Study and work or study to work?
By Maria Hernanz on Feb 08, 2012
My name is Sofia and I am currently working as an Analyst for the DACH region (Germany, Austria and Switzerland), based in Bucharest, Romania. I would like to share my opinion on a topic that is always on the mind of young students: should we study and work or better study to work?
Whether it is a couple of weeks in Sales, a year in Contracts or just every Monday afternoon with a Consultant, any work experience you might gain is invaluable. First, it provides you with an insight in the areas you are studying about and give you a good idea of what you do and do not enjoy, even more, of what you are good at and at what you are not. This kind of experience is priceless when you start thinking about a long-term career path.
Secondly, it will make your CV stand out and give you an edge over other candidates, it will say something about your person. Being able to work during the studies does not only show that you have gained experience and a set of skills, it shows that you are willing to go the extra mile, are good at time management and are prepared to sacrifice a bit of your spare time in order to gain experience. No one said that this would be easy, but it is definitely worth it.
Tips and tricks about managing study and work
· When deciding to start looking for an internship or a part-time job, it is important to set some criteria and not look for the job with the best financial offer. When looking for a job during the studies, it is very important to look for an activity which is relevant to your education, which can help you in your future development.
· After you have found an activity which completes your studies, you should start thinking about time management and priorities – you must be aware that you will not have time to do everything you want, and sometimes you will have to go to work or stay at home and study while your friends are going out – but in the end, the effort will definitely pay off. You will definitely get familiar with the term of procrastination!
· When applying for a job, be sure to specify that you will need time for your studies and discuss your schedule with your future employer – you will be surprised to see that almost all employers are willing to help you and sustain the fact that you wish to successfully finish your studies.
· If you speak any foreign languages, try to find a job which gives you the chance to interact in that specific language – as you surely know, the business language is different than what we learn in school, so working in a multi-cultural environment will also help you develop a good business vocabulary.
How have work and study turned out for me?
Working during the week and studying on weekends is not easy, but it helps you gain more confidence, as you realize that you are actually capable of accomplishing more than you would have thought of. You get to know yourself and get to know how the work environment really looks like – in most of the cases, the reality turned out quite different than my expectations.
My current role in Oracle combines most of the skills I have developed in school – working as an analyst means liaising between several teams, starting with Sales, Credit, Legal, Collection and Business Practices. I interact with people all over EMEA on a daily basis and my job implies both economic and legal skills.
Working for different employers until now, I have realized that I am looking for a multi-cultural environment, a dynamic organization where people are seen as entrepreneurs, rather that employees – and this is exactly what I have found in Oracle, an organization which encourages employees to make their own decisions and take ownership of their tasks.
So, if you want to get to know yourself better and are willing to go the extra mile, I can only tell you to start looking for an internship – it will definitely be worth it!