To be a working student or to not be; that is the question.
Something that many students contemplate, or even struggle with, is deciding whether or not they should work alongside their studies. Should I focus on my classes or become a working student? Well, the good news is, you don't have to choose. You can do both! While there may be some good arguments for not being a working student, like the fact that you might find it challenging to manage your time well, we believe that being a working student is one of the best things you can do. What's more, time management is both doable and a fixable problem. There are lots of different reasons why being a working student can help you in both your university life and later career, some of them including gaining experience and networking, as well as making some extra money. Want to find out why you should consider, or even start, working as a student? Keep on reading.
1. Experience is key
One of the most important aspects of working as a student is that you have the opportunity to gain experience. If you decide you want to start working part-time in the field of your studies or a possible future job, that's awesome! Perhaps you want to apply as an intern or a part-time student worker, which allows you to work fewer hours per week but still maximize your experience. Plus, experience is something that employers look for when you are applying for your first entry-level job. It's all the more reason to boost your CV with experience from your student days.
2. Network like a working student
Not only can you gain valuable working experience, but working part-time can present you with multiple networking opportunities. We already discussed what networking is and why it's good to do. Now you can go out and use it! Networking is the key to establishing friendships and business relationships with other interns and mentors at your internships. Your network contacts can be reference points for you later in your career when you might want to start working there or in similar places full-time. One great place for networking is events where you can prove your skills and abilities. If you are a student with a technical background, you should definitely consider participating in hackathons.
3. Working students earn extra money
If you don't do it for the experience, do it for the extra money! You don't have to start paying back your student finance until you graduate, so you could save some of the money to pay back your loans if you are motivated enough. Or you might be making money towards your rent or bills. And finally, maybe you just want to fly off on a last-minute weekend holiday. In either of those situations, a little extra money doesn't hurt, correct? With that in mind, being a working student teaches you a lot about budgeting. You'll soon realize that managing your money takes a lot of discipline, and your budgeting journal will become your best friend. You'll never be able to enjoy a €3.90 coffee again.
4. It's all about those transferable skills
If you don't want to work as an intern, you can also find work at cafés, bars, restaurants, supermarkets; you name it. Jobs like these usually offer more flexible hours, perfect for your student schedule. Moreover, don't think that just because you aren't interning or working part-time in the industry of your choice, your experience isn't as valuable! On the contrary, you'll be able to demonstrate transferable skills like communication, teamwork, and leadership.
5. Be ambitious
Being an ambitious student means taking charge of your financial situation and setting yourself up for success. Exploring various avenues to earn extra income and simultaneously opening the best high-yield savings account can enhance your financial stability and pave the way for a brighter future. Whether it's through part-time jobs, freelancing, or online ventures, harnessing your ambition and combining it with smart financial strategies will empower you to achieve your goals and build a solid financial foundation. Your ambition knows no bounds—let it fuel your financial growth.
Finally, your status as a working student will show your future employers that you are ambitious as hell! Not everyone has the guts or the time-management skills to work while they study. You should be proud of yourself that you balance your life well and still have a great experience as a student in the Netherlands!
As a working student, work-life balance is most important.
While there are many great things about working while studying, managing student work is very important. There's no pressure for you to start working the second you step onto that campus as a first-year freshman. You're there to enjoy your studies and learn how to live independently. Take on work you know you can handle. What we mean by that is that you need to be realistic about working hours: you cannot work 30 hours as a full-time student. You should be able to balance your work, home, social, and most importantly, student life. Remember, your studies are your priority at this point!
Explore part-time jobs for international students on College Life Work.