|08-05-2011, 10:19 PM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Mar 2010
Starting College soon; thinking about the future
So today, I opened my first checking / savings account. My parents put a few hundred dollars in both for me, but I don't have any income. The reason is because I will be planning on moving to a local university (about 30 minutes) and will be needing it to pay for food / emergencies. I was offered cheap housing so I decided to live there for the first year, to get a taste of independence and growth.
Anyway, I recently realized that it was hard to live in this world without any job experiences or good credit. I heard that it is nearly impossible to get an apartment if you never had a credit card in your life, and that it is hard to get a credit card if you don't have a job.
So I want to get a job, but since I'm a full time student, that won't be a possibility. So I'm wondering what would be the smart thing for me to do. I'm studying in computer science, so I guess after 4 years I will be experienced enough to enter a career, but will I get hired, since I have no job experiences?
I looked at my campus's student employment program, and I don't feel qualified for any of the things they have. So that won't be an option for now.
The main option for me is student volunteerism. I'm wondering if volunteering a little on campus would make a difference in me being hired after I graduate.
What else can I do?
|08-05-2011, 11:19 PM||#2 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: France - Japan - Korea
As an engineering student in a highly rated school, I could charge nice fees for tutoring and exam prep classes ($20-$30 an hour). I worked a few hours on weekday evenings and 4 to 8 hours on Saturday night (the closer we got to high school exams the higher in demand I was.)
A great way to increase your prospects after graduation is to do internships. I did one a year all the way to my MSc. I think you will get more interesting and relevant tasks in an internship than in a part-time job, education and experience being equal. Of course at first you will most likely get unpaid positions, but as your experience and skills grow, you can negotiate better deals.
|08-06-2011, 05:03 AM||#3 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Los Angeles
Do departments on your campus hire student workers? If so, I'd suggest pursuing that.
I run the IT shop for a department at a major university in the U.S. I also worked in a student worker job all 4 years when I was a student. Student jobs at this university run the gamut from a desk job at the campus rec center, for the very social, to the graveyard shift at the NOC (Network Operations Center) for the someone who is technical and introverted. Or, if you are introverted and want to challenge yourself - apply for the rec center job! Many student worker jobs have downtime when you can study, and they will usually accomodate midterms, finals, big project, etc, because we understand that the students working for us are here primarily to go to school. On the other hand, students get great work experience, learning many workplace skills in the process.
As an example, my department hires 5 student workers per year to support our help desk. In our ad, we are looking for people who have experience supporting IT. The types of experience that comes in are often things like "I set up the wireless network in my house" or "all my relatives call me when they have a computer problem" - not formal job experience. We give a little hands-on test - can you find your way around Windows? Can you navigate the menus in Word and Excel? Do you know where to go in a MS Office application or online for help with something you don't know? can you explain something fairly basic to us - doesn't matter if you have to look up how to do it, but can you quickly grasp the concept and explain it? (the current question is how can you turn a Word document into a pdf file). But nothing scary about the test or the interview.
The students who work for us all 4 years gain considerable experience, and I really see them grow and mature during the time with us. Surprisingly, over the last 15 years, about 30% of our student workers have ended up in the field of IT support - some who earned degrees having nothing to do with IT - because they had the experience and discovered they liked the work. Along with the technical skills we teach them, they learn to work in a group, how to handle problem users and (sometimes) coworkers, time manangement, and general life skills. They develop strong friendships with each other, as well. And earn spending money - sometimes getting paid for doing their homework while waiting for the phone to ring - can't beat that, right? And right on campus, close to their classrooms. All the way around, a good situation.
I would also like to second Aielle's suggestion - apply for every internship opportunity you can. Many of the engineering students who have worked for me have gotten job offers from their internships - and at the least, they get good experience. Also if you have volunteer opportunities, such as working with the engineering club at a local high school - try to fit them in. All of these things will help make your resume stand out from the hundreds of people who have the same degree as you.
Last edited by SireneB; 08-06-2011 at 05:06 AM.
|08-06-2011, 05:34 AM||#4 (permalink)|
Join Date: Aug 2008
Although most banks will not give you an unsecured credit card without a job, they will oftentimes offer you a secured credit card. This means that there is cash in the bank which could cover your credit card purchases. Using one of these is a great way to build a credit history when you are starting out, which in turn is a way to demonstrate to future landlords that you pay your obligations on time.
As far as the job thing goes, I don't know what to tell you. Volunteerism helps give references. Really though, the ability to get a job is based on your ability to provide value to an organization and proving that you can provide said value. Volunteering is a way of showing that you are a reliable worker which might help you while interviewing, however it is much more important to have rare and valuable skills. I would suggest you focus on developing such skills. As you are a computer science major, opportunities for such skills can't be too hard to find. Master some obscure programming language, or a new one (HTML 5 maybe?). Whatever is rare and valuable.
|08-07-2011, 01:14 AM||#5 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jan 2009
Check out all of the jobs on campus. When I was in college I initially worked as a custodian for the basketball arena. The work was easy and it was 3 hours a night. Good for getting some extra change.
Then I moved to tutoring logic in my department. The hours varied but I was in my department most of the day and had good relationships with all of the faculty. It was also an amazing learning experience.
Definitely look at the on-campus jobs. Talk to upper classmen, they may know what job to check out.
|08-12-2011, 12:41 AM||#6 (permalink)|
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: NY, USA
I am sure that you can find a job on campus. There are hundreds of jobs available at school. Just ask around or check your school's website. Also, if you qualified for work study when you did your financial aid information, you could do this as well. I currently have a work study job at my college and it is a good way to get a little bit of income as I go to school.
Also, just because you are a full time student does not mean you cannot work. Full time students work all of the time. I am a full time student and I have a work study job (15 hours a week) and I am a track and field athlete. If I can do all of that and still go to college, you can do the same and good luck!
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