My experience working part-time as a university student in Auckland

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Although working part-time overseas while studying sounds like impossible, many people do that nowadays. Doing part-time job is not only providing students with extra income, but also giving many valuable lessons, values, and skills. In this article, contributor Annisa Nurul Hidayah shares some useful tips and her experiences when searching and working part-time jobs in Auckland, New Zealand. Let’s check it out!

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Working part-time is one of the most valuable experiences while studying overseas. It does not only provide you with extra income, but it would also give you a chance to meet new people from various background. And, as you meet with different people, you would also get an opportunity to practice English more often. Other than that, by working part-time, we may also develop a better time-management skill since we have to balance our time to study, part-time work, and personal life. In my experience, I notice that I can finish my assignments more efficiently since I start working part-time. I always have a mindset that I do not have enough time to complete all my tasks if I do not begin working on it immediately. Thus, I never procrastinate doing my assignments. Above all, the most important lesson that I obtained from my part-time working experience is that I learn to be more empathetic and considerate to other people.

Some of you might wonder whether it is possible or not to work part-time while studying overseas, in this case in New Zealand, and more particularly, in Auckland. Therefore, in this opportunity, I would like to share my experience working part-time while studying in Auckland. As a short introduction, I would start by telling a short story about my background. I was enrolled in the Master of Energy program at The University of Auckland in February 2018. In my first semester, I decided to focus on my studies because I need to pass the minimum average grade to continue my master. Well, to be honest, that was not the only reason. I and some of my friends also thought that it was quite hard to get a part-time job in Auckland as, at that time, we did not have any information on how to find a part-time job in Auckland. Hence, I write this article to share my experience on how to get a part-time job in Auckland as a student.

I started working part-time in my third semester in Auckland, which was in January 2019. From January to June, I had done several part-time jobs at different places which I got from different platforms as follows.

  1. Information from other Indonesian colleagues

At first, I got a part-time job from my friend, Gitta, who at that time worked to an Indonesian man who has a cleaning service company in Auckland. I worked there for three weeks as I was only assigned to replace someone else. I worked as a cleaner for the offices. Even though this job paid me below the standard rate, I still valued the opportunity to work there as I got some experience working part-time in Auckland which was an essential requirement to apply for other part-time jobs.

  1. Through jobs sites

After that, I also got information from my friend that we could also apply for a part-time job through job sites. The most popular part-time job site for students in NZ is Student Job Search (www.sjs.co.nz). At first, I did not feel confident to apply jobs advertised on this site because I think they would prefer to employ someone who can speak English fluently. While my speaking skill was not that good. However, after some rejection, I got a part-time job through this site. My first part-time job was as a cleaner at AUT Northshore Campus. From this experience, I learned that the most important factor to apply for a part-time job in Auckland is having an experience, not necessarily having a fluent speaking skill. Some tips that I can give for those of you who want to apply a part-time job in New Zealand but does not have any experience working part-time in New Zealand is that you can talk about your relevant experience while working in Indonesia. For example, I also applied a part-time job to be a staff at the smoothie’s stall in an event. When they interviewed me, I talked about my experience selling some drinks in an event at my campus back when I was in Indonesia. And because of that story, I got that job.

Apart from that, I also got several other part-time jobs from the SJS site, such as a warehouse assistant at an online clothing store, a stall staff at lantern festival, a stock taker at a cutlery shop, and a production worker at an ice cream factory. In my experience, sometimes, some employer needs more people to work at their companies. So, I can also bring my friends to join me in working there. In the SJS site, there are also several jobs that could be related to your professional background. For example, my friend got a part-time job to be a process engineer for a waste treatment project in New Zealand. Thus, it could also improve your professional experience and resume.

Me when working as a cashier at the smoothies’ stall
Me when working as a cashier at the smoothies’ stall
My friends and I working as the warehouse assistant at an online clothing store
My friends and I working as the warehouse assistant at an online clothing store

There are also several other sites for finding part-time jobs in NZ, such as Sidekicker and Seek. Some of my friends got a part-time job from these sites. But I did not have any experience getting a part-time job from there. So, I cannot talk that much about these sites, but it worth to try.

  1. Announcement board at the campus

The other way to get a part-time job is from the announcement board at the university. You must check the announcement board frequently to get this information. My friend got a job at one of student centre facilities at the campus which was advertised on the announcement board. Also, we could get information if there is any participant needed for research. Usually, as a participant, we will get a gift, either in the form of money or voucher for the groceries store, etc.

  1. Working with supervisor or lecturer at the campus

There is also an opportunity to get a part-time job from your lecturer or supervisor. A friend of mine got an offer from her supervisor to work as an assistant for a project. She got a 4-month contract for working on that project. Other than that, if you did a part-time job with your supervisor, it would be good for your resume as it is in line with your academic background. There are also some jobs announced through the campus mailing list to be a lecturer assistant. If your experiences meet the criterion, you could also apply.

I believe that there are a lot more ways to find a part-time job while studying in New Zealand. I only mention some ways that I have experienced and heard. Even though I believe that working part-time could provide many benefits, but it is important to keep prioritising your education as a student 😊

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Photos provided by the author

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Annisa Nurul Hidayah
Annisa Nurul Hidayah is a recent graduate from Master of Energy Program at The University of Auckland. She loves travelling, hiking, and creating itineraries for her next journey. A big supporter of green energy as she believes that it could make the world a better planet to live in. She had an experience working as an energy-efficiency consultant for more than three years and had learned a bit about renewable energy, especially geothermal energy.