Why I choose to be a working student

05 Apr 2022
By Romeo O, Student at

Being a student isn’t easy. It’s long hours and requires a lot of hard graft. Many students assume that having a part-time job on top of that will interfere with their studies and make uni life harder, but for me that’s not been the case. Having a part-time job in retail has only been beneficial for me so far - here’s why.

It’s helped build my character

As an international student living in Oxford, working has helped me establish a sense of belonging and place, and allowed me to grow as a person. So I can balance long shifts with what I have on at university, I’ve learnt a new level of resilience. I also now make the most of every moment of free time, which I probably wouldn’t have done before.

I’ve picked up new skills

Having to interact with various members of the local community on a daily basis at work, I’ve noticed how strong my people skills have become. As well as this, having an earned income has made me appreciate every penny that I make, and I now understand money much better than I did previously - I’ve even got into investing recently.

I can help out my parents

As an international student where my parents fund my education, I’ve always hoped I’d be able to lessen their financial load while I’m here in Oxford. Since starting work, I have been able to help them out as well as have some extra money in my back pocket for general student life.

I’ve expanded my network

Working part-time has meant I’ve managed to build connections outside of my university. I’ve made friends with colleagues, all with different backgrounds and ambitions. I’ve also got to know our regular customers, and now often see their familiar, friendly faces when I’m out and about. Having a job allows you to connect with people, and I know a strong network can go a long way in opening up future opportunities.

It’ll impress future employers

While the job market is growing rapidly right now, it’s hard as a graduate to stand out from your competition - especially now companies can widen their search with the option of remote working. Having had that part-time employment, I’m more confident that when I graduate my CV will stand. It’ll show future employers that I’ve been able to balance my time effectively, and that I’m prepared to go the extra mile. I’m also hoping it will give me a solid employment reference I can use to boost my application.

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Greetings from the one and only, Romeo O! I am an international student from the Philippines, studying Law with Business at Oxford Brookes University. Writing has always been a passion of mine and I hope to share it with you here on The Common Room.