Making a part-time job work for you at university

Like many others, my student loan isn’t the greatest.

It doesn’t cover my full accommodation cost, so it definitely doesn’t cover nights out, day trips, shopping sprees, takeaways or eating out.

If there is one thing that amassing thousands of pounds worth of student debt has taught me it’s that having a job = a consistent income.


During my first year, I transferred my job from my home town to the local Reading restaurant at the Oracle Shopping Centre. I was excited to be earning money once again and gave myself one month off to settle into university. It was a month too short. I went back to visit home one last time before I was back to working horrendous hours over weekends with screaming children, customer complaints and hectic school holidays once again.

For some, jobs outside of university are worthwhile. For me however, it was not worth the time and effort. Even though I look back fondly at the friends I made and the fun I had; I would miss out on weekends, trips home to see my family and half terms would present awful hours (even though I was still in university where there was no such thing).

I found that I was more stressed about my part-time job than my actual studies! Hence to say, it was a struggle and my employment there didn’t last past my first year.

The following year, I joined the University’s Campus Jobs service… It was the best thing that I ever did! No more was I working weekends, and I could select to work as many or as few shifts as I required. Not all universities like their students to engage in work alongside their studies but the University of Reading actively encourages its students to work and will also not let you exceed 20 hours a week to help balance your time.

Since September 2018 I have worked as a Student Ambassador, Reading Scholars Mentor, Unibuddy Mentor, The Student Room Representative, an Open Day team leader and a Student Communications Ambassador. Phew!

The rate of pay is good and is issued to your account monthly (don’t spend it all at once!). The variety of available job roles also looks fantastic on your CV and provides interesting routes into employment that would be otherwise unavailable to your post-graduation. For some roles you may need a DBS (Criminal Record check) but incurs no extra cost to yourself.

I would encourage everybody who is able to get themselves paid work. It only takes 5 minutes to sign up!

Written by Ella Palin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.