I will be covering ways of making money at university to help fund your studies, as well as sharing my top tips for managing your money.
Part-time jobs tend to fall under two main categories: university-wide jobs and city-wide jobs. A popular example of a university-wide job is a staff member at a campus bar or café. Another example would be an Events Steward. This involves checking tickets, mic-running at public lectures and advertising event flyers around the city. Personally, I have loved my job as a Student Ambassador. It’s a flexible role where I help showcase the University and help students decide if York is the right fit for them by supporting events such as Visit Days for Offer Holders. I have also enjoyed my role as a Captioning Assistant, in which I have subtitled lectures for various departments.
City-wide jobs include (but are not limited to) roles within hospitality and retail. Often, opportunities are advertised in shop windows, so I highly recommend taking a walk around town and throwing your CV in the ring! There are lots of shops, cafés, bars and restaurants around the City of York which hire students during term time, or all the way through the year. You can also get tutoring jobs to support local students with their studies. These can be either in person or online with companies such as MyTutor. These are popular as you can share your expert knowledge of your degree subject!
Internships are advertised via Handshake, a global platform on which employers advertise job openings. Students can tailor their search to help find opportunities that they are best suited for. I secured research internships with York Students in Schools and the School of Natural Sciences. Both allowed me to work on projects that I was passionate about – all whilst being paid! Internships come in all sorts of flavours: term-time, part-time, 8 weeks long, 20 hours a week, and so forth. Always check the fine print and make sure that you can fit it in around your studies.
Things to think about
Before agreeing to a job, I recommend thinking about how much you will be paid, how much time you’re willing to give so as not to disrupt your studies and personal downtime, and why you want to do it. It is also useful to factor in travel time and how expensive it might be to get to your place of work. What benefits can the work offer you? For example, what skills or experience can you gain there which can help you develop or set you up for the future?
Scholarships and bursaries
A university scholarship is a non-repayable financial award usually given to students following a competitive application process. They can also be awarded based on outstanding academic achievements or extracurricular activities. Make sure to visit the website for eligibility criteria and deadlines – this is updated regularly. I was awarded the Laidlaw Research and Leadership Scholarship and the Digital Labs Research Scholarship; two incredible opportunities which allowed me to undertake funded periods of research within teams at the forefront of their respective fields.
A bursary is a non-repayable award given by the University as extra financial help. Unlike a scholarship, bursaries are awarded to students who meet specific set criteria. This is usually relating to personal circumstances, rather than academic achievement. Again, check the website for eligibility criteria and deadlines.
Think ahead! Make sure to put aside money for unavoidable costs, such as rent and food, before deciding what to do with any leftover money. It might be worth downloading the online banking app associated with your bank. This way, you can easily keep track of how much money is coming in and how much is going out. It also gets you into the habit of checking your balance regularly. It may even prompt some good behaviours; like prompting you to get rid of any old or unused subscriptions. Consider having multiple bank accounts, for example, one for everyday outgoings, one for your bills and one for savings.
- Always ask for a student discount – try it whenever you’re out and about, be it at a restaurant or in a clothing shop.
- Do not buy a truckload of textbooks. Even if you’re a Literature student – I see you reaching for the recommended reading list! Usually, books on the reading list are freely available in the library. You can often get an online copy too.
- Consider walking, taking the bus or cycling. Personally, I find it easy to cycle around York because it is flat, safe and very bicycle-friendly.
- Do not pay Council Tax. When the time comes, make sure to follow any instructions and apply to get the fee waived – one of the benefits of being a student!
- Do not compare yourself to others – everyone has a threshold on how much part-time work they can handle alongside their degree. Remember that first and foremost, you are here to get a degree, and that you are responsible for your own studies. In addition to that, your wellbeing is of the utmost importance, and you need to make sure that you have enough time for yourself.