Full name: Saif Widyatmoko
Degree title: International Business and Management
Year of graduation: 2020
Organisation name: Aston University Careers+Placements Team
Job title: Careers+Placements Associate
What does a typical day in your part-time job look like?
Our manager in the Careers and Placements team would send out an e-mail listing out the different jobs they had for the month and we would sign up on certain shifts through a Google Sheet document. From there we would complete whatever task was given whether it was creating a blog for the Careers and Placements website or turn up at a placement workshop to talk to second year students. Once our tasks are completed, we then clock in the number of hours worked so at the end of the month our payslips would be accurately represented.
Has coronavirus and the subsequent lockdown affected your role at all?
In terms of the type of tasks we are given they are not too different, but it is more the way they are conducted has changed. For example, previously if we were to create certain stories and video content that we would publish on the Careers and Placements social media accounts, we would use a professional camera setup and have all the associates together to do this. However, because of the lockdown and social distancing measures, this type of content has to be done remotely through our own phones or cameras then to be sent off to the manager separately rather than being together.
What has been the highlight of your job?
I would say one of the highlights of working for the team was when I took part in a placement workshop for the second year students and shared my experience on what I did during my placement year. I enjoyed the idea of speaking with students firsthand on why they should consider taking a placement year and it felt very rewarding when after having conversations with them they are more open and interested about the idea of doing a placement.
The main reason I wanted to work for the careers team was because during my second year they helped me so much when deciding on whether or not to undergo a placement year and I wanted to try and do that same thing with the current second year students.
What skills have you developed?
Having presented to a lot of prospective students and second year students during workshops and open days, my communication and presentation skills have improved significantly. I am now confident with public speaking and am hoping to do this a lot more in the future. Alongside this, I also created blog posts for the team which often had maximum word counts for each article. This allowed me to develop an important skill of being engaging yet concise in my writing.
Why did you decide to get a part-time job?
Aside from the financial reasons of getting a part-time job, I believe working during university provides you with the important skill of organisation. This skill is key to provide a good work ethic and having this will allow you to perform better in both your studies and when applying for graduate roles in the future.
How do you juggle working and studying?
Organisation is the key to success! In my final year I made it apparent that I would prioritise my studies over everything else so I was very grateful that I could work a part-time, zero-hour job. This meant that I would be able to manage the amount of time I would work in conjunction to the amount of time dedicated towards my studies without feeling too overwhelmed.
How have the skills and experience you’ve gained from your part-time job helped you in other areas of your life?
Working as a Careers and Placements associate has definitely helped me during my final year at university. Creating concise articles and practicing my presentation skills through placement workshops have allowed me to put these skills into practice for certain module assignments. Also as part of Aston University’s Careers and Placements team, we were awarded “best team” in the institutional round of the Student Employee of the Year awards 2020 which is something that will be of a conversation starter when applying for future roles.
What advice would you give to other students thinking about or looking for a part-time job?
When looking for a part-time job, it is important to consider what you want out of the role. If it is strictly for financial reasons, look into roles that will have you working weekly. Retail jobs usually offer this. If it is to develop a new skill, there are plenty of interesting roles such as a brand ambassador or career associates. These ones are usually more zero-hour, but the rate of pay can sometimes compensate this. Aston Futures is a really good source when finding jobs that will cater your time as a student. Apply before the new semester starts and you might find something really interesting!
What are your plans for the future?
I intend on completing a Master’s degree for Business Analytics to specialise and solidify my interest in the field, and am hoping to work as a business analyst once my degree has been finished.
Any other comments?
Alongside part-time jobs and your studies, make sure you still have time for some fun while at university! Make memories with friends, join different societies, and cherish every single day because these are the times you will reminisce when you are older and out into the working world.