Hi all, I’m Meg and I’m a Masters student studying Applied Clinical Psychology. I also studied my undergraduate degree in Psychology.
Over my time at Bath I’ve had quite a few part-time jobs to financially support my studies. Today I’m going to talking about this part-time work - what sort of jobs I’ve done, how to find work, and the pros and cons of working alongside studying.
So a quick run through of what I currently do for work:
• Postgraduate Student Ambassador: Helping with digital events and chats, responding to posts on The Student Room, writing blog posts (like this one!), and speaking at postgraduate open days.
• Graduate Teaching Assistant: In first semester, I ran in-person teaching sessions for undergraduate students and, this semester, I’m marking presentations and essays for an undergraduate module.
• Wellbeing Ambassador: Supporting events and activities the wellbeing service run, such as running pet therapy walks last year!
• Assistant Psychologist: This is my main job, where I support clinical psychologists in conducting autism diagnostic assessments.
In previous years, I’ve also been a Support Worker, a Cleaner, and a Freshers’ Week Events Manager.
How to find part-time work:
So, the first place I’d look is https://www.thesubath.com/jobs/. This is where a lot of jobs at the university or the Students’ Union (SU) are listed, as well as jobs local to Bath. The search function is so useful and all the information about each job is listed clearly. I’d really recommend finding work with the university or SU, as your employer will easily understand that you have studying commitments and the work will be more flexible around this.
Otherwise, my work outside of uni has come from contacts I’ve made through placement or other jobs I’ve done – it’s always worth reaching out to any contacts you’ve made to see if they have any part-time vacancies! Indeed and Reed are also good websites to take a look at to find work outside of the university.
Benefits of part-time work:
I’m going to break this down into 3 main points. Firstly, the obvious, financial benefits. Being a student can be expensive, and it’s always great to have a little bit of an income so your bank balance isn’t just a constant decline. However, if financial difficulty is your main motivation behind seeking part-time work - the university offers a large number of scholarships and bursaries, so do check to see if you’re eligible to apply to any of these first!
Secondly, maintaining a part-time job alongside your studies can be a great way to show your time management skills to future employers. As well as this, regardless of what work you’re doing, you’ll always gain some transferable skills – whether in organisation, team-work, or creative-thinking. Even applying to jobs is a useful experience; when you leave university, you’ll have a CV ready to go and you’ll have plenty of interview experience under your belt!
Last but not least, part-time work is a fantastic way to meet others. You get to meet other students or colleagues (virtually or in-person), which is always nice given current lockdown restrictions. On top of this, you never know what opportunities can come from contacts you make within the job. For instance, when I was working as a Freshers’ Week Events Manager, a contact from that job meant I was asked to start managing the university’s postgraduate Student Room account!
Challenges of part-time work:
That being said, working alongside studying can be pretty tiring. It’s important to make sure your employer understands that your degree is your priority. What I do is communicate to my employers when my university deadlines are, so they’re aware of the times where I will be less responsive to work emails.
It’s also so important to ensure you have some time to yourself – prioritise yourself and your mental health above anything else. I find having a schedule really important for this, so I make sure to block out certain times throughout the week where I won’t study or work, I will make sure I do something else I enjoy.