Hi everyone! I’m Tom, a third (and final) year Law with Business student at the Penryn Campus in Cornwall. Juggling studies with part-time work might sound daunting, but this blog is here to help alleviate your worries and help show you how you can secure part-time work that is flexible and fits seamlessly around your student life.

Advantages Of Part-Time Work

Of course, part-time work offers some financial benefits which may be much-needed for your shopping or for some extra spending money, but its perks extend far beyond the financial realm. As with any part-time job, it can help aid your personal development by working in dynamic environments that supplement a wide range of skills that are easily transferable to future jobs and roles that can benefit your future career. 

Campus jobs provide the opportunity for you to integrate yourself within the university community and gain valuable skills whilst doing so. Working alongside fellow students, within the university community, has the potential to enrich your social life as you will meet so many new people and make new friends along the way. It could also help you familiarise yourself with your surroundings- making campus part-time jobs ideal for any new students! 

Part-time jobs don’t just have to be working in a pub or in the campus shop, they can also complement your career aspirations. This is something that was particularly important to me upon applying for any part-time jobs whilst studying. I wanted to make sure any part-time job also fit my career aspirations and benefitted me more than the generic skill developments that I could get from any job. For example, I am eager for a career in marketing and applied for my current role as student content ambassador in the hopes that this role will give me an insight into creating content towards a particular audience (such as this blog)!!!

Ease of Finding Part-Time Work

Now, all of these benefits sounds great, but you may be wondering how easy it is to actually find part-time jobs whilst at university. Finding a part-time job at university can be challenging, as they are often quite competitive with many students trying to find a job whilst they’re at university. Well, this is where the university can help!

At the University of Exeter, the Career Zone is there to help you with any career aspirations, as well as finding a part-time job! They host Careers Fairs to help students connect with local businesses and discover potential part-time jobs or internships. I know recently on the Penryn campus there was a Fair specifically dedicated to helping students finding part-time jobs! 

If attending careers fairs aren’t really your thing (they’re certainly not mine), I personally found that the easiest and most convenient way to stay updated about any potential part-time jobs is through following the Career Zone’s Instagram account – @uoecareerzone, or @uoecornwallcareerzone (for those studying on the Penryn campus). They post frequently about any available part-time jobs or internships opportunities. Alternatively, you can sign up to their mailing list which sends out any part-time jobs or internships on a regular basis. This is something I would definitely recommend as there are so many opportunities to be found, especially regarding jobs that may be more catered to your career aspirations. 

Similarly, following the University of Exeter on social media platforms can also be beneficial at finding out about any job opportunities, with the @uniexecornwall Instagram account being the reason I found out and applied for my current role as student content ambassador! The University also offers a range of student ambassador roles you can get involved in, from taking prospective students on tours around campus to providing subject-related insights on open days. 

How Flexible Are The Roles?

If you’re anything like me, your main worry about undertaking part-time work at university may be whether it would interfere with your studies. Put your mind at ease, as the flexibility of part-time work at university is one of its biggest advantages. Whether you’re working on campus or in the surrounding town/city, employers will be accustomed to catering to the needs of students (as they are located in a university town/city after all). 

The job opportunities offered by the University through the student ambassador schemes are incredibly flexible, with the ability to sign-up and commit to shifts that suit your schedule. The staff are fully understanding of your situation as a student and of any other commitments you may have, such as your studies. There is no pressure or obligation to sign-up for shifts, so please don’t be discouraged from applying to these jobs as they are incredibly flexible around your schedule.

The roles offered through the Career Zone are often partnerships between students and campus, or students and businesses. Once again, these are extremely flexible and are quite literally designed for students. The part-time jobs and internships advertised through such schemes are often more applicable to future career aspirations- making these roles more ideal for those seeking to gain experience in part-time roles which complement their career ambitions.

For those worrying about the flexibility of part-time jobs whilst at University, I could not encourage you any more to apply to them. The vast majority of part-time jobs are honestly an amazing, flexible option to earn money, develop skills, and work towards my career ambitions whilst at University! I wish I had applied sooner rather than waiting until my final year.

Some of you may even be concerned about your timing and how you could possibly fit working alongside studying. Whilst this is a genuine concern, and one that I held in my first and second year, this is easily possible by planning in advance. Planning ahead can enable you to see which weeks you may be busier with deadlines etc- and can plan your time accordingly to see whether you can commit to any shifts. But like I mentioned previously, the jobs are often flexible and understanding of your situation so don’t think they will fire you straightaway if you don’t commit to shifts for a while!

Financial worries are a genuine concern to a student’s life, and finding a suitable part-time job can be a challenge. Don’t be concerned or discouraged for applying to part-time jobs though, as most opportunities are flexible and understanding of your situation as a student.

If you are having serious financial concerns and don’t feel that a part-time job is suitable for you, please don’t hesitate to talk to the teams at the University who are there to support you and offer advice. 

In a nutshell, I hope that this can encourage you to undertaken part-time work at uni, as finding and securing flexible-part work that fits around your life as a student is a realistic possibility!