Having worked part time alongside studying for my A Levels, I suddenly panicked when I moved to Sheffield to start my undergraduate degree. I frantically questioned how I was going to support myself and my future student spending habits whilst at University, without the reliance on a part-time job. Having to leave my previous job at home, one of my key priorities within my first couple of weeks at University was to find a new one. Thus I found myself (amongst the madness of Fresher’s Week!) standing inside the Student Jobshop, anxiously asking for advice on where to look for work, whilst also questioning how the Careers Service could help me. Thankfully a position arose shortly afterwards for me to join the Careers Service in the Student Jobshop.
Having a part-time job throughout the duration of my studies has had a number of benefits, and without it I simply wouldn’t be able to fund my living costs and spending habits. Having the extra income helps to ensure that I can socialise with my friends, and join the gym, clubs and societies; essentially it enables me to make the most of my time at University.
Many people talk about jobs and other extra-curricular activities as a way of enhancing your CV and of course this is true. However, since working at University I have also recognised the significance of the skills I have gained through having a part-time job. Not only is the enhancement of certain skills, such as my communication skills, IT skills and customer service skills, making me more employable, I have also found that these skills are facilitating my own personal development. I now have more confidence and self-awareness, which I am benefitting from throughout my studies and in everyday life.
The Skills for Work Certificate truly highlighted the skills I was gaining through my part-time job and how those transferable skills will help me in my chosen future career. I am greatly aware that my part-time job is in no way related to the career I would like to undertake after graduation, however I have come to realise that this doesn’t necessarily matter. The skills that I have gained will certainly go on to help me when applying for graduate jobs and during interviews, whilst also proving to be significantly useful and applicable to my future career.
In addition to having a part-time job, I have also undertaken a number of other extra-curricular activities such as holding positions on different student committees, as well as being involved in Sheffield Volunteering. These roles and opportunities have allowed me to have a greater involvement in the Student’s Union and wider Sheffield community, whilst enabling me to develop a wide variety of skills and providing me with opportunities that I would never have received from simply doing my course.
Having worked at last year’s Part-Time Jobs and Volunteering Fair, I would advise any student hoping to increase their employability through the development of essential skills and qualities, to attend this year’s fair on Wednesday 9th October (11am-3pm) in the Octagon. It offers a wide variety of opportunities, both paid and voluntary, that can significantly enhance your time and the experiences that you have whilst at the University of Sheffield. I have had two of the greatest years of my life so far whilst studying here and I truly believe that my proactivity and involvement across the University has greatly contributed towards my experience.
Ellie (Student Assistant at the Student Jobshop)
The Student Jobshop in located on level 3 of the Students' Union, next to SSiD. To find out more about you can make your University of Sheffield experience unforgettable, take a look at the Experience Sheffield website.