Studies and work. Is it compatible?

How to balance work with studies? Many students, both those in their final year and those who are just trying to get used to university life, think about it. 

What motivates you to look for a job during your studies?

Finance. Many young people are troubled by the thought of how to help their family, pay for their living, and some consider how to support themselves by living alone, without depending on anyone else. After interviewing several Vytautas Magnus University (VDU) students, it turned out that this is true. Adrija, a first-year student studying mathematics and its application, says that one of the criteria for looking for a job is a good salary, and she is motivated to work during her studies by "the desire to move out and start an independent and independent life".

Experience. This is one of the most motivating criteria that encourages students to get a job during their studies. It is always good to acquire practical skills, to test yourself in various fields while still studying, but it is important to evaluate your capabilities and refine what is personally more important: knowledge acquired at university or at work. Daiva Pugevičienė, VDU Career Center Manager. coordinator, advises that "a person with excellent time planning skills, who has goals in the third and fourth year can perfectly combine work and studies. A number of students stay to work in companies after the internship and work in fields related to their studies. Practice shows that combining work and studies is really possible". However, she also advises freshmen not to rush into work, "especially if you have never worked and have no work experience" and rather to wait the first semester, to get to know the new pace of life, to make sure that you will be able to devote enough time to both things.  

Is it important to look for a job that is related to the chosen studies? 

Many people look very dismissively at simple, non-educational, otherwise known as "jobs for students". If the chosen specialty is not at all related to these works, of course you will not gain experience for it. However, such an idea should not be completely rejected. After interviewing several VDU students, it became clear that this is exactly what they are doing. When choosing a job during studies, first-year students take into account such criteria as low physical load, good salary, despite the fact that the work is completely unrelated to studies. Daiva Pugevičienė states that "if a student needs a job, only for income and he is studying in the first or second year, he can look for a temporary" job, but it is important that it does not happen that "due to personal reasons, fears, (the student) simply does not apply for positions that are related to his study program and continues to work in an unskilled job after graduation".

What difficulties does the common student face?

Many VMU students complain that they face several obstacles while working during their studies. "Little time to study and do work <…>, fatigue, lack of sleep, decrease in social life. <…> more often I have free time to donate in order to do study work or go to work." - Adria faces such problems. Another student complains that she has problems organizing her personal and study time, so she feels very tired and her studies suffer. It is especially difficult during colloquiums and exam sessions. Perhaps in this case, the question is what is more relevant, work or study? This is very subjective, but it is important to remember that each of us sets priorities personally. Daiva Pugevičienė believes that "<...> science should not suffer because of work. After all, you have chosen your studies, your goal should be to gain knowledge and, after completing your studies, enter the labor market with knowledge that will help you apply and compete for job positions. <…> Especially in the first year. Until a young person comes to his senses, tests himself in new situations, gets to know himself better and adequately assesses his opportunities to study and work. ” The surveyed VMU students also agree with this, most of them are of the opinion that it is very important to find a balance between these things, because the future of a young person depends on both, especially in order to have as many opportunities as possible.

What advice can you give to students planning to work during their studies?  

Daiva Pugevičienė advises students: "Know yourself, know what you want, what you can do, what you aspire to, know your strengths and weaknesses. <…> Don't be afraid to talk to the employer, to the teachers. Discuss your situation, ask for help, negotiate and argue. <...> You can always come to the VMU Career Center and discuss those issues".

Adria claims that "It is compatible and I think it should even be encouraged, but you need to put a lot of work into yourself and develop the will and strength in yourself to be able to balance all this in a healthy way."

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