Being left in charge of food, housing, electricity, water and social spending means that money often disappears from student accounts before you can even say “cha-ching!”
While some of us have parents, overdrafts or loans that help soften the blow, many have to come up with more creative ways of earning money. Having spent two years at uni already, with another three still to go, I have come across quite a few unconventional ways to earn some spare change on my own time.
Being a vet student, this was an obvious choice of income for me, but it doesn’t come to mind for everyone when trying to earn some extra cash. There are many different pet-sitting platforms to sign up to or become a member of across the UK including but not limited to: Rover, Pawshake and Tailster. For many of these, you can decide on your own fees, what you want to do (pet walking, feeding, etc) and where and when you work. While animal experience is often appreciated, it is not necessarily required for all tasks, so anyone can be a pet sitter!
University Ambassador / Student Barista
At the beginning of every academic year, universities often employ a new cohort of what they call ‘student ambassadors.’ These are students who represent the university over a range of events including open days, career fairs, campus tours and school visits. What’s crazy about this job is that you can get paid between £7-10 an hour (university dependent) for simply talking about your university and your experiences there. Again, this is an easy way to earn some extra cash, since there are no commitments and you decide which events to work. Like taking candy from a baby!
Also, look out for yearly openings at your student bar. Most universities have their own bars and, while pay will again depend on the university, they should pay a similar wage to that of student ambassadors. Just like being a student ambassador, campus bar jobs are all about when you want to work and what’s most convenient for you. However, keep in mind that you will most likely be asked to do more shifts as a student barista than a student ambassador.
TV / Movie Extra
When I heard about this option as a student, it totally blew my mind. You can easily sign up to platforms like UniversalExtras or CastingCollective, fill in a profile and have the opportunity to appear on television/in movies! Obviously there are no guarantees, but when you do get gigs, the rewards are huge. The average pay for film extras is £84, while for a TV extra it’s £90 (daily rates). Companies like BBC and ITV have been known to pay between £70-90 for simple walk-on roles.
While it may not be a regular means to earn some dosh, it is a hell of an experience if you get called in to work!
Much like applying to be an extra, with hospitality companies you submit a profile, often with your CV and qualifications, then wait to be asked to work. There are loads of student-hiring hospitality companies across the UK, including BrightSparks, TempTribe and HighSociety. For some organisations, you apply directly to the events you want to work, while others assign their work to you. On average you would be paid £8-12 per hour and will develop life skills such as time and people management. Being a member of an organisation like these has given past employees some incredible opportunities, including working at the British Fashion Awards and Twickenham Stadium. Preparing your CV yet? I am!
Whether it’s just to scrape together a few extra pounds for going out with your mates or earning a full wage to round up groceries every week, there are loads of opportunities out there which don’t involve sitting behind a desk or working at a till! Have a look around now to see what you can find, and start getting paid for your time!