How to make money on campus
Getting a job while at university seems like an amazing idea, and it can be nice to earn a bit of extra money if you can fit your shifts around lectures, essay writing and socialising. We’ve written a few pieces on the best ways to get a student job. However, there are lots of hidden downsides to getting a regular paycheque while at university.
It can be hard to work for eight hours solid when exams are coming up, and if you ever want to go home over Bank Holidays you’ll need a boss who’ll let you swap your shifts around. We’ve heard stories of students who couldn’t get out of working on the 24th and 26th of December, and travelled across the country and back in 24 hours just to spend Christmas Day with their parents.
In this article we’ve come up with flexible ideas for when you’re actually AT uni, that are perfect for students, you won’t need to work over your holidays, and during exam times you’ll usually be able to pare back your hours.
Working for the Student Union
Student Unions can actually be huge employers, and depending on the size of your campus there’ll be jobs ranging from bar staff and workers in the Union shop to salaried positions as elected SU officers. Because you’re working for the SU you won’t have to work when the university is closed, and SUs have a reputation for being lenient of shift swapping around exam periods.
To get these jobs ask about vacancies at the desk at your SU or look on its website, there’s usually a big recruitment drive before Freshers Week, for the best chance of being employed. It’s a bit more difficult to become an elected SU officer, because these are voted for by students, but if you’re popular and passionate about sport, the environment, helping BME students or are just concerned about student rights in general you could have a good chance of being elected. The best way to go about this is to ask people already involved in SU politics, and they’ll be able to tell you how nominations and elections work at your uni.
Working for your university
The SU and the university are separate organisations, and universities also hire lots of students on a part time basis. We talked to a student who worked as an ambassador for Plymouth University and she was paid to show students around on open days and help freshers move into halls. The work isn’t too difficult, it mainly involves being friendly and helpful and you’ll only be asked to work a few days a year.
Check your university’s website for a “jobs” section, and once you’ve sent in your CV and been accepted as an ambassador you’ll be given a few weeks notice for the next day you’re needed and you’ll have to put your name down to work, so you don’t need to worry if you can’t work on a certain day.
If you’re only looking to make an extra £20 here and there, taking part in studies undertaken by your uni’s psychology department can be an easy way to make money. They can be sort of gruelling to actually do (we did one that involved putting your chin on a rest 6 inches away from a flashing screen), but it’s a better hourly rate than you’ll get doing most other things.
They are advertised on university noticeboards and usually they’re looking for a certain type of person, i.e someone who plays a musical instrument, or someone who doesn’t play video games. Typically they offer between £10 - £20 for an hour of your time, and if you’ve got nothing else to do it could pay for a week’s shopping!
If you love going out, club promoting could be the one for you. For the most part, promoters start off being “paid” in free entry and drinks at the club, and you only start making big bucks once you’re getting huge amounts of people into clubs.
It can’t really be relied upon as a regular source of income, and it can be a lot of work. However if you’ve got some hustle you could be making up to £10 per person you get through the door, if you’re a social butterfly with thousands of Facebook friends you could be making good money. Students are the perfect target market, they love to party and are keen to go out on quieter nights like Wednesday and Thursday. You can find club promoter jobs on sites like Gumtree or contact the clubs you love going to directly.
Be a campus brand ambassador
Huge names like Spotify, Red Bull, Microsoft and Domino’s Pizza pay students to promote their brand while at uni. Whether it’s handing out free samples, attending the Freshers Fair or hosting events, you’ll have to be outgoing and friendly.
The pay will vary from minimum wage to around £10 per hour, and working for a big company while at uni is great experience if you’re going to be looking for a job in PR or marketing after you graduate. Find positions like these on websites like On Campus Promotions, or through normal job sites, and occasionally they’ll even be advertised through our Make Money section.
Walk for money
If all of the other ideas seem like a bit too much effort, if you walk to and from uni every day you can make money just by walking 7,000 steps with Bounts.
You don’t need a fitness tracker, you can add it onto free smartphone apps too.