Student blog post

Need a job? Try working for the university as a student member of staff

Danila writes about some of the jobs she's had while studying at university.

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Work experience is incredibly important. It is something that will give you transferable skills you will be using your entire career. It can also be very much a necessity to be able to live in a time with a cost-of-living crisis.

As students, we are very restricted on time in order to commit to our degrees. That makes it particularly hard to find good employment to fit around your studies and still have a reliable source of income. The best thing I have ever done is work for the university.

Naturally, the roles are built around student study times and are quite flexible for the benefit of students. Balancing schedules is tricky enough, but studying and working on campus makes it a lot easier! And it is also easier to schedule your shifts around your classes as it is usually a short walk on campus to get to your assigned spot.

To give an example of what that could look like, these are some of the jobs I have done since the start of 2021:

Student Ambassador

I mostly worked on supporting events like Welcome, Open Days, Seats app support etc. Essential, whenever something is happening (which is always) and they need students, you get an email and you can pick up shifts or not. You can also reach out if there is a period when you have more free time, so they keep you in mind. It is a great way to have a casual commitment as you can go months without working and focus on exams but still earn enough to make a difference! The work is fun and engaging and you can be your authentic self while representing the university. The more shifts you pick up, the more work gets offered your way! I know students who fully support themselves from core ambassador work. And I have never had a bad shift., You get a lot of (paid) training on how to keep yourself and others safe as you work and you spend a lot of time chatting to students, signposting them to the right place to go and leading campus tours.

Library Student Helper

I was also lucky enough to have regular hours working in the Create Space in the library, where I helped students use all the equipment in the space safely. My main job was to teach students how to use equipment like 3D printers, embroidery machines etc. When on shift, I was available to support and help anyone with any little personal or uni project they needed the space for. There are also lots of supplies free for anyone to use. Roles like this normally get advertised through emails so make sure you check on the University of Dundee website and you might end up with some of the best experiences you could hope for.

Creating content for the university on student life

This is a new role for me that I am just now getting started with. But I am excited to be able to share my experience, pass on some tips and tricks and hopefully help someone get excited about student life in Dundee! And I get to add a little bit to my safety net fund here and there as it is a paid opportunity. I am especially excited to be making content in my final year when I am working on projects I am truly passionate about and have a bit more to offer back to the student community.

I know there are so many more opportunities for students that you can have a look at such as working for DUSA as bar staff or event support for weeks around graduation, so while I have not done it myself it can be worth looking into.

Get involved!

Go out, meet people, see what they are up to! Who knows, maybe one of them will ask you to tag along to an event or to join something that is going on. It might lead to something great!

Keeping an eye on your emails and the student newsletter is a great way to hear about opportunities like this. Also check out social media, campus events, and posters plastered everywhere – if you want to find it, you just need to look around.

I have truly loved working for the university and staying on campus as it made it a lot more manageable to earn while studying. It also made me more knowledgeable about my community and has taught me so much!

For more information on jobs, check out the Careers Service guides

Danila Petrova

Originally from Bulgaria, studied Digital Interaction Design.

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Student voice category Careers, Career advice