Monday, July 17, 2017

5 Tips for Having a Job in College

Going into college, my parents told me (and my siblings when they started) that we did not have to have a job while we were in school, our job was to be students and to work hard in our classes. I am very fortunate to not have to work through school, but I started an on campus job this past year and I highly recommend to anyone. Here's what you need to know about having a job in college.

Job Tips for College Students

I'll start off by explaining a little bit about my job and why I started working. About a year ago, I got an email saying I was eligible to apply to be a tutor with athletic academic services. I had considered having a job in college, but didn't want something that would be too stressful on my schedule. The email advertised that it was flexible hours and we could work around our schedules while being paid above minimum wage, so it sounded like a great deal to me. I applied, had a skype interview, and was hired on before I got back to school in the fall. I spent both semesters junior year working as a tutor to student athletes and I loved it. There are definitely trying times, but I really enjoyed working with these athletes and getting to know them, while helping them understand their particular subject. There are a lot of specifics related to my job that I won't get into, but I have had a great experience as a tutor and highly recommend it to anyone. Of course there a ton of different jobs you can have in college so here are my tips and advice so that having a job can be the most beneficial experience for you.

| Find a job you're interested in |

Now there are a ton of on and off campus jobs around any university, but they are not all created equally. If you can, find a job that works with your career plans. My best friend is an elementary education major and spent the past two years as a preschool teacher aide. My boyfriend works an engineering internship part time during the school year. There are tons of opportunities out there that will add to your career experience and make you excited to go to work. While I don't have plans to do any sort of teaching in the future, I liked the idea of working with fellow students and helping them. If you're not interested or excited about your job, you're going to dread going and it'll just be more of a strain on your schedule.

| Make sure they'll work with your schedule |

This is essential. As a college student, you are a student first and foremost. That's something that my boss reminds us of continually, our classes and well being come first. If you're having to duck out of class early or stay up all night to study because of your work schedule, consider finding something else or talking to your boss. You and your school work are more important than a job. If it's adding too much stress to work so many hours, talk to your boss about scaling back.

| Look into on campus opportunities |

I don't know about every school, but Clemson has a million on campus part time jobs or internships. It's worth looking into. I have friends that work in the dean's office, do research internships, tutor in the academic support center, work at the campus Starbucks (don't necessarily recommend this one though), and numerous other campus jobs. Being able to duck into work before, after, or between classes is so much easier when the job is on campus. I would regularly have tutoring sessions during a class break or before classes in the morning. It helped me stay on top of my work and be more productive during the day.

| Talk to your boss |

This one applies more once you have a job, but it doesn't hurt to be very transparent during your interview. I remember my coordinator asked during my interview if I had any questions and I did. There are lots of rumors about working with athletes and how much we're supposed to help them get through classes so I was nervous about what would be expected of me and she explained how important academic integrity is and that I would never be asked to compromise my integrity, and if I ever felt as if I was being put in such a situation to come tell her immediately. Through that conversation, she made me feel so much more comfortable about doing the job. Another great thing my boss does (honestly I could sing her praises forever, she's the best) is end of semester check ins where she meets with all the tutors to do a performance review and see how we feel. During this meeting in the fall, I discussed how many hours I was working and that it was pretty stressful and she encouraged me to take on fewer hours in the spring. Your boss isn't going to know if you're stressed or having issues if you don't tell them. Chances are there are other students working there and they will totally understand.

| Don't forfeit your social life |

I was majorly guilty of this in the fall. I worked usually 15 hours per week, mostly at night, so I was at the tutor center 5 nights a week, usually until 9 or 10pm. Since I was mostly working at night, I could get all my school work done during the day, but I sacrificed a lot of time with my friends and boyfriend. Working those hours made it almost impossible to get dinner in general, let alone with friends, and by the time I got off at 10pm, I would be too tired to go or stay very long at sorority events on week nights. Like I've said, make sure you're putting yourself before your job. While college is meant for higher education, the social aspects are huge and you don't want to miss out on anything because of your work schedule. This spring I had a class until 6pm twice a week so I put down that I wouldn't work those nights, this majorly helped with my work-life-school balance.

So those are my tips for having a job in college! Do you have any expert advice to share? I would love to hear it in the comments.

1 comment :

  1. oh my goodness, great post! I can totally relate being a college student myself at the University of Arkansas!