There is no such thing as ‘just a uni job’

by May 13, 2022

Getting a job on campus at your university is not just a means to an end, it can be the start of something really special. You’ll be taking advantage of a typically more flexible work schedule, get a chance to see the ‘behind-the-scenes’ of your uni and will get the opportunity to work with your peers. Even if the job isn’t in your dream field, by taking an approach of curiosity, you could come away from your uni job with new friends and a fresh perspective.

 Why apply for a job at your university?

Your manager might be the most empathetic manager you’ll ever have!

When hiring students, universities appreciate that their candidate pool is primarily people who are new to the workforce and require flexible work arrangements. It is, therefore, less important for applicants to have a long resume of experience and more important that they are enthusiastic, driven, and willing to give it their best shot! Managers will also create their position descriptions with the academic calendar in mind and can often offer dynamic working styles for their student employees.

Your student experience is desirable

Universities are often looking for students for casual roles as their experience as a student is useful when they are trying to deliver services to students. One of the best ways to reach students is through other students – the ‘Peer to Peer’ model is really effective.

It is the ultimate ice breaker! 

Students often ask me how to make friends at uni and one of my go-to suggestions is getting a campus job. More often than not, when you work on campus, you’re working with other student employees and nothing takes the awkwardness out of meeting new people more than having a shared background you can relate to! In my past life as a student, I met some great people packing boxes at the campus store and standing at student information booths.

It can set you apart from your graduating class

Finishing your degree with work experience and a reference from a university job can give you a competitive advantage when applying for graduate jobs.

Universities are well-regarded across most industries and having a professional reference from a university can show that you were forward-thinking and conscientious during your time as a student.

You can gain experience beyond your studies

Working at your university can give you a deeper understanding of both your course and your university as a whole. You’ll be given a ‘behind-the-scenes’ experience that can help you make the most out of your time at university.

At UTS Careers, students who work as Peer Career Advisors are not only trained to give advice on how UTS Careers can assist students, they also get to flesh out ideas about their own career goals and see what opportunities are available for them in their field of study.

It can lead to bigger things

If you’re like me when I was a student, you are not exactly sure what you want to do when you finish uni. And that’s ok! While some career paths are very clear, if you ask the average employee how they ended up in their specific role, they’ll say they took many different pathways to get to where they are. You might find your university job leads you in a direction you didn’t know it would! You might love it so much that you still work for a university long into the future.

How to impress once you’ve landed a university job?

So you’ve checked out the CareerHub website, applied for a UTS role and landed an on-campus job. Well done! You now have the opportunity to make the most of this experience and use it as a building block for your future career.

Below are my key tips for making a good impression as a student employee.

Be prepared, be professional and be on time!

This may sound like common sense, but when a student doesn’t take their job seriously, it shows through their work ethic, and there is nothing more frustrating for a staff member who is managing a project to see a lack of interest from their employees. You can show your manager that you are serious about your job by being ready to work from the second you start your job, dressing smartly and always arriving on time.

Be curious!

Even if the job isn’t exactly aligned to your dream career, there is a lot to learn from any job. Even answering a phone can provide you with valuable skills in customer service, problem-solving, time management and team collaboration. Stay curious and look for ways to improve the role, speak to your manager about what you’re enjoying and ask if there are more opportunities for growth. You never know what opportunities are around the corner. 

Take notes! 

Had a terrible day at the office? Experienced some poor customer service? Write it down and save it for later. These challenging work experiences can make for good anecdotes in future job interviews and can be helpful to demonstrate situations where there was a problem and you worked to overcome it.

Note down what the situation was, who was involved, how it was impacting the university and yourself, what you did and what you learnt from it all.  A challenging day might hold the right anecdote for your next interview that lands you your dream job.  


Featured image courtesy of Pexels

Laura Hibbert

Laura Hibbert

Student Engagement Coordinator

Laura Hibbert is a student engagement enthusiast with over 7 years experience working for domestic and international universities. Laura currently manages UTS’ Orientation program and loves having the opportunity to both assist students with their transition into university life and work alongside passionate UTS student employees and volunteers.