It’s important to earn and save money while in college, whether at the undergraduate or graduate level. Every little bit helps, even if you are just working to pay for your weekend activities. Take advantage of lighter semesters and find a part-time job (or two) to help pay the bills. Keep in mind that it’s important to be strategic about the type of job you chose to be sure that it will do the most for you, both financially and professionally.
Apply for jobs at stores that you like to shop at or where an employee discount would be most beneficial to you. Employee discounts are often as high as 40 or 50 percent on most merchandise and this can be a great perk of a part-time job. However, beware that a retail job can be dangerous if you overindulge and spend your shift shopping.
Although finding a paid internship can be challenging and competitive, the knowledge you gain will be invaluable. Internships can also be a great way to network and make connections within your field. Not to mention, future employers will look highly upon past work experience in your specific field.
Federal Work Study Jobs
If you are eligible for a work study position through your school’s financial aid department, be sure to take advantage of it. Since these jobs tend to be on campus, you can cut down on or completely eliminate transportation costs. Most importantly, university employers understand the demands of being a student and often allow you to do schoolwork during slow shifts. Keep in mind that the maximum number of hours you will be able to work will depend on your total Federal Work Study award.
Tutoring in your specific major is a great way to study and simultaneously earn some extra money. Use your school’s classifieds or other online forums to reach out to other students and post your availability and expertise. If you play a sport or instrument, you can also offer private lessons. Based on experience and expertise, tutors and instructors are often paid high hourly rates for their services.
Although a job at a restaurant may not be the most glamorous option, it can be very lucrative. Restaurants on or close to college campuses are usually bustling with professors, students, and families. They are also a good option if you have a jam-packed class schedule since most restaurant shifts tend to be in the evening.
Although working two jobs in school can be a feasible option, it can also be overwhelming on top of classes and studying. If you chose this route, be sure that it is manageable for you. Keep in mind that it may seem like a great idea at the beginning of the semester when the work load is light, but when due dates for projects, papers, and finals start piling up, you may quickly regret it.