We Work (Michigan Student Edition)

By Lisa Kim May 5, 2020
Physic students

So many Michigan students work different jobs while also “working” as full-time students. I do it, and you can too! I’d also argue that it makes for a much better college experience. Many of my peers are also in agreement. In fact, I know so many more people on campus who balance a job with their studies than those who are only attending classes.

During my time at Michigan, I’ve worked as a research assistant, resident advisor, web developer, and blogger.

(Actual depiction of me being a web developer, blogging, and doing homework.)

I’m a computer science major, and while most of these opportunities aren’t directly related to coding or expanding my technical abilities, they’ve all taught me so many valuable and transferable skills that employers are looking for.

Case in point, I’ve been able to use all of these different opportunities to showcase my skills during interviews. STAR technique, anyone?

When I first came to college, I was a little worried about my ability to work and study, and do well at both. But many upperclassmen assured me that working would only help me be a better student because I would be more motivated to stay organized and not waste my time. Certainly, it’s important not to overload yourself with so many jobs that you can’t do things like go to class, eat, and shower; however, working 10-20 hours a week pushed me to value my time more and procrastinate less. You can bet that helps with studying.

Best of all, working while studying helps you build your resume while you are still in college. And given the variety of experiences available on campus, you can pick and choose opportunities to help highlight your strengths, which can make you even more employable upon graduation. At Michigan, you can work, get paid, and be a more competitive candidate when you enter the workforce!

If you want to find a job on campus, there are so many resources dedicated to getting you the opportunity that best fits you. You can check out the Student Employment Office website; contact your department’s office about teaching, tutoring, and grading opportunities (yes, even as an undergraduate!); or look here, here, or here. You can fix tech equipment, do research, drive a Blue Bus, or teach discussion sections. Somewhere on campus, there is a job that is meant for you, and all you have to do is find and apply for it.

Being a working student has enriched my Michigan experience in more ways than I can count. At Michigan, you’re learning from professors who are the best in their field, and that means you are building employable skills in real time, so put them to good use. And of course, earning extra money doesn’t hurt either.

Lisa Kim
Lisa Kim

is a recent graduate of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, where she majored in computer science and minored in multidisciplinary design. Lisa is a big fan of doing face masks, reading thrillers, and listening to electronic music, and you can probably find her doing one of those three things now.