Studying at university is all great and then you think ‘do I have enough money’. It’s very easy to spend money when it’s there but, whilst studying at university I soon realised the value and importance of the pound sterling. This is where I began to organise part time work alongside studying.
Luckily I already had a part time job before I started University, to be honest I was thinking about packing it in because I thought it may get too much for me. I used to commute from Birmingham to Worcester between 2 to 5 days a week, so I thought that weekends would be a much needed break. I was a part time sales assistant in a retail organisation that ran on zero hour contracts. Which I realised was really convenient whilst studying at University, because I was able to work around my deadlines. I only did work weekends but when my deadlines came closer I’d book the weekend off and dedicate the time to my assignments. It became real easy for me to juggle work and uni because; it meant that I was able to meet my deadlines and making some money.
I came into realisation that I needed to work when I added up my costs of travel and food. Commuting a lot meant I ate a lot too; I used to grab things on the way, on the way back during uni and scrap the receipts because I didn’t want to see the damage I caused. Unfortunately I couldn’t avoid my bank statements and neither could my dad! I soon realised that buying food was so costly! The few pounds here and there would add up to a massive amount. So I was lucky that I was working even if it did mean breaking even at times.
Having a part time job for me meant that I could buy whatever I wanted (well kind of), but it also made me change my ways and realise the value of money. I began to calculate my costs and prioritise my buying, food or clothes was always a tough choice. Working also matured me and I gained skills such as talking and behaving ‘properly’, having a professional stance and my knowledge increased on many levels.
I studied Business Management, so working for a big organisation was a real big help in terms of my assignments and studies. I also began to network with other store managers and reps from head office, and found myself being put forward for a position in head office with housing paid for. Working part time whilst studying built on a lot on my characteristics it also helped with my self-confidence and independence.
To be really honest I needed the money to fund myself and purchase everything I imagined. It was doable and because it was a zero hour contract it meant I wasn’t expected to attend shifts regardless of my timetable and I was able work what I wanted and what I could.