The benefits of having a job while at uni are abundant – money, experience, and meeting new people are just a few of them, but one of the major downsides is the time taken away from studying. One great option is to work for the SU or University – there are some really fun and fulfilling jobs around which can be flexible with your schedule, are right on your doorstep, and have supportive, sympathetic employers who understand the pressures of being a student.
1. Alumni Fund Student Caller
The university’s Alumni Fund collects donations from alumni to support students and the university by awarding scholarships, funding improvements to university facilities, providing grants for society events, and more. The team responsible for working with alumni on this includes students, who speak to alumni on the phone and ultimately encourage them to consider donating to the fund to help the next generation of students. It’s a rewarding job as you know your work has helped future students, and comes with interesting conversations as you’re able to talk to people who were at Sheffield everything from a few years ago to many decades ago!
2. Student ambassador
Student Ambassadors are needed to help make things run smoothly when potential students visit for open days and interviews. If you’re enthusiastic about uni and your department, this is a great opportunity to talk about it non-stop, in a way that will help people make big decisions, and promote your department. It’s a really flexible job as some departments let you sign up for as many days as you like without being committed to working all of them. Departments hire for these roles independently but if you haven’t seen any ads you can ask around to find out who co-ordinates the visit days. The University also has its own more general ambassador scheme.
3. Summer research projects
The Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) scheme gives students the chance work with an academic on research over the summer holiday, in exchange for a stipend. Students then take part in an exhibition showcasing their work – the experience is akin to PhD study and can really help you with applications for postgraduate courses. Some departments have their own version of the scheme, and many supervisors would be happy to work with a student on a more informal basis – if there are any areas of your department’s work you’re particularly interested in, it may be worth asking if you could get involved with something like this.
4. Student communications ambassador
This is the role through which you get to contribute posts to this blog, and write about a whole variety of things which interest you. It’s worth noting that this is not technically a paid job but once you’ve written a couple of articles you can collect Amazon vouchers in return for your work, so as long as you’re happy spending your earnings that way, it more or less ticks the “job” box! This is the most flexible of the opportunities here, as there aren’t set hours and you write the articles when it fits in with you.
I’ve written about these from experience as I’ve done all of them at some point, but there are lots more out there, with something to suit everyone. Working in SU outlets like Bar One is an obvious one, Student Associates for Learning and Teaching work with staff on projects to improve university teaching & learning, and there are outreach initiatives like Engineering Champions and Discover Us, for those who are interested in working with young people. Working as a Residence Mentor in halls isn’t a paid job but has the benefit of free university accommodation, giving you one less thing to worry about financially.