While the idea of balancing a job with your studies can be daunting, it is certainly achievable. Plenty of students work during their college years in order to financially support themselves and strengthen their resumé.
So, how do you go about managing a job in college?
Adam Samuel, a student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a University Health Services (UHS) employee, says it all begins with your schedule. Samuel is a microbiology major, and his school schedule entails a heavy dedication to coursework and studying.
“The only way I can manage school with my job is by working 10 hours a week maximum. Being a student comes first, so it’s important that I shape my work schedule around that,” he stated.
Obviously, college schedules vary by person and major. Thus, it is essential to find a job that gives you ample time for your specific schoolwork needs. That being said, you’re going to want a job that is less demanding.
“It’s important to be focused on school as a top priority, so you don't want a job tiring you out physically or mentally and taking that priority away from school,” Samuel said.
Samuel also advises finding a job that is relatively interesting to you, or one that relates to your future aspirations.
“For example, I’m a student who wants to go into healthcare, and by having a job at UHS, I’m actively gaining healthcare experience for my future as a healthcare professional,” he said.
A part-time job in a field that you’re interested in can provide valuable work skills, attract future employers and distract from the stress of school.
Although not always possible, Samuel also suggests making sure you enjoy your coworkers and bosses.
“School is really stressful and taxing, so having coworkers and bosses at work who are genuine and understanding really helps to take your mind off of school, giving you a much needed break,” he stated.
It isn’t always easy to make connections at work, but if you can find a job with genuine people to surround yourself with, then balancing school and work will become a lot less stressful.
Generally speaking, working during college is completely doable. When looking for a job, make sure to account for your school schedule, as being a student should be your main focus. It is important to work somewhere that interests you so that you can build valuable skills for the future.
Take it from Adam, who has worked toward his dream career while balancing school. If he can do it, you can too!