Student Opinion: Perspectives from College Students Working Part-time Jobs

Image attribution: By El Suzio, CC-BY-SA-4.0

By Akshaj Mehta

Many UCLA students manage being a full time student while working a part-time job somewhere on or off campus. There is a major focus on providing many job opportunities on campus, whether it be at a library, the dining halls, or through ASUCLA. 


First year student at UCLA, Aiden Georgiev, has worked at Westwood’s In-N-Out even before beginning his studies at UCLA.


“I’ve been working with the company since May of 2023 but this specific location since September 17th of 2023,” said Georgiev.

He feels that this job has become a necessity, as it helps him bring in income.


“I decided to get a job so I could bring in an income. With college tuition to pay off and a car to save up for, having a job has become a necessity,” said Georgiev.


Despite not working in high school, Georgiev felt that there would be a difference between working a job in high school and college. 


“I didn’t really have a job in high school because I got this one at the end of my senior year, but I feel there would be a difference because in high school there isn’t much going on compared to the free world of college,” said Georgiev. 


Another UCLA student, Benjamin Sullivan-Douglas, worked throughout high school, but enjoys his current job much more.


“I had a dishwashing job in highschool, not similar at all because I enjoy my work now,” said Sullivan-Douglas. 

Sullivan-Douglas currently has an internship at Space Environment Technologies, a commercial space weather company. 

Sullivan-Douglas feels the need to work part-time “because internship experience in the engineering field is the key to getting good jobs after college.”


Both students have seen benefits to working a job during their undergraduate years. 


For Sullivan-Douglas, the “benefits are obviously the money and practical experience… Thankfully, my job is flexible so I’m able to prioritize school over work when exam time comes.”


Georgiev finds the monetary aspect to be a benefit as well, along with the group of people he works with. 


“Benefits include an income and a tight knit group of friends I’ve made through working with them,” said Georgiev. 


Finding a new group of friends is something that Anna Kim also experienced. “Benefits have been spending money and something productive to do on more empty days. I also got to know people and create friendships that otherwise wouldn’t exist,” said Kim, a first year student at UCLA who currently works at Taco Bell in UCLA’s Ackerman Student Union. 


Kim started to work for similar reasons, one of which being the extra time she had outside of school-related activities.

“I had some extra time outside of clubs and class, and thought it would be nice to have some income,” said Kim.


Despite the benefits, as expected, there are drawbacks to managing both academics and a job. Not only does it take time away from school work, but it can also take time away from social activities that other peers  have the time to experience, like club activities, parties, exercise, or otherwise. 


“It gets hard sometimes because I might forget about an assignment but I can’t call out of work. It’s an added stress even when I’m on top of everything because it takes away from my social life. I know I’d rather be out with friends on a Friday night rather than seeing all of them behind a counter after the parties,” said Georigev.


For students at UCLA, working a job while as a student is a complicated decision. For many, it is a necessity that takes getting used to and making sacrifices to accomplish. For those with jobs, creative ways to make the most out of your college years must be learned, as it is often not easy to find the time.

About The Author

Akshaj Mehta is currently a first year at UCLA, as a political science major. He is a published author with 5 published books, the most recent titled The Butterfly Effect in collaboration with non-profit KidsFirst Roseville. He has written for the N Magazine of Natomas and Sacramento School Beat in the past. His passion for writing has been a central part of his life ever since he was young, and is excited to continue his writing journey.

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