Why It Is Not So Hard to Earn Some Cash and Experience in Your University Years

A student studying

School is busy, but gaining some work experience can be a good idea if you have enough time for a part-time job. Having a part-time job does not only help you earn some cash, but also can elevate your professional skills. Working while studying full-time can be challenging at times. I never worked before coming to university. All I knew was studying in school and working hard for my exams. I can still recall how I was so scared of all the mistakes I made at work and how I felt so incapable at times because I kept forgetting new information. However, what I learn from my experience is that you can only grow when you stretch yourself.  Below are some resources at UBC that would be helpful for your job search process. 


CareersOnline + Work Learn Program:

CareersOnline is an online job and volunteer board for UBC students and alumni. You can look up different job postings on the Careers Online website. From part-time jobs, volunteering opportunities, Work Learn opportunities (which I will further explain below) to full-time jobs, you can look for these opportunities via CareersOnline. 

There are different kinds of jobs you can hold as a Work Learn student. You can hold a wide range of jobs from research assistant jobs, to Marketing and Education assistant jobs, to customer service related jobs. The difference between the Work Learn Program and other part-time jobs is that Work Learn is exclusively on the UBC Campus and you can work up to 10 hours/week in the school year (or 20 hours/week in the summer). Different salary rates per hour (as of Winter 2019) can be found here. You can only hold one Work Learn job at a time.

Tiffany’s Tips 1: In addition to browsing for jobs, you can access interview coaching, job search strategies, and explore career options on Careers Online. You can also utilize resources from your own faculty to help with navigating your career, such as professional workshops. For instance, in the UBC Sauder School of Business, we have a Business Career Center (BCC) that provides career services from one-on-one career coaching for students in the Business Co-op Program. As a second-year student who is going to declare my specialization at the end of this year, I usually go to one-on-one career coaching to ask more about my available specialization options. The career coaches are extremely helpful, friendly, and willing to answer any questions that I have. 

Tiffany’s Tips 2: You should apply early because these positions are competitive. However, if you did not get these positions the first time you apply, do not give up! In my first year, I applied to 20 jobs and did not get any call-backs because I did not know how to format my resume and cover letter. In my second year, after utilizing resources from Careers Online and the Business Career Center at Sauder, I applied to 34 jobs earlier in the school year in order for me to receive 3 call-backs for interviews. Go and seek resources from the Centre for Student Involvement and Careers – they have tons of resources from career workshops to Resume and Cover Letter labs. 


Alma Mater Society (AMS):

AMS hires for new positions throughout the school year. Most positions are based in the Nest, from Blue Chip Cookies, The Gallery, Honour Roll to Porch. You can apply directly via the AMS website with your resume, cover letter, and class schedule for the term. 

Tiffany’s Tips: Apply early because these positions fill up really fast. I applied to Blue Chip Cookies in early September and the store had already hired enough students!


International Students and Part-time Jobs:

For international students, the regulations can be different than for domestic students. 

For on-campus work, you can work for an unlimited number of hours. On-campus jobs are jobs in the UBC university area, a UBC student organization, and a private contractor operating within the boundaries of the campus. You can work on campus if you have a valid study permit and you are a full-time international student at UBC, including exchange & visiting students.

For off-campus work, you can work up to 20 hours per week during academic terms. 

Tiffany’s Tips: You should only make commitments that you think you can truly handle along with your full-time studies. Working in a professional setting can be challenging at first. For my first part-time job off-campus, I gave my availability to my employers only on the weekend to make sure I could focus 100% on my studies during the week. 


Good luck with applying!

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