With maintenance grants being scrapped and student accommodation rents soaring, working at your university or college could be the answer this year

With maintenance grants heading for the bin, and recent figures showing astronomical rents for student accommodation in certain areas of the country, many students will be looking for ways to make extra money while studying this year.

But, part-time jobs can be tricky to maintain – especially if managers are unsympathetic towards a student’s studies, or if they have to travel to get there – which is why it makes sense to look at what’s on offer on your university’s campus.

Many universities will pay students to do all kinds of jobs, with the added bonus that they’re on-site and staff will understand that students also have a degree to study for at the same time.

So, here are some of the perfect term-time jobs that could be hiding in plain sight:

1) Open day assistant

Open days are always extremely busy. All the current students offering leaflets and a tour around the library don’t necessarily doing it out of the kindness of their hearts. It varies, but a lot of universities will pay students a small amount to act as tour guides, subject reps, or information desk helpers on open days.

Once students have worked one open day, they should be on the radar of whoever organises helpers.

Tip: be sure to stay in-the-loop as there may be other events where you can lend a hand and earn a bit of quick cash too.

2) Research supporter

If you aren’t already sick of spending time in the lab or the library, this can be a good way to get paid and maybe even learn more about your subject in the process. Several academics will be tackling big projects for which they feel they need an extra brain – and that’s where students come in.

Sometimes it can be as simple as working your way through a reading list and making notes on their behalf, or for scientists, it might involve assisting with experiments. It’s unlikely to be that interesting, but senior researchers can be pressed for time and will happily part with some of their grant in exchange for your work.

Tip: check your faculty noticeboard or website to see if there’s anything you can do. If all else fails, go and do that psychology study in exchange for the fiver on offer.

3) Communications/design assistant

Think about how much content universities publish every year: prospectuses, welcome packs, reports, open day leaflets, and material for alumni. If you’re interested, find out who handles communications and offer to help with writing, photography, or whatever you do best. You might not be able to get paid straight away, but you’ll get noticed for future paid opportunities. Students are hired all the time to design or write for university output.

Tip: make yourself known and do work that highlights the importance of having a real-life student involved with publications.

4) Arts and sports centre consultant

If your university has an on-site theatre or gallery, swimming pool or gym, be sure to check whether they offer part-time work to students. Both can come with perks: free shows or use of facilities means you can pursue hobbies while earning money.

For jobs like these, the hours tend to be very flexible, with shifts lasting for a few hours at a time.

5) Student union associate

Considering that its purpose is to help students, it’s hardly surprising that your student union might be a good place to look for a job. For a start, many SUs run their own shops and bars which mainly employ students.

Working at one of these can be great, as you’ll meet people from all over the university, but if you’re not looking for something quite so regular, there are normally one-off jobs as well. You might, for instance, be able to act as an usher at Freshers’ Fair, and some SUs even employ students to gather feedback on the union’s work.

Tip: make sure you scroll right to the end of those constant emails from your SU president, just in case they mention any opportunities.

Twitter: @alys_key

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