding with what shifts I can do or if I need to change my shifts for any reason. For example, if I have a 9am lecture they might let me start at 10am instead.

I would definitely say that you can still do well at uni with a job but you have to prioritise what is important. Personally, I make my work fit around my degree. If I ever feel I am getting overwhelmed, I stop taking on shifts and focus on my degree to get back to a point where I am happy.

I would say that it is good to have a job at university because it has stopped me worrying about money so much. Additionally, building up your work experience throughout uni can make you are more employable graduate in the future as you will be developing lots of transferrable skills. That being said, it can be hard to do 50 hours a week at the end of a long term. And this would be harder if you also wanted to partake in multiple societies. However, it can be done and I know lots of other people who do this too. It's all about finding a work/life balance that you are happy with and can maintain.

Hope this helps
-Beth (Lancaster Student Ambassador)
@milliex_grace1

You already have experience balancing a job with studies, so it is likely that it will be relatively easy for you to manage this at university, though it does depend on what you are studying and how many hours you are in uni a week.

Universities normally try to limit the number of hours a student can work as it can have an impact on a student's studies.

I think it would definitely be a good idea to look for a job over the summer. There is normally lots of seasonal work available: summer camps, summer language schools etc. If things go well, you could opt again to work for them the following summer. You could also look out for temporary seasonal work at Christmas time, as this could provide some extra cash.

Once you have started your university course, you will have an idea of how much extra work you need to put in and and how much time realistically you have for a job. On my course, there is lots to learn, so even though I haven't had to come in every day I have needed the time when I am not at university to revise and to read ahead.

Once you have started uni, you could look for a job at the university. This might provide more flexibility than another employer who might initially be sympathetic about your studies and then later want you to work more hours than you can manage. At university, you might work at the library, the Student Union shop or even be an ambassador for your university. Keep an eye out for job opportunities when you arrive.

Try not to stress too much about money at uni, but if you are worried, do talk to the finance team at your university.

All the best,

Oluwatosin 2nd year student University of Huddersfield
Having a small part-time job is ok if you need to work. I found in the first year I continued with my regular job in the first year and soon realised how much I needed to put into the degree I chose. The degree was why I came to university but still needed extra money. Where I was working was not flexible and found work that was flexible around my degree. This worked better for my health and well-being and I found I could put what I needed into my studies choosing when I could work more or less. During the third trimester of the first year, I discovered my university had a temp agency which offered flexible roles which included student ambassador roles. This meant I could work at the university and gain skills to add to my CV.

If you can work before starting to build up some funds this can help you manage, especially through the first trimester when you are finding your feet with studies. Look at any bursaries your university may be offering and sign up for any discount cards. I find the student union will often direct you to where the good discounts are.

Good luck with your course!

ARU Dee
Student Digital AMbassador
Thank you everyone for the advice!!

I already have a job that I've worked at for a year, and from Monday I'm working full time. I'm also taking a year out to save up money by working until about March 2024, then travelling until September (I have a deferred uni placement). And I think I will look for a job then, and from the sounds of it larger chains seem to be better with hours?

Currently I work in smaller business hospitality and there is a pressure of when I'm given more hours than I ask for and I'd rather not deal with that pressure at Uni. Thank you so much!!
Original post by milliex_grace1
Hi, I'm just about to finish my A levels and so am casting my mind to university.

Is it a good idea to have a job during university? Can you still do well?

I have a job once a week during A levels but I really want to be as independent as possible while at university, so having a coupe shifts a week. Can you still do okay at uni??

Hello @milliex_grace1

I hope you’re well. You can definitely have a part time job whilst studying at university, but I wouldn’t recommend a full time one, unless you’re 100% certain you could handle it.

My best advice is to stay organised, and be aware of all upcoming deadlines. Ensure to stick to a revision timetable and prioritise your university work first and you can’t go wrong.

Best of luck
Jade :smile:
Cov Uni Student Ambassador
Original post by milliex_grace1
Thank you everyone for the advice!!

I already have a job that I've worked at for a year, and from Monday I'm working full time. I'm also taking a year out to save up money by working until about March 2024, then travelling until September (I have a deferred uni placement). And I think I will look for a job then, and from the sounds of it larger chains seem to be better with hours?

Currently I work in smaller business hospitality and there is a pressure of when I'm given more hours than I ask for and I'd rather not deal with that pressure at Uni. Thank you so much!!

Hi there,

I am a third year Mathematics and Statistics student at Lancaster university. I worked in retail for the first year of my degree where I was doing both weekend days pretty much every week so roughly 16 hours a week, but I ultimately left that job for one where I could have more free time at the weekend because I didn't enjoy always having to reject weekend plans. Then I started working some nights in the student union club alongside ambassador work so my hours per week vary a lot more. There was a point where I was working all the jobs so I was doing 30 hour work weeks alongside my degree which I would not recommend as it was possible but not enjoyable at all. The best sort of work that I have found is work through the university as they are the most understanding of your situation and tend to pay better than retail where I was on minimum wage for my age.

Please feel free to ask me any questions.

- Amy (Lancaster Student Ambassador) :smile:
Original post by milliex_grace1
Hi, I'm just about to finish my A levels and so am casting my mind to university.

Is it a good idea to have a job during university? Can you still do well?

I have a job once a week during A levels but I really want to be as independent as possible while at university, so having a coupe shifts a week. Can you still do okay at uni??

Hi!
Having a part time job while studying is a great idea and very common. It definitely doesn't need to interfere with your grades! When studying at university you won't be in lectures/classes anywhere near as much as A levels and therefore have plenty of free time (some of which should be designated to independent study) to work a job.
Personally, I am a student ambassador and have found this job to be perfect for me, I am able to pick up shifts whenever I am free and as I am woking for the university they are very understanding that studies come first. I would highly recommend looking into what jobs are available for you at your university.
Despite this, I have many friends who work part time jobs in local shops or restaurants and still have plenty of study time, so it is definitely doable!
I hope this helps. Faye :smile:
Hi!

I think having a part time job is very doable!
I had a couple of different jobs while at uni, my first one in 2019 was a zero hour contract which worked well on a short term basis as it meant it was flexible for when social events pop up or when I wanted to visit home as I wasn't on fixed shifts. This obviously isn't the most secure option long term though however- it'll depend on the company!
After the pandemic I worked in a supermarket and did 1 shift per week, and when it was quieter socially and at uni I'd pick up overtime (1/2 extra shifts). This was also ideal for me as I could transfer to a store near my home town over Christmas!

Good luck!
Original post by milliex_grace1
Thank you everyone for the advice!!

I already have a job that I've worked at for a year, and from Monday I'm working full time. I'm also taking a year out to save up money by working until about March 2024, then travelling until September (I have a deferred uni placement). And I think I will look for a job then, and from the sounds of it larger chains seem to be better with hours?

Currently I work in smaller business hospitality and there is a pressure of when I'm given more hours than I ask for and I'd rather not deal with that pressure at Uni. Thank you so much!!


Hey @milliex_grace1

It's great that you're taking a year to work and save and do a bit of travelling before you start, make the most of it and enjoy your year and congrats on finishing your A Levels!

I work in hospitality too and in my first year of uni I worked Saturday and Sunday shifts every week with one weekend off a month. It nearly killed me, 10/10 would not recommend :')

In my second year I joined the student ambassador team which is something I wish I knew more about in my first year. A lot of unis have a variation of this role, you'll see postings and comments from us with student ambassador or student rep etc. It's a paid job with the university. You could work in outreach and recruitment, marketing, campus tours, school visits, open days, graduations. The roles are so varied and the great part is how flexible it is. I can only speak for Essex but we have a portal of job postings that you can sign up for or reject if they clash with your lectures. I love how varied it is and not always working the same job each time.

There are other on-campus jobs you could apply for instead that may have more of a set schedule while still being understanding and flexible around your uni commitments.

I would advise seeing how things go when you start your course, have some savings from working this year so you can take the time to find out how you cope with the course workload. Get your deadlines onto your calendar and make sure you're not working too much around those times. Your course is unlikely to be fully 9-5 so you might find you've got a regular afternoon off on your timetable that you could work. Having that extra money to top up your maintenance loan is great but don't try to push yourself too much. Having a fulfilling social life and time to actually study are also super important.

Best wishes
Essex Student Rep - Hayley
Original post by milliex_grace1
Hi, I'm just about to finish my A levels and so am casting my mind to university.

Is it a good idea to have a job during university? Can you still do well?

I have a job once a week during A levels but I really want to be as independent as possible while at university, so having a coupe shifts a week. Can you still do okay at uni??

Hey @milliex_grace1,

It’s good that you’re already thinking about the future and want to stay independent while studying! I’m currently a second year student at ARU and I work part time.

I studying an Access course prior to university and worked part time (approximately 26 hours a week). At this time my classes were set every week so it was easy to have permanent hours surrounding collage work.

When I started uni I got a more flexible job where I could pick up hours and that worked well for a while. However, when I started placements I found it a little challenging. That’s when I applied to ARU Temps and started worked as a student ambassador! This is a great option for uni students as you can pick the hours that suit you. I also get to do a lot of flexible online work.

You can definitely stay independent and work while studying. You can always adjust hours and have time off when you need to as well!

Good luck moving forward :smile:

Sophie (ARU)
Original post by milliex_grace1
Hi, I'm just about to finish my A levels and so am casting my mind to university.

Is it a good idea to have a job during university? Can you still do well?

I have a job once a week during A levels but I really want to be as independent as possible while at university, so having a coupe shifts a week. Can you still do okay at uni??

Hi,

This is such a good questions and it does truly depend on your course and the type of person that you are!

In my experience, I completed the first term of university with no job - this gave me the opportunity to always say yes to new experiences and really immerse myself in the university culture. It also gave me that extra free time which is well needed at the beginning of university.

Then towards the end of the semester I looked into finding a job and ended up working for the University. Not only can I choose my shifts and when I want to work - I can also work online as well. During busy periods of University I tend to only work a few hours and then during quieter periods I am able to pick up more shifts. I find working for my university extremely helpful, as they understand the importance of my studies and my workplace is on campus where all my lectures are so its never too far to travel :smile:

I have other friends who do more shift work at bars/restaurants/shops and they tend to find 10-15 hours a week working is the most they can do, before it starts impacting their degree and social life.

The most important thing to consider when finding a job is definitely how flexible they are able to be - as university life is never that predictable! I think have a part-time job at university is extremely rewarding as I am able to work with other students and young people, but it also gives me that extra bit of money so that I am able to do fun things. This can include going to grab a coffee on a Friday morning before a long day of lectures, grabbing lunch at your favourite cafe whilst revising or even going on a trip to Bristol for the day! This monetary freedom makes me feel independent and the experience of working is so valuable - especially now as I am starting my Year Abroad working in Austria!

Working alongside your degree is definitely possible and has major benefits - however your mental and physical health is always the most important so always consider how working will affect you!

I hope this is helpful and please do let us know if you have any questions :smile:
Sophia (2nd Year Bath Student)

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