Finding the uni job for you: Tutoring

Welcome to the next instalment of my university part-time jobs series. This week, I’ll be talking about tutoring. Though I haven’t tried this personally it sounds like a great idea and so I’ve researched this to help you make the best decision for you.  This would be a great job for someone who wants to go into a career with children or in mentoring or some kind of teaching.  You can teach younger students in a subject that you are passionate and watch them learn and become more confident. 

How do I find a job? There are two main paths to get into this job; privately or through an agency. It might be a better idea if you are just starting out to go through an agency to help you build a clientele and get some good reviews under your belt. However, these agencies will usually take a percentage of your earnings for their services.  The other option, where you would be working more on your own terms, would be to go privately. This would be perfect for you, if you have good reviews and references you can show potential clients, so they feel secure in you as their choice. You should also thing about whether you would want to do this in person or virtually. 

Positives of working as a tutor: As with most jobs that I’ve suggested in this series you can choose your own hours, also depending on the clients they may be happy to reschedule if you need to.  The pay will usually be better than working in other industries like hospitality and retail meaning you can work less hours while still bringing in a decent amount of money.  Of course, it depends on your level of expertise and experience how much you will be earning but that allows for you to grow in the industry.  You can teach almost anything, some things you may need extra qualifications to teach, but if you are really passionate about music or a particular subject you can teach others your favourite subject. You also get that sense of fulfilment from watching your students grow and succeed. 

Negatives of working as a tutor: The working hours will have to be around the children you are teaching meaning, you will most likely be working evening and weekends. However, considering they will have to be up in the morning for school, you most likely won’t be doing late nights so you can still enjoy the night life of university without worrying.  It can also be a difficult industry to start out in as parents will want to see references and you won’t be able to provide them until you’ve had some experience. So, navigating that can make it hard to get started.  Being self-employed will mean you have to do the relevant admin for taxes and other official bits which can be time consuming. 

Packing for university: the kitchen

Packing up and moving into your university flat is a huge task so you don’t want to be taking more than you need.  You really don’t need to take everything but the kitchen sink as you really won’t use everything.  These are of course just my recommendations and there may be things you won’t need and there may even be things that I don’t mention that you may feel for you is an essential. I will do a separate post on the kitchen, bedroom, stationary and miscellaneous, just to keep the posts short and easy to read. This week will be the kitchen so look out for the others in the coming weeks. 

Crockery: I would recommend you only take two of each, you really won’t need a family set of 4 or 5 of each item as you won’t use them. Even if you have guests, you can always borrow from others. Remember you will have limited shelf space and so you really need to take as little as possible. I personally think two is the perfect amount as things are likely to get broken and you will want a spare, I know I definitely broke a lot of crockery.  Also, if you really need to you can always buy replacements while you’re there so keep that in mind. I took bowls, dinner plates, side plates, mugs, glasses and pasta dishes and found that was all I really needed. 

Pots and pans: I would take a few of these if I were you, at least two pots (including one with a lid) and a frying pan but of course it depends on your cooking habits. This would be a minimum for if you do a general amount of cooking. These are very bulky and so will take up a lot of the space in your cupboards so be sensible with this and only take what you know you’re going to use. Think about how many pans you use at a time when you cook at home and use that as an estimate. 

Food preparation: You’ll also need bits for preparing food. I had two chopping boards to avoid cross contamination, so I basically have a meat one and a non-meat one. You may feel you need more or if you don’t use meat you may just be happy with one. These are often easy to store so you don’t really need to worry about having too many.  You may also want to take food storage boxes or freezer bags for if you plan to make food in advance and then freeze it for later but be sensible I had boxes of every size and didn’t even use most of them, they just got in the way.

For the oven: When it comes to baking trays, they won’t take up a lot of room and again I’d recommend two, just for if you have to put things in the oven at different times or you don’t want food mixing on the trays. I did also have a pizza tray and while I could have gotten by without one it was useful and easy to store. You may also want tin foil to protect the trays or to put over food, so I’d recommend just taking a roll of this in case. 

Cutlery: This will go missing I can assure you. I lost so much of my cutlery in first year, so I’d definitely recommend against buying just stainless-steel cutlery.  It looked exactly the same as everyone else’s and so I never knew what was mine. I ended up buying red handled cutlery and this meant I knew exactly which was mine because of the red handles.  I took about six of each; knives, forks, spoons and teaspoons because it meant I had plenty for if they went missing.  I also recommend taking good knives for preparing food; I had a big knife, small knife and bread knife. This worked well and was perfectly enough. Also, there will be extra bits you might forget which you never know when you will need; spatula, fish slice, potato masher, potato peeler, ladle, cooking spoon, scissors and a strainer. 

Baking bits: If you’re into baking then I would recommend taking these but if you barley bake at home the likelihood is that you won’t really use these at university. I didn’t take any of these things and if I really wanted to bake something, I just borrowed from someone else as this was just on the rare occasion. Now that I’ve got more into baking, I may purchase some bits for third year but as with everything else on this list, be sensible and only take what you will actually use. 

Finding the job for you: Retail

As I said last week with my hospitality post, I’m making a little series of jobs you can do part-time at university to get a bit of extra cash.  Of course, I only have experience in hospitality, but I have looked into these other jobs so that I can give you a range of options. This week I have decided to talk about working in retail. Like hospitality this is a customer service job, but it is obviously going to be different in some ways.  For this you will be working in a shop; maybe re-stocking the floor, helping out customers or working on the tills.  It’s a great job for you if you are a people person and want to engage with people constantly while you’re at work. 

How do I find a job? With retail it probably best to look outside of the university. I know my university does have a few on-campus shops which people can apply to, but this is limited. There is also a co-op on our campus that employs students so maybe look into privately owned shops close by. You can of course also apply to jobs in the local area, most of these you will be able to apply for online if they have vacancies or their websites will give information of how to apply but it won’t hurt to see if they’ll accept your CV in person, especially if it is an independent shop.  

Positives of working in the industry: The big positive of working in retail for students is the flexibility, whether it is set shifts or different shift patterns each week they will usually be able to accommodate you around your studies.  This means you can have your university life and work life separate and won’t have to worry about them clashing. This is also the type of job that will keep you on your feet and while some people may see that as a negative it’s a nice change from studying. I find while at university a lot of it is sitting down; in lectures, when revising and when preparing for seminars. Having a job that requires you to keep moving helps towards having an active lifestyle.  There are so many retail opportunities up and down the country meaning that wherever you are at university there should be plenty of places for you to apply to. Lastly, the one a lot of people would consider the best perk is that most retail places will offer a staff discount as an incentive to work there, so if you’re looking for a job it’s something you might as well take advantage of. 

Negatives of working in the industry: You’ve probably heard many negatives when it comes to retail and a big one people talk about is difficult customers. As annoying as it is this is something you will need to prepare yourself for and if this is something you want to avoid it might be best to look for a job in a different industry. It can be inconvenient hours; if you’re hoping for a break at weekends this may not be possible if you’re working in retail as this is going to be when they are busy, and they will need staff.   The work can become very monotonous after a while; there are very limited tasks you will be able to do, and you will find yourself doing things over and over again with very little change.  As with hospitality, there will be many people going to university looking for jobs and many of them will have experience. It can be a difficult industry to get into without that experience and so may take some work to find a job. 

Travelling on a budget: While you are there

So, you’ve booked your holiday, or you need to make sure you have the budget to even go on holiday. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of budgeting for the preparation, the flights and hotel, but forget that you’ll actually have to have a good chunk saved for when you get there.  The best way to do this is figure out an approximation of how much you plan to spend while your there and then take just a bit extra for emergencies or if you end up spending a bit more than planned. 

Food: Probably the most important thing to think about. If you’re going all inclusive you may not need to worry about this as much because it will be included in the price you paid for the hotel. If you are self-catered, you need to budget for the amount of food you’ll have while you’re there. As I recommended in my previous travel post it’s a good idea to choose accommodation with a kitchen so you can easily do a shop at the supermarket but remember food may be priced a bit differently abroad to how it would be in an English supermarket. I usually like to have a meal out on one of the days to try the country’s cuisine as a little treat so this is something you should definitely budget for if you plan to do. 

Transport: Think to yourself how you are going to get around while you’re there.  You will have booked your flights and hopefully an airport transfer but as you explore the city you’re going to have to get around. Most cities have great transport links so check out the metro and bus system as these are usually the cheapest option. This is something you’ll want to make sure you have the money for but shouldn’t burn a huge hole in your pocket especially if you plan your trip so that you’re doing things in a similar area each day. 

Attractions: I would recommend planning what attractions you want to visit and what you want to see before you go even without thinking about budgeting. This will ensure you have time to actually do what you want to do and so you don’t spend all your time while you’re actually there working out what you want to do. From this you can do a bit of research to work out how much things will cost, and you may have to book some attractions in advance to make sure you get to visit.  Dependant on what you’re planning to do, this could be what you spend most of this budget on, especially if you’re on a city break  This is something, however, you don’t want to compromise on as while you’re there you’ll want to make the most of it. 

Going out: whether you’re planning a meal or a big night out this is something to budget for. Some cities have an incredible nightlife, and this is something you won’t want to miss out on. Especially, if you’re planning to go and get drunk this will be something to bear in mind as alcohol is often not cheap and you don’t want to blow your whole budget in one night!  

Souvenirs: you may want to pick up a couple of bits while you’re there to remember your trip. Personally, I collect a mug from every country I visit as a little memento. 

Emergency fund: You never know when you might need a bit of extra cash and you don’t want to be caught short in a foreign country. My best bit of advice is to put aside some money that you can use in an emergency; you may have forgotten to budget something, things may be a bit more expensive than planned or you may want to treat yourself while you’re there. It’s always best to be on the safe side. 

I hope these tips help you out. If you missed my blog post on how to budget in preparation of the holiday go check that out!  In the next few weeks I’ll be posting about my favourite get aways for budget travel so keep an eye out for that. 

Finding the job for you: Hospitality

If you’ve decided to get a part-time job whilst at university it can be a difficult to work out what industry will best suit you. There are so many factors to consider when deciding what path to take; you should take into account experience, how it will work around your course and what works best for your personality. I’ve decided to make this a weekly feature looking at the pros and cons of different jobs you can have part-time whilst getting on with your studies. As I have worked in the hospitality industry on and off for three years now, I felt that was the best one to start with. 

How do I find a job? There are so many ways to go about finding a job in hospitality. Most universities will have on-campus bars and restaurants which they will hire students to work at and there are also off-campus places that you can apply to. I worked at a restaurant in the town centre, luckily, they were understanding that I was a student and I would need to put my studies first and that I’d want to go home for the holidays. If you are worried about this, it may be best to get a job on-campus as they may be more understanding that you are a student however I wouldn’t rule out branching out so as to have more options. There are many ways to go about finding a job in this industry; you can try take your CV straight into the establishment and ask if they have any jobs available, but they also usually advertise online whether on their own website or job site like Indeed. 

Positives of working in hospitality: I found the perks of working in this industry attracted me to a job like this. As well as a set wage, you can earn tips which are always useful for an extra night out or when you are running a bit short on cash. They are usually flexible jobs which can be useful when you’re trying to work around studying and socialising.  Whereas with jobs with set shift patterns to take a day off you would usually have to find cover, with jobs where the shifts change each week you can often ask for specific days off.  Also, not having set shifts will mean they’ll probably be more inclined to give you time off to visit home or if you have big deadlines coming up.  I also enjoy the social aspect of this type of work, you’ve got colleagues around you and you’re always engaging with members of the public which I found increased my confidence. With this there is always that sense of something different every shift and so it doesn’t get repetitive. My jobs also gave me free staff food which is always a plus. 

Negatives of working in hospitality: As with all jobs there are negative of the industry.  The flexibility of shifts can mean some weeks you have loads and some you’ll barley have any, I’ve had issues with both and have had to ask for my hours to be cut to the amount we agreed upon.  Also, with working in bars and restaurants you’ll usually be working times when these are busy meaning evenings and weekends and while this is useful to fit around your university lectures it may mean you have to miss out on nights out or weekend activities, if you’re working.  Because I had experience in the industry before going to university it was easier for me to find a job however I know friends with no experience who then found it difficult to find something when they arrived as they are popular jobs for students and so those who have that edge with their experience will find it easier to get a job. This means if you don’t have prior experience you may have to persevere, and it may take longer to find something so keep that in mind when applying. 

Of course, all jobs you have while you are at university will have positives and negatives so you really need to weigh up what will work best for your situation. Hospitality can be a really good job when at university but if any of the negatives are deal breakers for you when it comes to a job it may be worth looking at something else that better suits your needs.