Nina: Finding a job (aka why do schools not teach us life skills?)

Today I want to talk to you about the option of having a job while being a student, something that will always look great on your CV.

After I secured my room in Writtle, it was time to face the horrendous rent charged in the UK for rooms and how I am able to afford it. Due to being foreign and just having lived in the UK for two years at that time, I was unable to apply for a Maintenance Loan as five years is the minimum time of living in the UK to qualify. A grant was even less of a topic (thanks Dad for earning so much, but where is my share of your money?). Of course my parents offered to help me with the living costs, based on me getting a job to pay for part of the rent. So for the first time in my life, I had to sit down and search for jobs (babysitting and tutoring in Germany worked out due to knowing people…way easier!).

Honestly, show me one person who does not have a breakdown when trying to write up a CV, a cover letter and then pray that somehow someone might actually be silly enough to employ them. As you might be able to tell, this was not my favourite experience in life! Somehow I did manage to secure a job interview at Primark and I am not sure what happened (maybe the money I paid the interviewer? ;) ), and they did actually offer me a job in Chelmsford. By that time, I also got offered a job interview in a cute little Coffee House/Deli in my village so I quickly went for an interview there and did a work trial. In the end I was the one able to choose! And as much as I love clothes, the prospect of having to cycle to Chelmsford on a rainy Sunday morning in the middle of winter was a slight turn-off so I started my job as a waitress. Due to perfect circumstances, I got offered work three days a week in the coffee house, based on me being in the kitchen to prepare food on one of them. Challenge accepted! Now, a whole year later, I am in the kitchen all of my three days and just finished a summer of working there basically full-time.

I would advise every one of you to try to find a job while studying. It gives you a break from studying, you get paid and it is another way to meet new people and make friends. Most importantly though, being able to say in an interview that you juggled work and university will always sound great – and might give you that little extra advantage, so you are chosen above someone else!



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