If you tell me that you have not thought about part-time jobs when planning to study abroad. YOU ARE LYING!
I have been there. I have been confused. But I ended up securing three part-time jobs and managed them simultaneously during my Master degree at Lancaster University. In this article, I have tried to be as detailed as possible about the different options as an international student.
40% of Times Top 100 employers questioned in the High Fliers study, The Graduate Labour Market in 2020, said that students with no work experience would be not very likely or not at all likely to be successful in their graduate recruitment processes.
First things first, as an international student in the UK, you are only allowed to work for 20hrs a week. For more information about working hours restrictions, this is your link. Make sure you know your employment rights before you apply for a job. Not all students are eligible for a part-time role. Please check the link to learn more.
How much will you get paid? You are entitled to obtain the national minimum wage. As of April 2021, it is £8.91/hour for workers aged above 23. But this will increase or remain the same but SHOULD NOT DECREASE depending on the type of the role. You should apply for a National Insurance (NI) number once you have the Biometric Residence Permit (BRP). Beware. There are a lot of frauds online for this. I lost £90 for the NI application, which is absolutely FREE. Check with your University for some guidance.
For Lancaster University students, ASK (formerly known as Base) is your best place.
You can apply several types of roles, but all of those come under only these three categories.
- University Jobs
- Other Part-Time Jobs
Do you remember the days in college, there will be a group of overhyped organisers for events? (jk 😜). They will be running around to put up the best event for the students and the best promotion for the college too. I was one amongst those during my 5 years of law school. I gained a LOTTTT of exposure and experience, but I was not paid one single penny. But here in the UK, if I had done the same thing for the University, I would have not gotten an educational loan. Lol 😂
I managed to secure 2 part-time jobs and 1 small gig during my Master degree at Lancaster University.
The first one was working as a dresser for the University Winter Graduation. It was a one and a half-day job for around 13 hours in total. Was very excited because I got paid in pounds for the first time.
I loved taking pictures of our beautiful Lancaster University campus. As a matter of fact, I got featured on the university Instagram page many times. The Student Union Digital Content Creation team directly reached out to me on Instagram. They offered me a part-time role. My first event was to cover the South Asian Ball 2020. There were a lot of other small events I covered as part of the role.
I applied for Lancaster University Management School Student Ambassador role, and positively I got through in January 2020. It was an immense pleasure to represent the MSc Management and help prospective students with their questions. I gave presentations to 100s of people, spoke to students one-to-one and helped the department with some activities.
Both the content creation and the student ambassador role was very flexible. There were no fixed hours for both jobs. So, I was able to maintain less than 20 hours.
I firmly believe this should be the priority for most international students.
Benefits of having a University Part-time Job
- Looks very good on your CV
- UK Experience
- Flexible working hours
- Great practice for CV, Cover letter and Interview preparations
Example for the types of roles:
- Student Ambassador
- Digital Content Creator
- Student Union - ( There are a lot of roles, but it depends on the University you will join)
- Marketing Assistant
- English Language Assistant
- Event Staffs
Lancaster University Employment and Recruitment Services is your place to find University Part-time job vacancies.
It is possible to secure an internship both during your term time and during your summer holidays. But there are two different types of internship working hours. They have their own advantages and disadvantages.
1. Fixed Working Hours
- Full-time working hours experience
- Interaction with colleagues and high chances of better networking
- Chances for it to convert full-time
- Industry experience
- Looks really good on your CV
- Fixed pay every month
The only disadvantage is that it is challenging to maintain both studies and work during term time. You will be exhausted at the end of the day.
2. Flexible Working Hours
- Very flexible
- Looks good on your CV
- Can manage during term time
- Networking opportunities
- Industry experience
- Flexibility to have 2 internships simultaneously (depending on your time-management skills)
- Variable pay depending on the hours worked.
- I felt it was hard to find a flexible part-time internship.
In March, I applied to Alan Dick Engineering Ltd's Digital Marketing internship via University's recruitment services portal. Though I was prepared, it was my first ever technical interview. I was super scared. The next day I got a call from the internship officer, revealing the big news that I got selected and specifically mentioned that they liked my 'energy and enthusiasm. I was so happy and started jumping around like a happy puppy. Yeah, 60 seconds later got back to reality and started thinking about the next steps. This was my first internship in the UK. My initial contract was for 3 months, but the company was impressed and extended my contract to 3 more months.
During June, though I had an internship in hand, it was a flexible part-time internship. I felt I could handle more responsibilities as well. I got an opportunity to do an un-paid remote training with Doodlemonk.in. I was desperate to get more experience to up-skill, so I took the chance.
This phase was challenging, but it was very different.
I urge you to start looking for industry experience in the UK even if you have work experience abroad.
If you are planning for Lancaster University, LU Employment and Recruitment Services is your place to find University Part-time internship vacancies.
Other Part-Time Jobs
- Restaurants and Bars
- Working at tills
- Food delivery
- Work at petrol stations
You gain a lot of transferrable skills during these job roles. Make sure to articulate it well in your CV and Cover letter for full-time jobs in a different sector.
The main disadvantage of having these types of part-time jobs is that they will not be flexible. If you have assignments and imminent deadlines, it will be tough.
For undergraduate students, this might be a perfect option. Still, for Masters students, I recommend only the university part-time jobs during the term.
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