Your ability to be a successful university student and undertake part-time work at the same time depends on several factors including your motivation and time management skills, and the flexibility of both your specific course and workplace. While you are at uni it is important to balance study, work, rest, leisure activities and any other commitments you may have, such as caring for others, because usually the last thing you introduce to your life—study—is the first thing to be neglected.

To help you plan, start by having a look at our page on planning your first year studies and read the section on workload to establish how many hours of contact (in-class) and non-contact (out-of-class) study you are expected to do. If you have any questions, you are welcome to contact your director of first year studies. It may also be helpful to record how long it takes you to do daily tasks. Using this information, create a detailed timetable that integrates both contact and non-contact study time, work, travel, and those everyday things like sleeping, eating, showering and housework/chores. If your timetable is so full there is no time left for leisure, you need to consider cutting something out.

If you are able to fit in part-time work while studying, the skills and experiences you gain can improve your chances of securing graduate employment. Graduate employers highly value workplace experience, regardless of what it is, and prefer to employ graduates who can demonstrate those skills only learned in a workplace. Get in touch with the Careers and Employment Liaison Centre for advice on how to market this experience to future employers.

If you are concerned about your finances while you study, we recommend investigating financial assistance including scholarships and Centrelink. Financial counselling and loans are also available: contact FUSA’s Student Assist unit.

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