Life as a full-time student, part-time worker

By Chloe Sofia, Ivan Ho & Nur Iman Izzah

 

 

Students often consider taking up part-time jobs for various reasons. Some may do it to better manage their expenses, while others may do it to gain more work experience. Here are what three student part-timers had to say about their experiences, taking on part-time jobs while studying.

Making new friends

Besides the obvious benefit of earning some extra cash, there are many other ways in which students can benefit from having part-time jobs.

“I learnt a lot, especially about working with people from different walks of life. I also made some new friends who were also student part-timers,” Loke Hain Eu, 19, a second year student studying at Temasek Polytechnic. She currently works part-time as a sales assistant at Gardens by the Bay. Loke emphasised on how part-time jobs give students the opportunity to learn new things and meet new people.

 

Learning new skills

Nur Zakirah Bte Nur Azman, 18, is a part-time barista at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. She added that part-time jobs also allow students to pick up new technical skills in regards to the industry that they decide to work in. Being a barista herself, she learned how to operate a coffee machine, which is something she would not have accomplished if it were not for her job.
 

(PHOTO: Cher Liew Qian Er) A quote by Nur Zakirah Bte Noor Azman

Personal development

Taking up part-time jobs can also help students to cultivate some of the qualities they would need when entering the workforce.

“I learnt the appropriate working attitude and developed myself for the working world,” said Zakirah.

As a part-time sales associate at Typo, Sarah Alysha, 18, added: “Going to work has also made me feel more independent, because I have started managing my own finances. Without a job, I do not think I would be as independent and disciplined as I am now.”

Sarah also mentioned how being a student part-timer helps discover hidden talents. She said: “Working has allowed me to realise that there were some things I did not even know I was good at. For example, I found out that I was actually pretty good at things like calculating inventory shrinkage. This is something I would have never realised if I had not gotten this job.”

She added that being a student part-timer can also be a confidence booster.

“Since I am the only worker at my store, I have to make sure that I know how to manage everything on my own. That added sense of pressure has helped me develop a more confident self image,” said Sarah.

 

The downsides

These are just some of the many benefits that come with being a student part-timer. However, according to Loke, being a student part-timer is “not all rainbows and unicorns”.

“It can be extremely tiring,” said Loke.

The high levels of stress and fatigue were things that all three students mentioned, when asked about the downsides of being student part-timers. 

 

(PHOTO: Cher Liew Qian Er) A quote from Sarah Alysha.

“During submission week, it gets a little hard to juggle between school and work. At my company, I am required to work for a minimum amount of time per week. So, I cannot possibly not turn up for work just because I have submissions,” said Sarah.

According to Zakirah, the stress of having to cope with studies while working as a part-timer can also take a toll on our bodies.

“We can tire ourselves out too much without even realising it. Your body will sometimes just break down on you,” she said.

Another downside to being a student part-timer is that it can also affect relationships.

“When I am too preoccupied with work, I tend to forget about my friends and family. I start spending less time with them and sometimes forget about my duties and responsibilities as a friend or family member,” said Zakirah.

Loke advised that students should “do their research” before committing to a part-time job, so that they know exactly what they are getting themselves into.

Sarah also noted that as a student part-timer, you must “learn how to balance between school and work, because ultimately, you are still a full-time student”.

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