Working part-time: Lucy Brady

Guest BloggerFirst Year, Guest Blogger, Part-Time Jobs & Volunteering, Second Year

Lucy Brady is a 4th year Accounting for Management student. Alongside her studies, she has been working part-time as a Multi-Services Assistant for Intelligent Office. She was also recently highly commended for the Commercial Impact category in the Student Employee of the Year Awards 2019. We caught up with her to find out more about her experiences.

What does a typical day in your part-time job look like?

Usually I am doing a mixture of tasks and it very much depends on how busy it is that day.

However, my core role involves picking up, scanning or printing whatever comes into the inbox from the solicitors in the department and any jobs that have been given to us and put on the side, which usually involve binding or scanning to email. Any spare time I have is devoted to ensuring our pod (the admin office on each floor) is tidy, checking that stationery is stocked up, doing floor walks to see if any jobs have been put in our various in-trays and helping on any additional projects. Recently, various departments have changed floors so I’ve been involved in supporting that and archiving boxes.

What has been the highlight of your job so far?

Winning ‘site of the year’ due to our team work and hard-working nature, and working on projects with organisations such as the Ministry of Defence.

What skills have you developed?

  • Team work – when we have many jobs come in at once, we need to communicate with each other to ensure work isn’t duplicated and printers, scanners and any other equipment is available for the most urgent jobs.
  • Leadership – working with solicitors and partners on real-life cases has increased my confidence and my ability to delegate tasks as I learn how tasks get done and who would be best suited for each task.
  • Work-life balance – having a job and also studying in my final year of university has meant I’ve needed to be organised to ensure I have a good work-life balance and that neither suffers due to the other.

Why did you decide to get a part-time job?

I had a lot of spare time around my studies, especially in first year, and it was nice to have an income so I didn’t have to rely on my parents. In addition to this, it looks very good on your CV and has helped me mature a lot more when it has come to applying for grad jobs.

It especially focuses me on making sure I do my university work too – I don’t have a lot of free time so I have to plan in when I am going to do it, meaning I actually get it done rather than just procrastinate.

How do you juggle working and studying?

There are 24 hours in a day, so it isn’t hard to be honest if you use them well. The main way is just making sure you go to all your lectures so you don’t have to play catch-up just because you wanted to stay in bed. It also helps being organised – I give my workplace my availability 2 weeks in advance and the rota comes out the week before so I know what I am doing and where.

If you need to sacrifice a night out to make sure you prepare for seminars then that’s OK – there will be plenty of other nights out. Make sure you also go to sleep at a respectable time – if you know you have to be up at 7am, then don’t stay up until 1am.

How have the skills and experience you’ve gained from your part-time job helped you in other areas of your life? 

Working in such a corporate environment means I know what to expect when I get a grad job, and I can see similarities in people’s traits as to why they have been employed and I can try to replicate that. Also, as I had to have an interview for the job, it has meant that placement and grad job interviews have been less daunting as I know what to expect.

What advice would you give to other students thinking about or looking for a part-time job?

Do it – it’s worth it in the long run and what else are you going to do with all your spare time (apart from doing your wider reading which we all know you’re not)?

Has Lucy’s story inspired you to find your own paid part-time job? Well, lucky for you, we’ve got our own JobShop team who are just itching to help you get one! You can find them next door to the Careers+Placements Centre (1st Floor, South Wing) or drop them an email at jobshop@aston.ac.uk