Emily's experiences of working part-time while a Sociology student
Top tips from Emily: 'What I have learnt is that employers look for more than a degree these days and having some good experience within a job or volunteering role can only make you look better than others and I would especially encourage all students to become involved in what they can do for the local community.'
Emily worked for Victim Support part-time while she was studying for a BA (Hons) in Sociology.
Whilst studying at Nottingham Trent I began thinking about what career path interested me and at the freshers fair whilst was in year 2, the charity Victim Support were advertising a 10 hour a week job role. I applied and thankfully got the job where I have now been working for eighteen months and if possible I will continue to work after I graduate.
I am one of seven 'victim care officers' which involves us attempting to contact the majority of victims of crime in Nottinghamshire to assess whether they need any practical or emotional support. If they do so I arrange and monitor this service with the victim to ensure they are feeling better in the long run.
Our office is open 8am till 8pm so I cover the 6-8 shift Monday - Friday which fits in perfectly with my degree and I also earn good money which funds my student lifestyle! It has been a brilliant experience as I have made some good friends and professional contacts, been on serious crime training schemes which are incredibly interesting and learnt more about what I may want to do with my future.
However the biggest benefit would have to be that I feel at home within Nottingham now; I don't just feel like a student here with a home where my parents live. I have been able to build my life here and hopefully have been a positive resource to the community of Nottingham.
The only negative I could think of is that when something happens at work you are expected to be able to give up time to attend, for example a meeting with another agency about a victim. This requires great dedication and if the course had required more lecture/seminar contact I would have struggled. Luckily sociology is greatly a self-learning course, where our own reading and development is vital and thus I have learnt to manage and organise my time efficiently.
I am currently applying for other jobs in case it is not possible to stay with Victim Support and I am finding that all the experiences I have had from my job can be supported by the modules I chose during my degree; for example race and ethnicity is beneficial for workplace diversity.
I have not only worked and studied whilst at university, I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Trent and being a student however what I have learnt is that employers look for more than a degree these days and having some good experience within a job or volunteering role can only make you look better than others and I would especially encourage all students to become involved in what they can do for the local community.