Students reflect on the cost and benefits of working while in school

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While the workload of a student can be comparable to that of a full-time job, many students at Boise State work part-time or more in addition to their schooling. Most of these students seek employment out of necessity while others are simply looking to gain experience.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2015 43 percent of full-time university students had part-time jobs. Here at Boise State, there are a plethora of students who are employed on and off campus.

Hunter Robertson, a junior business finance major, expressed his need for a job, saying, “I got a job to be able to make some extra money, not extra in terms of saving, but I help pay for rent and food. In addition to the money I make over the summer, this helps get me through the school year.”

This sentiment is similar to that of many student employees. Robertson is employed by the Payment and Disbursement Center on campus. Before employment in this office, he worked as a bicycle delivery rider for Jimmy Johns.

“It was hard for them to schedule around school hours whereas an on campus job really looks at exactly what your class schedule is and works with you to figure out your best work hours,” Robertson said.

While on-campus employers may be easier to work with, maintaining a high GPA while working can be difficult. When asked if and how working affects his schooling, health science senior Carson Addison said, “It absolutely affects it in a negative way. It’s time dedicated to something other than school. I work 20 hours a week and that could be time spent on class work.”

Despite the difficulties Addison has encountered, he expressed many positive outcomes of working as well. “If it were really that bad I wouldn’t do it. The positives outweigh the negatives and the experience is worth it,” Addison said.

All sources interviewed expressed the development of time management skills as one of the benefits of working while studying.

“One of the benefits is the real world experience. I think a nine to five would be easier than this. Working really, really hard prepares you for anything to come. Any nine to five would be easier than going to school full time while working,” Addison said.

Working gives these students the experience that they feel is essential for the real-world they will be thrown into after graduating. Working allows them to gain skills that, while essential for entering the workforce, are not necessarily found in classrooms.

As Benjamin Franklin said, “If you want something done, ask a busy person.” Senior health science major Kai Collingwood has a very similar outlook.

“I have a good work-ethic at work and I try to do my best, and I can more easily carry this over to school than when I did not have a job and just sort of sat around doing nothing for a few hours. It’s a lot harder to transition into the ‘okay, now lets work hard’ mindset, rather than working hard at my job and then as student and just keeping that going,” Collingwood said.

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