Alternative ways to earn
Most students like to find paid work while they're studying - not just for some welcome extra cash but to meet new friends and learn something new. As long as you are careful not to work too many hours or to let your studies suffer, it's a great way to learn skills that will be useful in your future careers such as handling money, customer service, listening and communicating clearly, working independently, being part of a team, and sticking to deadlines. Bar and shop work are popular choices but there are also more unusual jobs out there if you'd prefer something that really stands out on your CV.
BSc (Hons) Animal Behaviour and Welfare
I have had several jobs to increase my experience and supplement my income to the point where my student loan is only needed for rent. The companies I have worked for are Alton Towers as a food and beverage host where you are able to improve interaction with members of the public as well as upselling skills. For anyone with an interest in the food chain it gives you the experience of working with the food produced and what the consumer looks for. With Alton Towers I worked at weekends and some holidays. I have done work at a farm in Shropshire doing some general stockmanship on a dairy - I worked in the mornings before my lectures. The final job I did was at kennels in Stoke on Trent working on weekends - here I learnt some vital skills about fundraising and other general husbandry. I developed a close enough relationship with the charity to offer my services as a recruiter for them. This is both a benefit for them and me I get more experience which I can put on my CV and they get potential recruits to join their business. I do this mostly by using social media to promote the organisation. My end goal with the charity is to work towards being involved enough in my spare time to move into a role as trustee as this role is voluntary but still beneficial for my career development.
Christina Faulder, from Lancashire, has two part-time jobs, one of which is working at Stoke City Football Club as a match day steward. "I work in hospitality in the players' lounge," explains Christina. "Each shift is 8.5 hours long at the weekend and 6.5 hours long if there is a week match. Other opportunities also present themselves in non-football events such as The World's Strongest Man event and a Rod Stewart gig. Training is offered alongside pay, so I have therefore gained my NVQ level 2 in customer care and my NVQ level 2 in spectator safety. Communication and team working skills also improve with this job (as well as having a job to place on your CV). I am currently paid £8.40 an hour and you do not have to turn up to every match if you are unable to."
The 23-year-old also works as a student ambassador at Harper Adams University. "This involves giving tours, speaking to prospective students and is flexible around my university work. The work gives me something to place onto my CV as well as improving communication skills - and it gives you a break from your studies. Sometimes this break actually helps productivity rather than hinders. For this job I am paid £7.50 an hour.
"As long as you are on the ball with your academic work having an extra job has never been a problem for me. It allows you to go outside the community of Harper Adams and talk about something besides exams and assignments, which I have always found to be a huge positive. The extra money also reduces the strain of some financial worries which means when you do go out with friends you can really enjoy your time rather than worry you are spending money you do not have."
BSc (Hons) Food and Consumer Studies
Tori Jeffery, from West Yorkshire, works on campus, supporting Emily, a fellow student with multiple disabilities, and helping her to live independently. The pair live together so Tori, 21, is always on hand to offer help where needed. "I'm developing a good understanding of people's needs, and the appreciation that you get from simple tasks. I'm also improving my organisational skills and being pro-active in finding solutions to make her daily life easier."
I found this job through my housemates' parents; they approached me as they knew I had a background in care work and I agreed to do it. It just seemed perfect to fit in around uni life. I have been in a carer's role before with Radfield Home Care in my first year at Harper so I know what people want from a carer. This just happened to be a similar job without having to commute anywhere! I do enjoy working with Emily and it is rather nice to be paid to do something which I would have happily done as a housemate living with her anyway."
BSc (Hons) Agriculture with Mechanisation
William, from Bristol, works as an agency HGV driver at the weekends during term time and the holidays. "I work through an agency called LGV drivers who then contract me out to various haulage companies including Culina, DPD and Morgan McLernon. The number of hours I work depends on what time I start work and how many runs I get but is generally between 20-30 hours over the two days. It has benefited me greatly as I have become much more aware of operating large vehicles and how to drive especially when in the car around large vehicles. My geographical knowledge of the UK has also improved greatly since I started driving.
It has improved my employability greatly as it shows employers, particularly farmers, that I am capable of operating large equipment and that I have a good work ethic and time management skills and that I am determined as it is a hard industry to break into at my age. My duties at work include preparing the tractor unit and trailer as well as checking the load is secure and correct. I am responsible for the paper work accompanying the load, and at the end of the shift I have to check the vehicle over and report any problems. Balancing it with my uni life is fairly easy as the agency is very flexible about when I work."
BSc (Hons) Off Road Vehicle Design
Ludo, from Norfolk, has started up two companies alongside his engineering studies. "One is a compressor hire and servicing company which hires out diesel powered machines mainly used for sand blasting. The second is a machining service that manufactures lift kits for off-road vehicles through an online store. Both easily provide me with an income more than suitable for studying. Both easily provide me with an income more than suitable for studying at university. I am in the process of creating a website for the compressors, I have purchased 16 machines during the last two years which I rent out, I supply servicing for the compressors and sand blasting equipment which I mainly do at weekends at the customer's sites. The lift kit machining service is run from a workshop at the house that I am living in near the university."
BSc (Hons) Wildlife Conservation with Natural Resource Management
I was looking for a flexible and fun opportunity which would fit around my studies, allowing me to work as many hours as I like and take time out for when I needed to focus on revision and assignments. I also wanted it to be fun, get me out to meet people and allow me to be creative... I found just that as a representative for South Hill Jewellery/Youngevity.
My job is to promote a beautiful range of customisable jewellery; you pick a locket and add charms, Swarovski Crystals and more. An inscription service is coming soon so I have been looking at getting graduation lockets created e.g. Harper 2015-2019 and have a mortar board or charm of a personal choice. I am soon to be adding an extended range such spa products, mineral makeup, essential oils, fashion, health chocolate, health and nutrition, crafts. But you don't have to promote ALL of these; you just promote what you want.
I do this by running social parties, attending events, sharing online and through social media, retail outlets and networking. This is a nationwide opportunity, so you can work this business anywhere; at uni, at home, on holiday etc. The hours are flexible to suit you.
You develop communication skills, PR and marketing skills, sales experience, creativity, people skills and build your confidence, all of which are very transferable.
It is a fun and friendly company, no pressures, you just do as much as you like. I enjoy getting to travel to events and working with my team. What you put in, you get out. It's great for people who have enthusiasm and drive.
The smallest investment is £18 to get started depending on which product a person wishes to promote. Feel free to visit my FB page to get an idea of what I do and the other links to view the products. I am not into pressure sales, just a chilled out conservation student who loves sharing healthy and sparkly products.
BSc (Hons) Countryside and Environmental Management
I've secured a job at The Fox, a traditional pub restaurant not far from Harper Adams. I do two nights a week and one day at the weekend. It keeps me on the ball, provides a break from uni work, I meet local people and learn valuable people skills required for future life. Having a job whilst at uni is great, it shows you're an organised person with good time management skills and my grades haven't suffered at all. I really enjoy working and the money benefits are quite handy too!! I'm also a student ambassador working on campus at Harper Adams.
BSc (Hons) Bioveterinary Science
To further his ambition to become a veterinary surgeon Connor, from Leicestershire, has chosen various part-time jobs that will help him develop the skills he will need to support his application. "I work on a farm full time during the summer, including cattle work and tractor driving. I also lamb during Easter, feeding ewes, practical lambing, tagging, castrating, and tail docking. I go home at the end of every month to locomotion and condition score cows for a dairy herd. This involves a full day of scoring then computerising the data to send to a vet for further analysis. I want to become a veterinary surgeon so this experience is crucial for my application and CV in general, not just earning money."
FdSc Countryside Management
Danni, from Shropshire, juggles not one but four jobs alongside her university studies - proving she has great organisational and time management skills! She works for her family's forestry business, is a student ambassador for Harper Adams, works in a National Trust tea room and is also a promotional team member for Capital FM: "We go to loads of different events to talk about Capital, take photos and get people to enter our competitions. This can involve anything from taking over shopping centres and university fairs to working at concerts, festivals and our Club Capital nights. You're also hired out through Capital as an unbranded promotional team for other companies, where I've done shifts for organisations such as Keep Wales Tidy. It is a zero hour contract which works well for me as I can just let them know the days I'm free, which can vary each week while at uni! This job has been great for gaining confidence when talking to people, especially becoming a team leader and communicating with important clients over the phone and in person on shift; also time keeping and making sure all the other team members are on track and that targets for the day's competitions and photos are being met."