The Student Room Group

Working while studying

Hi all, I'm just about to go into my second year of politics and international relations at York and it's dawned on me that I'll likely need to take up a part-time job to help save for masters study (aside from taking a year out after graduating to work).

I receive that maximum loan and consequently, I didn't feel the need to work during my first year so I don't have any experience of the balancing act involved with that. What has put me off about it in the past is the feeling that studying and working at the same time would really hinder my grades and I was wondering if anyone could share their experiences on this. For some background - I'm quite self-motivated and averaged a first during first year, which I hope to maintain.
@Sir_Sharky

Are you working over the summer?

Personally, I think it's best to work over the summer rather than in term-time, but I think you can manage work with studies. I think it's just being organised and having an employer that can be flexible when you have a deadline or an assessment taking place which may mean you have to change your hours. This is something that your employer might be okay with once or twice, but not something you should expect your employer to do all the time. To manage studies and work, you have to be organised. You have to plan your time efficiently so that neither your work or studies suffer.

A lot will depend on your timetable this year and the hours that you need to put in. If you are averaging a first and want to maintain that you will have to think about the best times to do paid work. Is that the weekend? Is it mid-week? During the day or in the evenings? Is your employer able to give you those hours? Universities tend to be good employers for students as they are usually very flexible.

Work can be good way to take your mind off your studies and to help you come back to studies more energised, though it can also be an extra thing to worry about when you feel tired and when your studies require a lot of time e.g. group work.

Second year is also likely to be more demanding than last year and as it is likely that it will count towards your final grade, it might be an idea to see how things go before looking for work. If your finances, in general are okay, it might be more important to focus on maintaining your first than saving for a Masters.

All the best,

Oluwatosin 2nd year student University of Huddersfield
Original post by Sir_Sharky
Hi all, I'm just about to go into my second year of politics and international relations at York and it's dawned on me that I'll likely need to take up a part-time job to help save for masters study (aside from taking a year out after graduating to work).

I receive that maximum loan and consequently, I didn't feel the need to work during my first year so I don't have any experience of the balancing act involved with that. What has put me off about it in the past is the feeling that studying and working at the same time would really hinder my grades and I was wondering if anyone could share their experiences on this. For some background - I'm quite self-motivated and averaged a first during first year, which I hope to maintain.


Hi!

I agree, it can be hard to balance work and studying, especially if you are working fixed hours! One thing that may be worth looking for is jobs your university is advertising. Jobs such as Student Ambassadors, Open Day volunteers etc. are usually very flexible and can be a good way to earn some money during term time without committing lots of hours a week. Universities are usually also more understanding of student's other time commitments so can be more flexible when you have lots of deadlines/exams etc.

Out of term time, you could look out for seasonal work. Around Christmas and over the summer shops, cafes, restaurants etc tend to hire extra staff to help with the increase in demand. They are only usually for a few weeks but maybe another good way to save some money during the uni holidays.

Hope this helps,
Florence (Lancaster University Student Ambassador)
Original post by Sir_Sharky
Hi all, I'm just about to go into my second year of politics and international relations at York and it's dawned on me that I'll likely need to take up a part-time job to help save for masters study (aside from taking a year out after graduating to work).

I receive that maximum loan and consequently, I didn't feel the need to work during my first year so I don't have any experience of the balancing act involved with that. What has put me off about it in the past is the feeling that studying and working at the same time would really hinder my grades and I was wondering if anyone could share their experiences on this. For some background - I'm quite self-motivated and averaged a first during first year, which I hope to maintain.


Hey , I just completed second year and also get the max loan. I found working x2 shifts a week was enough :smile: I initially I started out doing 3 but found I didn't have much time to myself. During holidays and summer I upped my availability so I could get more shifts though.
Original post by Sir_Sharky
Hi all, I'm just about to go into my second year of politics and international relations at York and it's dawned on me that I'll likely need to take up a part-time job to help save for masters study (aside from taking a year out after graduating to work).

I receive that maximum loan and consequently, I didn't feel the need to work during my first year so I don't have any experience of the balancing act involved with that. What has put me off about it in the past is the feeling that studying and working at the same time would really hinder my grades and I was wondering if anyone could share their experiences on this. For some background - I'm quite self-motivated and averaged a first during first year, which I hope to maintain.

Hello,

Working is manageable alongside your studies if you plan your time well. My advice would be to work a manageable number of hours per week, and not to push yourself too much, so you can leave adequate time for your self-directed study. Maybe up to 15 hours per week part-time work is a good number? It largely depends on your schedule, and obviously the demands of your course is a very big factor as well.

Kind regards,
Juzer
Cov Uni Student Ambassador
Original post by Sir_Sharky
Hi all, I'm just about to go into my second year of politics and international relations at York and it's dawned on me that I'll likely need to take up a part-time job to help save for masters study (aside from taking a year out after graduating to work).

I receive that maximum loan and consequently, I didn't feel the need to work during my first year so I don't have any experience of the balancing act involved with that. What has put me off about it in the past is the feeling that studying and working at the same time would really hinder my grades and I was wondering if anyone could share their experiences on this. For some background - I'm quite self-motivated and averaged a first during first year, which I hope to maintain.


Hello @Sir_Sharky,
Many students have part-time jobs during their studies. A majority tend to work more seasonally, especially during the summer because their can be an increase in jobs available and it has less of an impact on studies.
It is often encouraged to work a max of around 12hrs a week alongside your studies during term time. Personally, I also did not work in 1st year but for the other 3 years of my undergrad I did work. On reflection I did work more hours than I had anticipated and I had to work very hard to ensure it did not impact my degree and in the end I did achieve a first.
Crucial things to consider when getting a job whilst studying is how much time you have that you can work and when this is - weekend, evenings, mornings (which can all depend when your classes are and when you are most productive at studying), when you have assignments and also ensuring you have some down time to sleep, rest, recover and socialise. Main things that can help achieve a balance is being honest with employer and try and find one that is mindful that you are a student, so that when busier times come they are more considerate to you having less shifts and you prioritizing your studies. Catherine - University of Strathclyde Student Ambassador
Reply 6
Original post by University of Huddersfield
@Sir_Sharky

Are you working over the summer?

Personally, I think it's best to work over the summer rather than in term-time, but I think you can manage work with studies. I think it's just being organised and having an employer that can be flexible when you have a deadline or an assessment taking place which may mean you have to change your hours. This is something that your employer might be okay with once or twice, but not something you should expect your employer to do all the time. To manage studies and work, you have to be organised. You have to plan your time efficiently so that neither your work or studies suffer.

A lot will depend on your timetable this year and the hours that you need to put in. If you are averaging a first and want to maintain that you will have to think about the best times to do paid work. Is that the weekend? Is it mid-week? During the day or in the evenings? Is your employer able to give you those hours? Universities tend to be good employers for students as they are usually very flexible.

Work can be good way to take your mind off your studies and to help you come back to studies more energised, though it can also be an extra thing to worry about when you feel tired and when your studies require a lot of time e.g. group work.

Second year is also likely to be more demanding than last year and as it is likely that it will count towards your final grade, it might be an idea to see how things go before looking for work. If your finances, in general are okay, it might be more important to focus on maintaining your first than saving for a Masters.

All the best,

Oluwatosin 2nd year student University of Huddersfield


According to myself l can perform it so viviatly but l gonna be sure about those studies chosen, No doubts consitiately
Original post by Sir_Sharky
Hi all, I'm just about to go into my second year of politics and international relations at York and it's dawned on me that I'll likely need to take up a part-time job to help save for masters study (aside from taking a year out after graduating to work).

I receive that maximum loan and consequently, I didn't feel the need to work during my first year so I don't have any experience of the balancing act involved with that. What has put me off about it in the past is the feeling that studying and working at the same time would really hinder my grades and I was wondering if anyone could share their experiences on this. For some background - I'm quite self-motivated and averaged a first during first year, which I hope to maintain.


Hi @Sir_Sharky,

Balancing part-time work and uni can definitely be tough sometimes but it is do-able. First, I'd recommend looking for summer and seasonal roles, you can save up and take the pressure off working lots during term time.

As for balancing work and uni during term time, there are a couple of things that helped me:
- I found jobs with the university because they understand your timetable and that sometimes you can't work if you have exams etc. I've worked as a student ambassador and as a mentor and found it to be really flexible and good pay.
- When I went on to campus for lectures and seminars, I wouldn't go straight home afterwards, I would go to the library to make the most of my time at uni, I found I was much more productive this way instead of going home and relaxing.
- I made a timetable each week so I knew exactly what times I was at uni and what times I was at work, I would then schedule in my uni work in the gaps so I had specific times to be doing each task.

I hope that helps out a little bit :smile: even though it takes some time to adjust, you will definitely get used to balancing your time!
Abbie
Original post by Sir_Sharky
Hi all, I'm just about to go into my second year of politics and international relations at York and it's dawned on me that I'll likely need to take up a part-time job to help save for masters study (aside from taking a year out after graduating to work).

I receive that maximum loan and consequently, I didn't feel the need to work during my first year so I don't have any experience of the balancing act involved with that. What has put me off about it in the past is the feeling that studying and working at the same time would really hinder my grades and I was wondering if anyone could share their experiences on this. For some background - I'm quite self-motivated and averaged a first during first year, which I hope to maintain.


Have you thought about looking into being a Student Ambassador for your university? There's usually no minimum hours so it's fully flexible around you and your studies and you get to represent your university and course.
Many of our students take on this opportunity and it can be a great way to earn money, make friends and take part in a range of assignments.
Original post by Sir_Sharky
Hi all, I'm just about to go into my second year of politics and international relations at York and it's dawned on me that I'll likely need to take up a part-time job to help save for masters study (aside from taking a year out after graduating to work).

I receive that maximum loan and consequently, I didn't feel the need to work during my first year so I don't have any experience of the balancing act involved with that. What has put me off about it in the past is the feeling that studying and working at the same time would really hinder my grades and I was wondering if anyone could share their experiences on this. For some background - I'm quite self-motivated and averaged a first during first year, which I hope to maintain.


Hi @Sir_Sharky :h:

Studying and working part time is a balancing act and you do get the hang of it, and if you do find out it's not working well for you, you can always reasses your situation! Have a think about the sort of hours you'd be looking to do and apply accordingly, or make it clear in interviews/applications that you're going to be working alongside your studies! I'm sure a lot of employers are understanding to this sort of thing! Make sure that you have time to yourself away from studying/working too, to rest and do things you enjoy, because that is important too! :h:

Danielle :smile:
Film and Television Studies

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