Do you need a job whilst at university??

It's starting to get to that time of year where everyone is starting to accept their offers for university and decide which university they want to spend the next 3 years! So there couldn't be a better time to write about having a job at university.




I am now 22 and will be going into my third year of my nursing degree in September and ever since I was 16 I've had part-time jobs (with the added overtime in holidays of course!). I worked as a waitress through my GCSE's and a-levels (little tip being a waiter/waitress is great as a student as you get paid but you also get tips). I then took a year out before starting to apply for university, during this time I worked as a retail assistant for a big fashion company within the UK. At the start of this year I begun working for a healthcare agency which I have fell in love with as with being student being able to make your own hours has been so helpful and it's allowed me to work in areas I haven't as a student nurse!

There are a couple of things you need to consider before you start thinking about getting a job at university. Now not every student has a job while at university, I think about half my cohort don't have jobs and they manage completely fine. Funding depends whether you feel the need to take a job, living at home or living away also differ how much money you will get. Some universities and funding bodies will also offer grants and such for academic achievements or for things like low incomes etc.



It is important to recognise that certain degree courses are more time consuming than others, it all depends on the type you are doing. Some of my friends from high school have managed to take on part-time jobs with overtime, some even transforming into full-time jobs once they've graduated. Something you do need to look at is how much time you are going to devote to uni, job and social life (you can't forget about that part!). There is nothing worse than come exam time you feel like you're struggling because you took on a 16 hour-a week contract while attempting to get all your revision and assignments complete, sometimes you may find some businesses will be kinder and allow you to take your annual leave together so you can have it for your exam period or some may allow you to possibly reduce your hours during your exam period (note to anyone reading - that last comment doesn't apply to every employer, obviously some will be stricter than others!).

Another thing to consider is whether or not your course will require you to complete placements. Let me tell you there is nothing worse than having a 37.5 hour placement week then having to do a 8-12 hour job, even worse when you have uni work to get finished! Just a 411 for anyone thinking it doesn't sound too bad....it also makes you sick doing it every week for several weeks!! I've recently made the switch from working a contracted job to working for an agency (similarly known as bank, which is hospital specific), for me it's basically like having a 0-hour contract and I just ring up with the days I'm available and they find me shifts, a plus is that you get to work in all different areas you might not necessarily have experienced but sometimes you can go weeks without getting a shift. It all helps when you get one good ward/company that likes you and keeps asking for you back! 

One big tip if you wish to get a job while at university is hand out your CV's before everyone starts in September, as when everyone comes back the companies will be overwhelmed with people handing them in trying to get a job but you will have got in there first and made a great first impression! 


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