University of Oregon

Relevant Work Experience - How to Make Your Time at School and Part-Time Job Work For You!


You have heard tons about the importance of internships and the benefits, but what do you do while school is in session and you have a heavy of a course load and need the money from a part-time or full-time job that takes up a lot of your free time? You can learn important job skills that will be applicable to almost any profession while still having time to make a decent amount of money. 

Unpaid – Thinking about your Resume and Interview

  1. Propose your own Unpaid Internship
    Many professors in various different fields of study, be it European history or Biochemistry, are constantly doing research. Approaching a professor you are friendly with about assisting them from time to time with their research is a great way to learn a great deal about your field of interest while still having time to study and work at your part-time or full-time job.
  2. Volunteer at a Company or Organization
    Employers are really impressed by students that show a passion early on for their industry or especially their company. Many companies and organizations have various kinds of events all the time and could use volunteers. Just think of a few places you would be interested in interning with one day or even working at and ask them if they need any volunteers. They can only say no. If they say yes, no matter how menial the task they give you, you are developing relationships and networking which puts you at a great advantage. 
  3. Volunteer at the UO Career Center
    It isn’t easy for college students to learn the ins and outs of the professional world while keeping up their grades and working at a job that has nothing to do with their field of interest. Volunteering or working in career services can help you become familiar with the job-hunting process and become comfortable talking with employers and recruiters. The UO Career Center hosts many events on campus all year long that bring recruiters from all over the country (and sometimes the world). Volunteering looks great on a resume and it gives you a chance to network and create relationships with various different employers from almost every kind of industry.

Paid – How You Can Make a Job Work for YOU

Even of you don’t feel like you are learning anything applicable to your chosen field in your current job or ones that are easy to get, your daily performance and work ethic are completely relevant to any job or career you may ever encounter. Your education and degree may open doors for you but if you can’t show how well you can work with others and how hard you work at everything you try to do, no matter how menial you feel it to be, then you may have a hard time landing a job.

The following list of jobs was pulled from a US News & World Report article entitled “10 Best Jobs for College Students” by Liz Wolgemuth.

  1. Waiter or Waitress: Don’t snub a food service job. You can earn a good amount of money, and employers will typically work around your school schedule. Even better, you can often return to a restaurant after taking time off.
  2. Lab Assistant: This can be a great choice for a student seeking a career in the laboratory sciences. Off-campus lab assistant positions are often part time and may require only a high school degree. Colleges often employ lab assistants in campus research labs, sometimes through work-study programs. Research experience can be very appealing to employers.
  3. Writer: If you’re headed for a career that involves communications—and most do—you may gain advantages working, paid or not, as a writer. You might find work with a campus publication or the school paper.
  4. Bank Teller: About 1 in 4 tellers work part time, so college students might find flexibility in a bank job. You’ll gain customer service experience, and you’ll be forced to become familiar with numbers. Sometimes students who are interested in working in the financial industry get their feet wet as tellers.
  5. On-campus IT Support Job: This is one of the best work-study jobs you’ll find if you are working on a degree in a relevant area. You’ll be able to gain real-world experience without leaving campus. Such jobs are more

Check out UO JobLink to search for these and many other kinds of jobs, internships and vounteer opportunities on and off campus!

You are always welcome to meet individually with a career counselor to get help working on your resume, interview skills or ask any other questions. To make an appointment call 541-346-3235 or e-mail Please contact us anytime Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Photo from Flickr by borman818

Megan Koler's picture