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Working while in school?


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Is anyone planning on taking on a part-time job while in school to help offset some cost (grocery money, utilities, etc.)?

I currently have a part time, remote job that would probably be pretty understanding about need for flexibility, but is still one step above a barista job and can be mentally taxing. I was also considering taking weekend babysitting or house sitting instead.

Anyone else exploring options, or are you going to be fully dedicating yourself to school?

I can definitely see the value in not having to split my mind in two ways. But also, the prospect of paying loan interest for my ramen doesn't seem super appealing. :)

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I plan to apply for a graduate/research assistantship position at the school I'm going to (MGH), as they've said they'll send out the application in the summer. The position is about 6 hours per week which I think will be manageable. I think it will be much easier to have a job within the program, because they will be understanding of your need to be flexible for clinical placements and classes. 

 

I did some weekend babysitting in undergrad and it was more trouble than it was worth. Getting references, sending out cover letters and resumes, interviewing with each family - only for them to have me to babysit one night every month or two, and they all petered out pretty quickly. I still babysit occasionally for people I know personally, but I won't know anyone where I'm going.

 

I also want to have my weekends and nights free in grad school because I'll probably be single by then and want to start dating again, and generally have a social life. I've also just worked so many part time jobs by now that pay so little - it just doesn't seem worth it anymore since I'm confident I get can get a good job after grad school in this field. I'd rather take out a few more thousand in loans than waste time at another $9/hour job. But I'm lucky enough that I won't have to take out many loans anyway. 

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I'll have to work through the program as well. I worked two jobs (one menial, one more 'intellectual') through my first master's and am really thankful now that I minimized my loans down during that time. It didn't negatively impacted my studies/social life, plus it kept my thoughts from being taken over by the academic content of the master's and gave me an opportunity to apply what I'd learned in my program (baby-sitting might be a good job for this!). You'd be surprised how easy it is to be more efficient with your time the more it is taken up by responsibilities. I probably had the same amount of free time back then as I do now working one FT job because I didn't use to dilly-dally as I do now.

 

That being said - it depends on your situation: how much you owe in loans going into the program, what's your cost of living going to be compared to your wage... With a conservative estimate of your future earnings as an SLP, how much time would it take you to pay off that your living expenses for the next two years + interest? Are you comfortable delaying saving for a family/house/travels/other luxuries for that amount of time? Also, are you going to be moving to a new city during the program? You might end up regretting not spending your time there appreciating the city and making friends.

 

It is also worth checking on the culture of the institution you'll be attending regarding work. At one of my universities, PT work was the norm, and the teaching/admin staff catered for this and making plans with friends was easier as they understood juggling work with study. However, at my other uni it was highly unusual to work and I felt quite alienated from my coursemates. Though they were nice people, it was difficult to relate to them and it was a bummer that they were always attending extracurricular events and going out while I was at work. I didn't really have a choice about working or not, but it's something to bear in mind...

 

Last thing, if it helps: If you did well on the GRE, tutoring through Kaplan etc is a high-paying and not very time-consuming option. I taught LSAT prep classes and they let you choose those that fit your schedule. I would do the intensive classes for one weekend and it paid my bills for the whole month. Good luck in your decision (and congrats on all your acceptances!)

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I'm considering it. At northern Illinois the students said it was pretty typical to have a PT job. Like 90% of their cohort. If I do a program that starts in fall I've thought about finding another job on top of my current one over the summer. Or possibly doing some freelance editing since my minor is in editing.

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