Finding a Job in College

Photos by Sophia Carter

College students have jobs for lots of different reasons. From trying to finish school debt-free to simply paying the bills, a job is a useful resource. Having a job on campus can be very valuable on a resume. But is it possible to keep up with school and have a job? Is the secret to balance time management, procrastination, or simply losing sleep? I talked with a few students that work jobs on and off campus to investigate this. 

Sharesie is a sophomore at the University of Tennessee. She is a music business major with a minor in public relations. Sharesie originally got her part-time job over the summer to make some money and decided to continue working through the school year to build character and keep making money. 

“I like it a lot…It’s serving so it can be… treacherous at times. Working as a server at a restaurant has its ups and downs,” Sharesie said. 

Sharesie went on to explain that because she has class during the day, she usually ends up closing. 

“Even though my restaurant closes pretty early, it just gives me less time to study and do what I need to do,” Sharesie said.

School is her number one priority and usually finds herself scheduling work around school. Prioritizing school around everything else can be difficult and takes a lot of discipline. However, it may be necessary to keep up with both. 

Jessie is a sophomore at the University of Tennessee and is studying business. Jessie has had her waitressing job for five months and says she enjoys the people that she works with. 

“Sometimes it’s a little stressful getting off of work really late and having to come home to a lot of homework. I generally don’t let it get in the way but it can be kind of a stresser,” Jessie said. 

She explains that the key is time management and being able to prioritize school. Jessie said that her parents pay her rent which is really helpful, but still works to have money for food and her “shopping addiction.” Jessie is not involved with any extracurricular activities on campus and blames her job for that. 

“I want to be more involved but I’m not and I feel like my job is solely to blame,” Jessie said. 

The key to managing school and a job seems to be time management, prioritizing school and unfortunately, being less involved on campus. 

Nate is a junior at the University of Tennessee. He studies biochemistry and has a business administration minor. He works as a student library assistant at the Studio located in Hodges Library and has been working there for seven months. The job provides Nate with extra money to spend with his friends. 

Nate is involved on campus and is a member of the SRE club and the compost club. He finds that this job does not interfere with his school very often because he has free time at work. This means he is able to complete homework on the job. While the work may be relatively easy, it can still be consuming. 

“It takes up time during the week that I could be doing other things,” Nate said. 

He explained that having a job on campus is easier than other jobs he had worked before. The work is simple and the pay is good. There is lots of freetime for school and other work. 

On campus jobs, especially in places like the library, are simple and very enjoyable. They allow students to make extra money but still prioritize their schoolwork. As with off campus employment, the key is to prioritize school.

On campus jobs are low maintenance and help students stay focused. These are important factors to consider, that are different for each individual, when deciding to find a job as a student.