Students & Money: Never the twain shall meet?

Students and money, two things famous for rarely keeping company.

When you’re at uni money is something you will often find haemorrhaging out of your pockets, whether it be on an ill-advised night out or because you forgot to make a shopping list and so end up throwing whatever takes your fancy into the basket.

However, there are ways of saving your bank account from the dreaded £0.00.

I’ve spent the last few Saturdays working as a Student Guide on Applicant Days (Note: this is how I’m currently avoiding the dreaded overdraft) and questions about employment opportunities at uni come up very frequently, so today I’m going to try and cover all of the main options you have and include some thoughts from students about their jobs.

  1. Working for the University

Working for your uni is often one of the easiest and most student-friendly ways of earning some cash during term time.

There are quite a few options available (at least at UEA) which include working at the university run food outlets, giving guided tours to visitors, and helping raise money for the university by ringing alumni. UEA pays the new Living Wage (although I disagree with this government’s definition of the Living Wage, but that’s by-the-by) so it’s often a good way of getting a job that doesn’t require many hours and is flexible to fit around your studies.

  1. Working for the Student Union

Personally I have never done this so I shall have to defer to the opinion of my housemate Richard who currently works in the SU shop.

“I found the experience an interesting one as I get to meet new people and learn some new things along the lines of management and communication. It’s great to feel part of a community.”

The SU offers a range of jobs from baristas in their café to working as a crew member for LCR gigs (apparently you sometimes get to see big name bands for free…).

I know a lot of students who work with the SU and by all accounts it’s a great gig – if you can get it that is. There are a lot of students and only a limited number of jobs so there is a fair amount of competition.

  1. And lastly – Finding a job in Norwich

As most of my friends are drama students very few of them work in town as it can be hard to find places that are flexible enough to work around rehearsals. However, if you’re willing to set aside a certain amount of hours in your week on a regular basis then there are always places hiring.

This can also be the riskiest option as unlike the previous two employers, businesses in town are rarely geared or designed to work around student employees. But in the end it really depends on what work you can find.

Hopefully this post was helpful for anyone starting uni next year. I’m going to try and write my next few posts also around the questions that applicants frequently ask me on Open Days.

As always, feel free to ask questions in the comments section or email me.


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