UTMN Experts on Balancing Work and Study

Student life 9 November 2020

The head of the External Communications Department of the UTMN Career and Alumni Center, Pavel Zabaluev, gives advice on starting your career early, finding the right employers, and getting a job through your University.


Are there many students willing to combine working and studying?

Statistically, about 54% of undergrads work part-time. Most employers try to hire final year students to offer them a full-time position after graduation. Employers take advantage of students, paying them less because they are still studying. Overall, they get qualified labor for cheaper. 

Generally, students should analyze how working will affect the quality of their education. What benefits will it bring? Everyone has their reasons to join the workforce early. 

Many face financial struggles. A student has to pay for education, or they must help their parents. Therefore, they work part-time.

The second reason is to maintain a more lavish lifestyle. Buying different gadgets or eating out is an expansive feat. A student needs more money to maintain their standard of living, and they need to be employed to earn this money.

Thirdly, sometimes students find jobs that fit perfectly into their schedule. There are various types of employment: part-time, flexible hours, working remotely, and so on. For example, about 5000 students were employed during the summer (from May to September) under the student employment program. They worked online. 

Finally, having work experience in the field sets you aside from your peers. Some students are ready to work hard for a minimum wage because it will look good on their CV. Usually, these students are very proactive and make long-term plans.

Did you work during your studies?

Having just enrolled at the University, I immediately started working. Unfortunately, professors did not support this choice. It was uncommon to seek knowledge outside of the classroom. Back then, not everyone understood that students could get more practical knowledge working in the field than at the University.

I had one professor who was against the idea entirely. So when a push came to shove, he failed me on an exam because I did not attend enough of his lectures. This taught me to be more considerate and inform professors of my plans beforehand.

It’s important to get the go-ahead from the University before considering working. If you know that your employment will harm your studies, then you should decide whether to quit or to look for a job with a flexible schedule. Studies should come first.

How the University can help students with employment?

A student can attend offline and online events of potential employers to find a job during and after studying at the University. We often announce these events through the UTMN news media outlet

Of course, we try to match job vacancies to students and supply them with letters of recommendation, but that does not guarantee employment. However, if you attended some of these events or have undergone a traineeship, it significantly improves your chances of getting a job. 

It’s good to show initiative at these meetings. Usually, during these meetups, company representatives talk about their perfect candidates, their mission, business integrity, their products, and the company structure. If you are attending a certain company’s conference, be sure to read about them and be ready to answer questions. 

By the way, we recommend keeping your CV updated. Rembert to add on to it as you go. List courses, events, unusual skills, and accomplishments. All the competencies acquired at the University are important. 

This is how you can show ambition and skills. When you have a sound CV employers can understand, who you are, what you aim for, and what you are interested in. Your diploma, on the other hand, only shows your grades.

Practice shows that the more job interview you attend, the more experienced and skilled at self-presentation you are. Don’t be afraid to practice that skill.  

Source: UTMN Department of Strategic Communications


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