Why bother finding a part-time job whilst at university?
The sweat is beading down your back, you can feel your heart racing, the room is starting to feel suddenly smaller, and their eyes feel like they are hot lasers striking into you.
No, you’re not in an action movie. You’re in an interview for a great graduate job, the one you have been hoping for since before university. But right now there is a problem; they have just asked you about whether you have had any part-time work during your time at university?
You didn’t, you concentrated on your studies. That 1st class degree was all you wanted. But what do you say now? They’re asking about how you can demonstrate your problem solving ability, or when you have worked as part of a team? The only answers you have are from your degree and some activities at college, you didn’t think part-time work would be relevant……
You took that job in the supermarket. Instead, you now take a deep breath and calmly answer:
…Yes, when I was at university I was also working part-time in the Amazing Supermarket Ltd customer services team and this taught me how to prioritise and make decisions. For instance, the time when my manager left me in charge of the department, I called a morning briefing, delegated responsibilities to the staff, decided which cash tills to keep open, and during the day I also successfully monitored, handled and logged the complaints.…….
Phew, it’s in the bag! Well done.
For many students, getting a part time job may be an essential, something to keep the money coming in, to help pay the bills and keep food on the table. Part-time jobs can be an essential source of evidence for many transferable skills; they can be a way of making new friends, especially if you are new to the area; they can be a way of developing new skills you didn’t even know you had; many employers offer flexible hours and staff discounts; and they are also a way of opening up your network of contacts. Oh yes, and not to mention the really obvious - they are a way of funding those fantastic student nights out that you’ll be talking about for years to come.
Grab your CV, head to the Careers and Employability Service (in the Edward Llwyd Centre) on campus for a review, or some help to start writing it. We can also give you some guidance in how to fill out applications or how to conduct yourself at interview, even if it’s just a telephone call or a one-to-one ‘chat’ they are offering you. Why? Because we know those part-time jobs are competitive and they are often one of the most essential parts of funding and being successful in the whole student journey.