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Why part-time work matters


A blog from Student Money Assistant, Sumaiyah.

Let's face it – employers are looking for more than just good grades. They want to see a well-rounded candidate with practical experience. A blank CV won't cut it in today's competitive job market, no matter what industry you are targeting. Part-time work provides the perfect opportunity to fill that CV with meaningful and diverse experiences that show you're more than just a bookworm.

When it comes to finding part-time roles, various options are available, depending on your skill set and flexibility. Here, I've outlined some key advantages and disadvantages of different avenues:

  1. Unitemps: the campus job haven

Unitemps is a unique recruitment agency partnered with major universities in the UK, offering part-time work and shifts, designed specifically for students. From personal experience, I've enjoyed a range of creative jobs through Unitemps over the past 2 years. These include working at graduation events, conducting room surveys at the University of Warwick, fundraising, and even serving as a surface anatomy model for Warwick Medical School! One of the ever-popular roles is that of a student ambassador, which could be department-specific or aimed at core initiatives that the University wants to focus upon, such as Widening Participation. The biggest advantage of Unitemps is that it keeps you on campus, saving you both time and money on travel. Even if you're away during holidays, you can apply for jobs at partner universities in your home city, almost guaranteeing you a job during term holidays with early application.

  1. Zero-hour contracts: flexibility at its best

Zero-hour contracts are all about "on-call work." They establish an ongoing agreement between employers and employees where your employer isn't obligated to provide a set number of working hours. These roles are perfect for students with unpredictable schedules, offering opportunities to top up your income any day of the week. Many agencies, like Constellation and HAP, offer this flexible form of work in settings such as football stadiums, festivals, and concert venues. You can find roles as retail assistants, bartenders, plate waiters, and more. As a positive, these agencies often focus on internal progression, so if you shine in your role, you may find yourself working at VIP boxes within stadiums, where tips from high-profile clients are common. The added bonus? Most zero-hour contracts pay weekly, a stark contrast to formal part-time jobs that typically pay monthly. Just be aware that the nature of these events can mean high travel costs, which often come out of your pocket – not ideal if you're catching an early morning shift and public transport options are scarce.

  1. Think outside the box: online marketplaces

In today's digital age, entrepreneurship has never been easier. Marketplaces like Depop, Vinted, and Etsy allow you to start a business right from your university room, with minimal start-up costs. Selling items such as old clothes, shoes, or second-hand books is a fantastic way to capitalise on the ever-present demand. Consider which platform suits you best: Vinted is known for having no commission fees, while Depop charges a 15% commission on items you sell. However, the wider audience and increased exposure on Depop might make the commission worth it. If you're into crafting and homemade goods, Etsy is your go-to platform, no matter how niche your specialty may be. There's likely a dedicated niche waiting for your unique products.

Part-time work is more than just a means to an end; it's an investment in your future. It's an opportunity to earn while you learn, to gain invaluable experience, and to present a well-rounded CV to future employers. Whether you're embracing Unitemps, diving into zero-hour contracts, or exploring the world of online marketplaces, the world of part-time work is at your fingertips!

If you need any support with your money during the year you can contact Student Funding Support by email ( or telephone (024 7615 0096) Monday to Thursday 8.30 – 17.00 or Friday 8.30 – 16.00. Alternatively, you can drop in and see us by going to the Wellbeing Reception in Senate House between 10:00 - 15:00, Monday - Friday.