MyHallam Podcast episode 4- Student Jobs


The MyHallam Podcast is ran by students
for students as a place to discuss the student experience and we will also give
insight to the various events happening within Sheffield Hallam University and
across the city. Hello and welcome to the MyHallam Podcast I’m Rogan and I’m
joined here with Connor. Hi you’re all right? yeah we’re a man down today.
Joe is sunning it off somewhere lovely on holiday. In today’s episode we’re
gonna talk about earning money and really the need to earn money as a
student which is a very important discussion I think to have. You need
money to survive really and it’s very important that you find a source of
income of some thoughts. Connor so you’ve worked outside of the university.
Can you tell us a bit about that? Well yeah I started working when I were in college
pretty much doing like 20 30 hours a week just try and get me through my
studies and stuff like that but when I came to university obviously I didn’t
understand that the workload was a lot more intense than college was. Okay. So
that meant the hours had to drop but I didn’t realize that I’d like to kept
doing the same hours. Yeah I would say having a part-time job is like is
essential for keeping your life in balance and and making sure you’ve got
you know you’ve got enough money to live and eat and do things that you want on your social time. Yeah I know especially around freshers but
throughout the university year there were various events you know that as a
student you really want to go on you know the you’ll find events related to
your course events related to your hobbies you know and you don’t.
University is about taking advantage of opportunities and
not all those opportunities come directly through the course so you want
to make sure that you can afford to live relatively comfortably
whilst also being able to take advantages of of all the benefits that
you get from studying in a in a city such as Sheffield so you’ve worked what
what we’ll call off-campus you know and what I think one of the problems with
that is you’ll find that they’re not as respectful of the things you’ve got to
do in your course If given you certain time off.Yeah a hundred percent
what I’ve learned about businesses and big businesses they did they’re not
really they’re not really bothered what you’re doing with your life or you know
you studies they just care about what what you can work and what you can do
for them. Yeah I worked in my first year I worked in a store and that was purely
weekend work and that worked for me it never infringed on my week so my
university studies were all safe. I left that job and went to work in a cinema
which was in line with my filmmaking degree and that’s where I found that
like if I wanted to to excel in my course this job isn’t the right job for
me and I had to make that decision that all right although I loved working in a
cinema you know I’ve got to learn to be a projectionist and all all these
different things and which has benefited my course actually I realized that in
order to move forward with things I couldn’t really stay and working in that
job. Whereas you didn’t you muscled through and you know you kept the
same job is it the same job since college? Yeah I’ve been there five years
in February okay and are you a little worried that you you now that you’ve
you’ve graduated this summer are you worried that you might be a bit too
like comfortable? Yeah I keep saying this to everyone at work I think people are
asking me what you’re gonna do now you’ve got a degree in what can we do
you do what you do and just like I don’t even know what I want to do
yet a lot a lot of graduates don’t straightaway but I know I don’t want to
stay there you know I am comfortable I’ve been offered higher roles there as
well like they asked me to be a manager asked me to do higher things and I’m just like
you don’t understand that’s just not my life you know I mean you could offer me
all the money in the world and I don’t want to do that and I don’t know I think
if you keep asking me like why don’t you go and get a different job I
didn’t get a different job because I don’t really like what I do I don’t love
what I do it means to an end kind of thing and I
just keep saying like what am I gonna do go and get another job that I don’t like
whether they expect but now I’ve got my degree I’ve rewrote my CV and it looks a
lot better with a first-class degree on it. Yeah and I’m applying for internships
and year placements and stuff like that so yeah I do I do worry about feeling
too comfortable sometimes. Yeah in my sort of final year and a little
bit of my second year I started working for the university
in what’s called an on-campus job and I started off as a student ambassador
which meant that in open days or events where the sort of friendly face
of the university, come and show you where you need to go you know tell you
what time certain things are happening show you where the toilets are that sort of
thing and then I got a job starting in October
this year as a digital assistant which actually let me put into practice the
stuff that I’ve been learning on my course because mine is a creative course
it’s a filmmaking course I got to make like short films for the University and
got to learn more about the University structure I ventured that pitched this
podcast idea which which is turned into this which is that I have to say is a
paid for position in the university as a student to do something like this I
don’t know if every University offers paid work in the same way as Sheffield
Hallam University does but there are a bunch of opportunities there are so many
students that actually work for this university and although you can weigh up
the pros and cons the pros definitely being is fully flexible will fully work
around your course you don’t have to pick up shifts but you will be offered
shifts and is like casual work in the sense that you are just speaking to
people you know is there’s no real manual lifting or anything like that on
the other side of it though you cannot guarantee that you’re gonna get 10 15 20
hours a week yeah and it’s not like it’s not exactly like 9 or 10 pound an hour
it’s minimum wage usually isn’t it? its minimum wage yeah so you you weigh
up you’ve got super flexible and quite nice job on one hand but on the other
hand it’s not necessarily regular you know when these
events do happen there’s no guarantee it’s not going be on a day when you’ve
got full-day lectures and stuff like that I think you’ve got a you’ve got to
kind of work out what’s best for you because if it’s if it’s better for you
to work at University and you don’t mind and you you want the flexible hours and
you don’t mind doing the work at university it’s great for you because
you’re already at university you know I mean so you know you could do a shift
and then go to a lecture you know whereas for me I think I spend a lot of
time back and forth from work to uni from work to uni all the time and I had
to get I had to get my work to agree to like set shifts for me while I were at
university and they only agreed that because I’ve been there so long you know
I mean yeah absolutely and that’s one of the absolute benefits
of working it university is that you get that flexibility the
negative side again it is sort of you can’t really plan your life like
there’s no way of knowing how much money you’re going to have
in June when you’re currently in April you can’t plan that
far ahead because shifts will just come sort of casually. We spoke a little bit
about the impact of studying as a job and you know that there is this low
impact with having a campus job within the university and this really high
impact with having the kind of job that that you have. How often within your
university progression has your job impacted you know your studies? I would
say quite a lot for me because my jobs are like it is quite high intensity I
work in a kitchen . It is long hours, high intensity unsociable hours like you know
and it’s a bit like you know when you’re working till like midnight or you know
1:00 in the morning cleaning and then you’re back in the university in 9 am
it’s like it takes its toll on you know I mean and I think that’s why I had to
in third year I had to cut my hours to like to like ten a week and you know
they made it they didn’t make it easy for me to do that you know and then I
kind of had to pull my weight a little bit and say like I’ve been here so long you
know you can’t you’ve got to give me a little bit of leeway now and then I I
could do things for you in the future you know what I mean and it was sort of like
a bargaining thing because anyone else could come officer and said they want
ten hours a week set shifts they would have just said no and you would have
been out of a job and would you say this is a benefit of
like staining the same job over them for time yeah I’d imagine you’re now
considered like the og yeah that’s how I feel like for turnover of staff and
managers and you know everyone looks to me and and like asked me so I even on my
day off people phoned me and asked me what the code to dry stores are because no
one knows it you know and like say oh this person’s come in like he’s
work here four years ago do you know them like always do in that sense would
you recommend you know staying in a job for the whole time you’re studying from
college just to university if you can or do you think actually you’d have
benefited from maybe trying a few different jobs over that period of time
I think if I were more if I were more mindful about what the university were
offering with their jobs I might have gone for an on-campus job just because because working off campus is just so
hard while you studying but once you get comfortable somewhere it’s hard to leave
like you know you make friends at work and you start going out of them and they
start becoming part your life like for me in first year I lived at home but in
second year I moved out with someone that was at university but also worked
with me and that like kind of like moved me into town and it started making me go
to university more but I’d say it’s just it’s kind of just for you what you how
you feel what you can do and you know every one of my friends that went to
university from my social group they didn’t have a job while they were at
university and they just couldn’t hack it and it’s alright if he can’t you know if
you can’t hack it like if you got too much on don’t push yourself but like I
think that’s where on-campus jobs come into play because they’re not high
intensity they’re not hard they’re not necessarily hard to do you know you can
you can walk in and do a days or two days work you just feel like you’ve been
at uni that didn’t it is this one there’s a some interesting thing
you bring forward as well the the social aspects of having a job and in Sheffield
specifically I can’t really speak on other cities and towns that that have
universities but in Sheffield they employ a high amount of students you
know all through the shops in Meadowhall for shops in the city centre and
pubs and bars you’ll find majority of staff actually within the city centre at
least does that work on a part-time basis are students and so there is a
great way to network by getting a job and some of the best people I’ve met
like in my life right now I’ve met through through work rather than through
the people that you live with or the people that you study with and then it
comes down to so we’ve talked about like the impact that jobs have on studying I
wanted to look at the other side of it and look at that work-life balance
because once you’ve got a job you’re now working at University you’re now working
in a job as well so the whole like work side balance of your life has just you
know got a lot heavier and then you don’t have much time left for yourself
you know for the life aspects that you have to maintain or this will drive you
crazy in all honesty so do you think it’s easier to have a work-life balance
with a job because on the one hand you you have less time but you’re also given
money to enjoy your time providing you use it wisely. Yeah it’s a good point
I think I’ve never been out of a job really since I’ve been able to work so I
don’t really know a life without a job and I was always like I always had to
get my own money I didn’t get given anything and like probably like you as
well like I didn’t really get given anything just to play it with like I was
always taught you know you’ve got to earn your money to enjoy your time and
that’s just how I went about it. But I think if I didn’t have a job I think that made
me more complacent and I knew a lot of especially the guys that live with in
second year I don’t think one of them had a job apart from me and they
get up at like 12 in the afternoon and do nothing all day and you know I’d get
home at night and they’d still be sat in the same position on the couch and I’m
like what are you doing a I’ve been at of work all day. You know and I get home from
work maybe at like midnight and they’d be coming in from drinks
or going on a night out okay this is interesting like so do you think that
having a job motivated you more to enjoy this the free time you had as opposed to
somebody that maybe had an abundance of free time probably didn’t make the most
of it? yeah I think me personally
I’m a firm believer in that like you know if you got a job and you’re
working towards something or you’re working for something like to maintain
the lifestyle you live like for me for example like I like going to
the pub with my mates and going out for food like once a week
but if I didn’t work I couldn’t do that because it couldn’t afford it and I
think you know when you’ve got a job you can justify doing stuff that you like a
lot more but yeah like you say like I think if you’ve not got a
job at all it might make you a little bit like complacent and
you don’t want to be doing uni work all the time you know
I feel like for me if I’m not doing if I’m doing nothing that’s like the worst
thing for me because like I feel like I’m wasting my time so if I’m doing
uni work I’m doing unit work if I’m at work I’m at work and if I’m enjoying my
free time I know that I’m going to work tomorrow or I’m going to uni the next
day so for students that are going to study this year next year maybe already in the
second maybe going into the third year studying can be very difficult without
money you know and it can also be very difficult whilst
trying to earn money so if I could give any recommendations to students the
first one would be financial awareness it will be knowing how much a
day costs you to live you know how much a weekend cost you to live being aware
of where you’re spending your money do you spend six pounds a day on coffees
I’m not saying you shouldn’t spend six pound a day on coffees I’m just saying
be aware that a day of coffee cost you six pounds and how much you spend on
food and once you start spotlighting where you’re actually spending money
you’ll find that you’ll be finding ways of reducing the amount of money that
you spend. I think for me buying like say I’m buying like seven
pints on a night out and I’m like what does that cost you like 25 quid or
something like that and I’m thinking how many hours I’ve got work to get that
back and is it worth the hours that I work to spend it on this do you
know I mean? yeah but sometimes you can just you know you can treat yourself
obviously you know you don’t have to be crazy about your money
but just like you said be aware about it and I think
financial awareness is the one of the most important things while your
university because you can find yourself in a hole where you know you start
spending and you just think it’s all right and then you know you spend more
the next week and if you’re not earning anything then you put
yourself in deficit and it’s not a good way to live your life because it
stresses you out even more you know you start worrying about money it’s like
another thing on top of your studies and on top you know back to work life
balance kind of thing you don’t want to be worried about money if you know right
I drink seven pints when I go out then you know that a night out cost you 25
pound you know just by being aware of what it costs and then it’s not even
like you can look at whether you can afford it or not because odds on is a
student you’re probably going to spend £25
but when you’re not aware when you’re not financially aware
of how much you’re spending and it is just falling out of your own account you
can find yourself in quite a hole that you’ve got dig yourself back out of and
just being aware of what things cost and you know what and then not necessarily
what they cost from a money perspective but what they’re costing you you know I
know in a week in a month you know whether you get paid purely on
term type allowance or on a weekly wage on a monthly wage once you know what
things are costing you and only once you know you can then start looking at
budgeting you know and and start to narrow down and and put little pockets
of money in place for certain things I think for me budgeting was quite
an easy thing to do because the way I worked out was that I would
pretty much pay for my my bills and my food with the part-time job that I had
and everything else I left to my student loan and obviously I tried to
to save as much as possible whilst at university. It’s not really
possible to save money whilst at university you’ve got to put the
money in place where it needs to be and I think budgeting if you know if you
can it’s great if you can sit there like at the start of the week and write out
all the things that you need for the week you travel cost your food cost you
what your bills are gonna come out and you know if you could afford to have
Spotify Premium or not you know I mean and to look at what you can and can’t
afford it so it’s really important for you I think yeah and then once you’re financially aware you’ve got a budget in place and now you can look
at you know your time and you can start to manage whether you know are you do
you need X amount of money to live the best version of your budget and that
would take Y amount of time working and then you can start to figure out what
kind of job is better for you and then you know and it goes to the thing of
especially if you’re if you’re looking to study here in Sheffield
I really do recommend the on-campus jobs as a flexible form of income but if
you’ve got a type of budget where you’re like okay I am Y amount of money short
every month then you’re probably better off getting an off-campus job where
you’re getting a set amount if you’ve got a 10 hour over 12 hours 16 hour
contract you’re going to be given those certain amount of time it’s then a case
of trying to almost protect your studies from your work and and try to not let
one fall into the other every single person’s story and journey in financial
expenditure is different and just because one thing works for Connor or
one thing works for me does not necessarily mean it should work for you
yeah like I say I think obviously I’m a little bit strong-willed and I’m a
little bit like I feel like I could do everything on my own but that it only
comes with like you can only do as much as you can and I don’t think you know
it’s a lot of the things we’ve said today is easier said than done that’s
that’s like my final point on finances and budgeting it’s a lot easy to say
that you’re gonna save and finance and budget than it is actually doing it but
if you’re aware like we said you know it’s a lot better than being unaware and
then finding yourself in a hole yeah and if you do find yourself in a hole please
talk to somebody whether it’s a friend and academic advisor or anybody don’t
find yourself in a hole and alone because you are not alone you’re never
alone this University and I’m pretty sure every University has people in
place to help you and offers financial advice and things like that
and a last note I’d just like to say there is there’s an alternate way of earning
money that neither of us have talked neither of us have really done but you
could you could start a business of some sort you know there are many
opportunities about cleaning business that dog-walking business you know there
are over enterprising ways of earning money remember
you are unique you are different to everybody else and the way you will live
and earn money should be that way as well yeah thanks Connor for
sharing your story today I’ve had the opportunity to show mine a little bit
I hope it’s helped you all the best for the future
thanks for listening guys.

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