Working as a Student Assistant on the International Students Team
To be completely honest, before joining the International Students Team, I was grasping to find bits of information about the position, as the job description was vastly different from the usual student assistant jobs that I’ve heard of. I tried reaching out to my friends regarding their experience working as a student assistant at the university. However, their positions seemed to comprise of very different tasks than the ones I was prescribed. Now, it has been about 3 months since I’ve joined the team and I thought I might share about my experience so far.
I have to say that my time with the team has been very rewarding thus far. Not only do I enjoy doing the tasks, but I have also met some very interesting people and gained some skills and experience from the job.
“What is a student assistant?”
By definition, a student will just mean… a student, and an assistant is someone hired to help with completing a task, usually those more clerical in nature. Thus, a student assistant would be someone who studies at a university that is hired part time by the university. A student assistant would usually work under a department or with a specific professor to perform certain tasks such as grading or answering the more general questions of students in particular courses.
“How does working with the International Students Team differ other student assistant jobs?”
Working under the International Students Team would mean that the tasks given to me differs from the tasks one expects most student assistants would do. Most student assistants’ tasks are related to tuition and they usually work under professors. However, on the International Students Team, the work ranges from helping out during online and offline open days, participating in photoshoots for the university’s website, answering questions from prospective students and writing content for the International Students Blog, such as the one you’re reading right now.
Personally, I very much enjoy doing the tasks as they allow me to exercise some skills that otherwise wouldn’t expect to have the opportunity to do so again after high school. One such skill would be writing. This is especially exciting for me seeing that the university is very much centralized in studying the sciences. Therefore, it was nice to take a break from all the science-y stuff.
“How did the application process go for you?”
I was in the middle of my 2nd year of my bachelors living the student budget. I wasn’t struggling, no, but I also had to hold back on splurging on trips, home food delivery and events that I wanted to go to, especially since we do not receive the same benefits as the local students do such as free travel. Thus, I wanted to find ways to expand my budget. Alas, finding a student job as a non-EU international was nearly impossible as working was not permitted. That was until I came across the job posting. Well, I didn’t, a very kind friend did and forwarded the posting to me since she wasn’t able to apply herself.
The application process was also very straight forward. I filled in a form, send in a CV and soon after, I was given a date and time for the interview. I remember being super nervous for the interview. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was very casual and my future supervisors were also very warm. Not long after I received an email about being chosen for the job, I accepted, and the work permit application and all the messy stuff were very kindly handled by the employers. There was a minor delay on the work permit application and thus, I started in October as opposed to August.
“What are some of your favourite perks of being on the team?”
Other than the fun tasks I get to do, I also have the opportunity to meet some very cool people who are also on the team and learn from more experienced people, such as my supervisors. Personally, I think it’s an amazing first job as its relatively fun and it also gave me a glimpse into what an office dynamic would more or less be like. It also looks really good on your CV.
And obviously, a great perk of being a student assistant would mean that your student budget would be expanded a little and you can use the funds on the many experiences I want to gain living in a foreign country.
There is one less obvious perk that has quickly become my favourite. Free coffee. No, not from the cafes spread across campus but from vending machines. But, hey, I’m more than happy to take it.
“How do you maintain a balance between your studies, your social life and work?”
The nature of the job at the student team is very relaxed and freelance-like. A task gets posted and if you think you have a little extra time, you can choose to take it. If you don’t, someone else on the team would be happy to. Thus, maintaining a balance isn’t a huge problem. Just take it as trading 3 hours of binge watching Netflix with a writing a blog article, which I honestly find quite therapeutic.
So far, this is all I could tell you about my experience working with the team. I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity as its an amazing first job and the tasks fall on the fun side of work. Thus, I’m really looking forward to continuing working with the team for the months to come. If you are interested in joining next year’s team and have any specific questions, feel free to leave them in the comments below!