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Working while you study: what to expect

Working a part-time job while in University is an interesting prospect to a lot of students, but balancing a job with coursework, classes, and a social life can be challenging. Sofia Wickerhauser spoke to three Goldsmiths students about finding a job, and balancing work with student life.


The most common way of finding work is by searching on one of the many job-search websites like Monster, Indeed, or Totaljobs. Rebecca Steve Masker found her job as a retail and admissions assistant at the Imperial War Museum through Arts Jobs.

“I work 15 hours a week, Saturday and Sunday. I really enjoy working at the museum – I majorly rate retail over catering or bar work. It’s a very interesting place to work, and I get paid the London Living Wage. However, it is not a job I imagine I will stay in after graduation.”

Still, the conventional method of knocking on doors also works. Tom Moore, who works as a sales assistant in a stationary shop, said: “I found my current job just by handing [out] my CV… I work three days a week. If I have a uni (sic) event scheduled on a work day then I’ll try to get [the day] off. If I can’t then I miss the event, but that doesn’t bother me.”

Overall, Tom says his job allows him to balance work and uni. “It’s actually really easy and I’m happy with my job right now.”

For Luca van Bambost, asking friends for help was the answer, and he now works as a freelancer for a catering service. “A friend of mine works for the same [company] and recommended me [for] the job. Luckily I can always choose when I want to work, so it never happened to me that I had a clash [with classes].”

Rebecca has said that she is very unlikely to miss university events because of her job, but that she has missed a lot of social occasions. “Due to how expensive London rent is, if I don’t have a full-time job by the time my rental agreement finishes in September, I will have to move back to my parents’ place in Hampshire. RIP.”

If you are struggling with how to start your search, a visit to Goldsmiths’ Career SPACE can help you get on the right track. The website is full of resources like guides for writing CVs and cover letters, and advice about interview Do’s and Dont’s. By clicking on “search for jobs”, enrolled students can access opportunities like internships, placements, volunteering work, as well as full or part-time jobs. A special session for international students with Tier 4 (General) student visa is also available, which goes into detail on visa conditions to observe.

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