Working While in College


You need to find a job.  There’s simply no way around it.  You need to finance all or part of your education, or have enough money to feed and clothe yourself. You’ve already thought about the potential impacts on your educational career, and you know that you should not take a brutal course load or you’ll get burned out.  Good.  Now that that is out of the way, it is time to decide where you should work.

The first thing that I am going to suggest is to avoid retail sales or working in fast-food.  Now before you get all defensive, I am in no way putting down these kinds of jobs.  They are honest, hardworking ways of earning a living.  However, they aren’t going to do much for your future career and aspirations.  Instead of just getting any old job that will pay the bills and keep your belly from growling, why not choose one that will do all that AND help you to build an interesting and impressive resume?

If you know what your major is and what you want to do with yourself, try to snag a job that is related to what you are studying.  If you’re studying to be a veternarian, why not try to get a job in a vet’s office?  Even if you’re just an office assistant or receptionist, it will still get you some more knowledge of the field.  Or, you could try to snag a cool job working at a zoo or something else out of the ordinary. 

Don’t know what you want to do with your life?  Haven’t got a clue what your major will be?  Don’t worry!  You can still find something cool and interesting to do that will help to pad your resume.  You just gotta do your research.

If you need a job now and don’t have the time to find the “perfect” resume dazzling job, don’t fret.  Take the job at Mickey D’s or Old Navy for the time being.  In the meantime, however, be on the look out for something that will be more beneficial to your future and make you stand out from the crown.  It might take some time to find, but it will be worth it in the end.


2 Responses to “Working While in College”

  1. Ryan Says:

    Or sign up for co-op!

    I’m not too sure about colleges in the USA, but in Canada, some universities have co-op programs. This is basically where you take some time off of school and find a job in your field.

    I’m at the University of Waterloo in Computer Engineering. Co-op is a required part of my course. Every other term (each term is four months), I apply to and work for a company. Right now I’m working for Research in Motion as a computer programmer. I’m making about $18/hour, (Wages increase with academic/co-op terms. I’m just a second year student.) and I have my own project, so it’s very enjoyable. Plus, I get to work with real engineers.

    Also, the Professional Engineers of Ontario (and probably others) requires 4 years of engineering experience before they will let you join, and the co-op terms you do in the second half of your university career count towards that, so it’s basically like getting a free year towards your PEng.

    Note that not all universities do co-op the same way. Some do it for a full year after your third year in school, etc. Waterloo’s got a great system though.

  2. Julie Says:

    Interesting! Thanks for the info. I’m sure it will be helpful…..