Relying on savings and loans while studying is, for many, a fast track to financial difficulty. Students, especially those living and studying in London, quickly realise that the maintenance loans provided by Student Finance England are not always enough for the semester. If they want a certain level of financial comfort, they must supplement their loans with part-time work, or they risk falling into their overdraft.   

Endsleigh, an insurance company created by the National Union for Students (NUS), conducted a student survey in 2015; the results showed 77% of students worked to fund their studies, and almost half of those surveyed used an overdraft to supplement their funding. 

Indeed, money has become a severe preoccupation for students; Endsleigh produced another report in July 2017 stating: “Freshers rank ‘managing my money’ as their top concern, above achieving academic success.” For many students, the benefits of maintaining a job while studying are considerable. Today we discuss a few tips for keeping your part-time work, study and social plates spinning. We’ll also mention some of the benefits of having a job while studying. 

Get Organised

It’s easy to forget about booking holiday from part-time work until later in the year. But then exams and assignments creep up, and it’s already too late. Our advice is to look at your timetable, assignment schedule and examination dates as soon as possible. Then you can plan your leave (paid and unpaid) around those dates. There’s no excuse for missing an assignment; likewise, there’s no excuse for not turning up to work (unless there are extenuating circumstances, of course). Plan early and avoid the stress!

Benefit: Looking at a whole year of work (paid and study) can help you get perspective on just how much needs to be done. Organisational skills transfer through to professional and personal spheres and will continue to be useful for many, many years.  

Shape Your Part-time Work Around Your Future Profession  

To treat a retail job as mere means of making money is fine. However, to get the most out of your time working, try to apply the technical and transferable skills you’ve gained while studying. If you’re studying business, try and implement new strategies to the various business practices like customer service. If you see a strategic shift is making a positive impact in the business, speak with management about how this has benefitted the company and its customers. 

Benefit: Building your CV profile, especially for your first professional role, can be challenging. By applying the skills employers want to see in a part-time role, you’ll give yourself plenty to write about when it comes to applying. Employers are also bound to be impressed by the initiative you’ve shown.   

Make (Appropriate) Use of Those Extra Hours  

Studying at a higher education level usually means less time spent in the classroom. If you’ve come straight from full-time education, you will soon see how different studying at higher education is. During the first year of study, the workload can seem quite manageable; however, as you progress you’re likely to find more and more of those ‘free hours’ are eaten away by wrapping your head around increasingly complex topics and theories. If you start working while studying, make sure you keep a clear focus on what’s more important – don’t over commit to earning money, and be ready to consider talking to your manager about dropping part-time work hours when study topics that are particularly challenging arise.

Benefit: Choosing between part-time work and study can be difficult, particularly if you enjoy a certain level of financial comfort; however, getting a good grade can make a huge difference when applying for jobs (short and long-term). Deciding what’s important – money or study – will have you thinking about long-term objectives. This will become an increasingly important in later life.  

Want to study a higher education course but worried about finance? Speak with our course advisors today and get the answers you need to make a great choice for your professional future.  

UKCBC is hosting an AAT open day this Thursday, 7th December. If you are considering studying an accounting qualification, the open day provides an excellent opportunity for you to learn more about our AAT coursesRegister for UKCBC’s AAT open day today. 

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