More than 40% of students work alongside their studies at university or school. In preparation for entering professional life, to make ends meet or out of sheer necessity: the choice of a study-related job follows different logics. Three students testify.
Maxime, Lise and Chloé*. These three students have a job alongside their studies. But their motivations and their career choice strategies are very different. For two of them – Maxime and Lise – working while studying comes naturally, while for Chloé it is a necessity.
Work alongside your studies to enrich your resume
Maxime is a student at a business school where he is preparing a master’s degree in international management and procurement. Every weekend and on non-teaching days, it invites the public to various private or public events. “I started working in high school when I was 16. First to finance trips with my friends. Since I’m a student, I choose more jobs related to my studies and my future job as an international buyer.“.
In order to prepare for this, Maxime needs to develop his sense of interpersonal relationships: he needs to know how to talk and be friendly with people who do business… “That’s why I took a job as a presenter for events this fall to develop my contact sense and my interpersonal skills“.
Each mission allows Maxime to enrich his CV with new professional skills. But he doesn’t hide it: balancing 25 hours of classes and 15 to 20 hours of work a week takes it a great sense of organization and banishes procrastination. “If you tell yourself ‘I’ll do that tomorrow’, you’ll quickly get overwhelmed and overwhelmed by time!” the young man warns.
Accepting a student job is a personal decision
For her part, Lise is a third-year student on a bachelor’s degree in Applied Foreign Languages at the Catholic Institute of Paris. She babysits during the week alongside classes at an agency where she has signed a permanent contract for 15 hours per week. A personal choice confirms the young woman. “I wanted to be independent, less dependent on my parents financially, and have money for my personal expenses.”
Babysitting is the perfect student job for Lise: “I work late afternoons and early evenings after classes, usually from 4:30 to 7:00 p.m. So I have the weekends off and can catch up on work.” To make ends meet, Once a month, the student accepts a job as a hostess in the event sector : “This gives me an additional income of 150 euros. In total, I manage to earn 450 to 500 euros a month.”
Lise has set herself limits so that her food jobs don’t compete with her student days: “I refuse to work every weekend or late nights. It is not possible to finish at 21:00 or 22:00. You have to be careful not to get caught up in the money game and work more to earn more at the risk of dropping out.
“I have to work to live, my parents can’t help me”
But this opportunity to work alongside your studies is not open to everyone. For Chloé*, a student of economics and public policy at Sciences po Paris, the question did not arise. “I have to work to live. In the evenings and at weekends I do odd jobs as an extra in bars and restaurants or at trade fairs at the end of the week. The amount of my scholarship according to social criteria – 110 euros per month – is not enough. And my parents can’t help me financially and I am ashamed to speak about it.”
The young woman would like to devote herself entirely to her studies, but has no choice. “Life is more expensive in Paris than in the region,” notes Chloé from the north. In September, the cost of returning to college rose by an average of 7.5% over a year, averaging €2,527, according to Fage.
Very large budget item housing: Chloé spends almost 800 euros on it, the average rent for a student in Paris. compared to the national average of 550 euros. And on the daily expense side, it’s grocery shopping that’s causing prices to skyrocket. “Working alongside my studies prevents me from studying in peace. Especially since my jobs are purely food and have nothing to do with my education, says Chloé. This Sunday evening I’ll be done by 6:00 p.m. and I haven’t revised my class for tomorrow.”
However, Chloé is doing fine financially don’t consider using food banks or queuing at the restos du cœur. Nor, like his colleague Maëlle, a fourth-year student with a German-French double degree, to start a call for help on TikTok. At the beginning of November, this scholarship holder reported in tears on the social network about her financial difficulties. “I can cope financially with my odd job, even if it’s difficult,” sums up the student.
*Name has been changed