Deciding to do part-time work while you are studying at the LSE can be a great idea. Apart from easing the financial pressure of living in one of the most expensive cities in the world, and giving you a bit of spare cash to help you to enjoy it, it can also give you the opportunity to develop some work skills to take forward into your post-university life. These might be directly relevant to what you want to do in the longer term, reflect the broader skills such as team working or communication skills that most employers look for, or it might just be a case of showing that you were able to manage your time effectively.
Whatever you choose to do, a part-time job will definitely give you something else to talk about with potential employers. So think carefully about how it complements your studies, the extra skills and experiences it gives you, and how these are going to be relevant to your future work.
How much can you work?
LSE has set out some clear guidelines around how much work is appropriate, and respecting these will go a long way to help you hit the right balance. Keep in mind that your first priority will always be your studies, and it is important to ensure you’ll be able to look back happily on the commitment you have shown and the results you have achieved. Apart from your own self-satisfaction, many employers are very clear on the results you will need to achieve to secure a job offer, so make sure you understand what that will be and don’t put it at risk.
We suggest that a limit of up to 15 hours a week is reasonable; if you’re an international student, more formal restrictions apply and it’s critical to ensure you keep within the guidelines of your visa (often set at 21 hours) remembering that this limit includes all kinds of work, including paid work, volunteering, and internships. Keep in mind too that your workload might vary over the course of the year, so what seems reasonable this term could put you under too much pressure later in the year.
Where can you find opportunities?
There’s information on our website, and we also run regular seminars on finding internships, work experience and part-time work. You can also search opportunities for part-time work on CareerHub; many students also find casual work around campus, in local shops, restaurants and bars, in the hospitality and events industries. If you’re staying in London over Christmas, there will of course be opportunities for temporary work with many retailers over the holiday season.