When you ask people about starting working during university they’ve got all sort of excuses why that’s a bad idea. They’ve got course work. They’ve got social lives. They don’t have enough experience. And so on and so on.
The thing is, excuses are easy. They’re a dime a dozen. You can come up with them to support any position that you want to hold. I shouldn’t eat healthy food because it doesn’t taste good. I shouldn’t go into work this morning because I’m hungover.
And besides, there are plenty of reasons why starting your career while you’re still in university is a fantastic idea. Here are some of the best ones.
The first thing is that you can actually try out a job for a few hours a week, without people batting an eye. You’ve got to study, after all! That can be incredibly valuable, as it means that you can get past that initial boring low-end job without having to spend your whole day there.
Work part time at a company for a year, maybe two and when you finish ask if they have a full-time position that has more responsibilities and more opportunities and you’ll have a great chance that they’ll say yes. And in one fell swoop you’ve skipped most of the drudgery work that you otherwise would have to do!
Even if they don’t give you the job (or you don’t want it) the time you’ve spent working there part-time will most certainly help you when you apply to another place.
Sure, you learn some interesting stuff when you’re at university. At the same time, it’s all really abstract and not very applicable to your daily life. That means you’re a lot less likely to remember it. The great thing about a career, particularly if it’s in the direction that you’re studying? The things that you’re learning are suddenly far easier to apply.
And that can help you in many ways – in your job it means that you can get to grips with difficult concepts and show off how much you know, while at the university the stuff that you’re studying is going to be far easier to remember.
This means that if you work while you study, you’re going to end up retaining a huge amount more of what you’ve actually learned. And that means you’re getting much better bang for your buck than somebody who just studies.
Careers become harder to build later in life. That’s because you’ve got all sorts of commitments that keep eating into your time – like partners, family and obligations. Now, don’t get me wrong, those are a lot of fun. But they make it harder to have the time to really go full-out for your career.
At university that’s not a problem. If you decide to throw yourself into a project for the next three days, while living off pizza and resorting to a hygiene system of wet wipes people will talk about you in whispers of awe.
Even better, it’s easy to outsource a huge amount of your classwork so that you have the time to devote to your project. Get a friend to pass you their notes. Be part of a study group to make sure that you get the inside scoop, and if that doesn’t cut it check out some writing companies reviews to get help with your essay writing.
That means that you’ll be able to put in the effort to create things that are truly outstanding – which might be just what your career needs to get that lift off that most of us have to wait for for most of our lives.
Another phenomenal resource at universities are the professors. These are people who know a huge amount and are already being paid to impart it. And so, if you’ve got questions about something – like how to solve a problem at your company – you can go straight to one of them and discuss it with them.
You don’t realize how useful that is until the first invoice for a consultant comes in. Those people are expensive! And often, what they do isn’t even backed up by university studies. It’s just what they’ve picked up after doing the job for a few years.
Those university professors, on the other hand, are filled to the brim with useful scientifically proven stuff. That means that their information is probably more valuable than that of the consultants (provided you can find the actual valuable information between all the jargon, of course).
Then there are the resources that universities have available. Most universities now have incubators and accelerators to help new companies get started. It doesn’t end there either, there are lots of programs to give students help with whatever careers they want to build, while many companies have special credits that they can use to help you get through university.
You might even be able to get them to chip in a bit with your university debt, if you know who to approach. Now that’s extra money in the bank!
So check out what programs your university has available for those kinds of things. Also, approach the career advice office as they might know about opportunities and ideas that you’re not even aware of.
The great thing about starting your career in university is that you can experiment, try things out and nobody expects you to be committed full time to whatever company you’re working for. In this way, you can really figure out what company and career choice suits you best.
What’s more, if after university people see that you’ve tried your hand at a few different things, they won’t think that you’re a flake. They’ll see it as you trying out new things and starting in on the route of your life. They might even see you dabbling in a few different options as a strengthening factor, as it means you’ll know a little bit about how companies actually work and what is expected of you. Companies always appreciate when you’re not completely green.