The Telegraph has written an excellent advice article on finding a job, equally of use to graduates looking for a way to make money and students who want to tide themselves over during their studies. It provides a number of options, from the usual bar jobs to some more interesting ones like being an academic tutor, and gives good practical advice on where to look for jobs.
'As anyone who’s watched The Young Ones will know, finding a decent student job isn’t easy. But following the tuition fees hike, opportunities for part-time work – whether pulling pints at the student union or as a larceny-busting hippy policeman – are more in demand than ever.
Thankfully the part-time job market has come a long way since Scumbag College was last open for business. Opportunities now extend from tutoring to paid internships at blue-chip firms.
Rather than envying those peers who can afford to go off travelling every term break – and there inevitably will be some – students short on cash can turn the situation to their long-term advantage.
“To an extent it is still bar and retail jobs students look for,” says Karen Barnard of UCL Careers Service, part of the University of London Careers Service. “But a lot of our students find paid internships in their penultimate summers – that can be in management, finance, business or right across the sectors.”
“Employers understand that in first year a student might need a bar job simply for the money, but there’s a sense that they can progress from that.”
University careers services are certainly a useful option, but should only be a starting point in the hunt for employment. Proactive students can search using professional networking sites such as LinkedIn – what career advisers refer to as the “hidden jobs market” – or try a variety of student oriented-jobs boards.
“We’ve been running for 10 years, but in the last 12 months have noticed a big increase in the numbers of students looking for weekend and evening part-time work,” says Andrew Bird, Director of Student-Jobs.co.uk. “But while money is a necessity, there is a more discerning job market out there now – work experience is becoming a differentiating factor in terms of finding graduate jobs.”
Students can take advantage of their university years to sample employment across a range of different areas, which will help in deciding on a career path later – something that can be much more difficult to do after graduating.
“It's wise to consider finding part-time or temporary work which is related to what you'd like to be doing after university, be it a work placement, internship or shadowing,” says Mike Barnard of graduate recruitment firm Milkround. “Not only will this give you first-hand experience, you'll also be in a position to network and gain useful contacts who may be able to help you land that first job on graduation.
“Plus, if a career stops being so appealing after that first taste of it, you can reassess your options more easily."
Even the more traditional student jobs might not be where you’d expect these days. While retail opportunities have declined with the state of the economy, jobs in hospitality have been abundant in recent years, says Andrew Bird.
“Many students ended up working in hospitality during the Olympics who wouldn’t otherwise have, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they stayed with it,” he says. “It’s far more flexible – you can work at Old Trafford one week, Aintree the next, or not work at all for a few weeks. For retail jobs you have to make a fair commitment.”
In fact, there’s no need for students to leave the world of academia at all in order to find gainful employment. There may be jobs available with the universities themselves – a potentially growing market as universities seek to improve their finances by performing more functions in-house.
According to Karen Barnard at UCL – which employs students to help run events such as career fairs, and in front-of-house positions such as working on reception – this route offers a unique perspective for students keen on an academic career.
“Students can find out more about the university through working behind the scenes,” she says. “It’s also close to where they live, and often they will know the people they are working with, which can be an advantage if you find the idea of work scary.”
And undergraduates can even put their sharpened scholastic minds to good use by finding work as a tutor. William Stadlen of Holland Park Tuition believes the students his company hires benefit from the intellectual nature of the work.
“Firstly you are using your mind, keeping you in tune educationally and fresh for your next lecture,” he says. “It also bodes well for those wanting to pursue teaching as a full-time career.
“Finally, and I'm sure this will ring clearer for most student, it pays better than being a bar tender."'