If you’re like most students, you will probably find yourself in need of some additional income throughout your degree. Whether you work during the school year or just during the summer, most students will have to get a job at some point. I found a job pretty quickly when I was looking. I got a full time job the summer after my second year. My job timeline looked a little something like this:
Year 1 (2015) : No job
Summer 2016: Pumping Gas
Year 2 (2016): Worked for IT and as a cashier on campus
Summer 2017: Office Assistant at the University
Year 3 (2017): IT and Office Assistant
Summer 2018: Student Office Assistant
Year 4 (2018): Student Office Assistant
I worked quite a bit during my degree because I liked to keep busy and it paid off because I was able to save a lot of money up. It wasn’t always something glamorous or something to brag about but I did it and it was really beneficial. It also gave me a lot of job experience that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. All of my jobs were on campus because that’s what was easiest for me as I didn’t have a car and I lived on Campus.
Check your faculty of job openings. Whether you’re in Arts, Science, Engineering, Kinesiology, whatever! Check out the careers page at your university and look for student positions. I got my job as an office assistant with no prior experience. I think I got the job because I was a really good student and I was in the Faculty. They gave preference to students who were working on a degree in that faculty. This is a great option because they work your schedule around your courses and my supervisors were very flexible when I had exams. I was allowed to work up to 20 hours a week (which I definitely took advantage of) and it was a great job. I didn’t have to work evenings or weekends which is a pretty sweet gig for a student and I was making a few dollars above minimum wage.
The student union at my school paid the executives for their time. This is something you would probably have to get involved in very early (in your first year) because you have to climb your way to the top. This is great for people interested in politics. I don’t have first hand experience at this but I do know lots of people who did it that were my age.
Businesses on Campus
There were are a ton of businesses on campus that hire students. I was a cashier for a convenience store on campus while I was there but there are many other opportunities at different places. The bookstore on campus will likely hire student employees, especially during the start of the year when they are really busy. Our bookstore hires temp staff to deal with the rush in January and September. There was a bar on my campus that students worked at as well as several restaurants, coffee shops, and fast food places. A lot of on campus businesses were run by the student union so they made a point of hiring students.
If you’re the quiet type, see if your library hires students. They may hire student to re shelve books ( university libraries are huge) or work the front desk. Go into the library and ask! This one is hit or miss because some libraries require you to have special courses to be an actual librarian but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other positions open for students.
If you live in residence at the University there are a few opportunities there too
You could apply to be a resident advisor. You have to be very outgoing and have great leadership skills for this job. I knew a couple of RA’s during my time in residence and they were all very fun and hardworking people and had the qualities that made them great for this position.
Residence security is another option. This would require late nights and dealing with rowdy kids coming home from parties but if you don’t mind that, then security could be a great job for you!
The third option is residence IT which is what I did. There were students from each building that dealt with network issues for the students living in that building. This was a very fun and cool job.
Residence Office/Front Desk
The last residence job I want to talk about is the front desk. The residence I lived in had an office and students would man the front desk. They would help with mail, lost keys, checking in etc.
Jobs with Recreation Services
Reffing intramural sports
Front desk at the gym
Fitness staff at the gym
My university had grants for students who wanted to go research during the summer months. You can apply for these pretty early (the deadline for ours was around February) and you get a grant for the entire summer. I know some people who went all around the world for these grants!
I have never been a server myself because I know I would be terrible at it but I know lot’s of people who have done it and I hear about the fact that it has really good tips. It’s not easy and the hours can be long and unpredictable but it’s a common choice for a lot of students. Plus, certain places might give you free food during your shift.
This is another job that might not have ideal hours or pay but it’s a job nonetheless! This is another job where you might get some perks like a store discount. Like most customer service jobs it’s likely to come with challenges but if you are really into the items that they sell, it could be fun!
I did this during high school and it was actually a super fun experience. I liked the people that I worked with and most of the time the job was great! Winter was a bit of a bummer so if you live in Canada and are considering doing this, make it a summer job.
This is something that you’ll have to get a little bit of education for but once you get it, bar tending can be good money. This could mean late nights but we’re all in university anyways so that shouldn’t be a new concept.
I coached gymnastics in high school but I lived in a small town that didn’t have a lot of opportunity for that kind of thing. Once I got to university, the opportunities were endless! If you have played a sport all your life try to find a team that you can coach or help out with as a part time gig. It’s likely to be fun, rewarding, and provide you with a little bit of cash!
Uber/Lyft/Skip the Dishes Driver
With the rise of delivery and ride sharing services, the job possibilities there have increased dramatically. If you are looking for something to do in the evenings or on weekends, this could be something for you. Some of these places also have call centres where you can work as a customer service agent.