How to get a Job whilst at Uni
Before I start, this is about getting part time work/summer jobs, not your dream grad job, if you are looking for one of them, then go back in time pre-COVID.
Once you get to uni and realise that your budget sounded ample on paper, but is a little light in reality, many students will try and pick up holiday work or a part time job. I’ve done both across my time at uni so I thought I’d share some pointers about how to pick up work.
1. Print off CVs and trawl the high street, pestering managers until they tell you to f*@k off or give you a trial shift. Be prepared for lots of rejections, and be willing to do any work they offer, but generally people find it harder to say no in person than online. I got both a pub job, and a job in a butchers through this.
2. Once you are at university, check your emails, there may be some great job roles advertised. Every department at Warwick has some form of student ambassador scheme, casual work for your department on open days, and sometimes more. I work for the History department in one such role and couldn’t recommend it highly enough. On top of this there is Warwick Welcome Service who also work on open days who you can apply to. Both roles are highly flexible and fit really easily around student schedules. There also other occasional roles advertised by emails such as becoming a student blogger, or working to help run the student research conference.
3. Volunteer. This may seem odd, and deeply mercenary, indeed I’d never advocate volunteering purely for CV embellishing reasons but over the last year I’ve realised that a number of jobs I’ve picked up, I’ve only been able to do so due to the skills acquired volunteering. This mainly has taken place with Student Action for Refugees at conversation clubs for newly arrived refugees, a two hour session aimed at improving refugees practical English levels through conversation. After two years volunteering there I had quite a lot of experience teaching, and subsequently picked up work, both abroad and in the UK, tutoring off the back of it. So whilst finding a job should never be your primary motive for volunteering, it can have unintended positive consequences.
4. For casual, part time work, don’t bother with online applications unless you have no alternative, or have been targeted (eg Warwick University jobs as I talked about in point 2). I have applied to over 60 jobs online from Iceland (the supermarket) to station assistant in Harrow, and heard back from a grand total of zero. I would advise avoiding them if you can at all costs, try local instead if you can.
I hope this helps give you some ideas of how to pick up a summer job or part time job at university. I know it’s pretty brutal out there at the moment and that the government has decided that COVID-19 didn’t happen to students, as they have given us no support at all, but hopefully as things open back up, more jobs reappear.