How To Get the Most Out of a Work Study Program

A work study program job could seem menial and boring, but there are ways to get the most out of any job

Flickr user Taber Andrew Bain

Earning money during college can be a helpful boost to finances, allowing you to pay off some of your tuition or other educational expenses. Federal work study is a great program to get into for this reason! However, some of the jobs may seem menial at first and may feel like a waste of time. There are a lot of positives to the job though (you’re making money after all!) and there are ways to maximize your time in the work study program.

Hone your skills

Most work study programs will relate to whatever you’re studying, so you can start learning career-oriented skills while still in school! Even if the work study job you end up getting doesn’t seem at first related to what you’re studying, you never know how your job can tie back into your education.

No matter what job you have, you can learn valuable skills such as time management, organization, communication, and customer service. You also start to understand what it’s like working and managing your money, especially if you’ve never had a job before. Keep in mind that work study program jobs are part-time, and some schools have a maximum number of hours you can work a week. Regardless, a work study job is still a great way to get an understanding of work for the future.

Think of ways to include it on your resume

Work-study programs are great things to include on your resume. After all, it’s still a job, which means you’re learning valuable skills. This gives you a head start on jobs you apply to after you graduate. Consider how you can add each task you complete to your resume.

Working an IT job for example gives you computer skills, customer service, troubleshooting, and problem solving. Almost every job now a days requires these skills. Also remember to include any specific accomplishments you may have earned! Highlight your qualities and skills.

Network in the work study program

While you’re in a work-study program that’s relevant to your studies, you can make important connections. Bosses, coworkers, colleagues, and contacts might help you in the future when searching for jobs or needing letters of recommendation. You don’t have to be best friends, but make sure you establish some sort of professional relationship. Even if you don’t foresee yourself continuing in the same field as your work study job, there’s no reason to not make connections. You never know when someone you used to work with can help you, even in the most unexpected way. Keep in touch after graduation as well.

These are only a few ways you can truly maximize your time while you’re in a work study program. Just because your work study job seems boring, doesn’t mean that you aren’t actually gaining valuable and practical skills, and creating lasting connections to use in the future.

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