UIC Spotlight: Student Employees and How They Balance School, Work, and a Social Life

Female student in red hoodie shopping at the UIC Bookstore.

Balancing a job, studying, and socializing can sometimes be difficult for students. Many students decide to not pick up a job while in college because it takes time away from studying or being able to engage in other activities such as student organizations, volunteer work, etc. However, with a good regime and effort, anything can be accomplished during a student’s week.

Wanting to make an impact in her community, Aatika Shaikh, a sophomore majoring in business management, decided to start working at one of the COVID testing sites on east campus. However, like many students, she also wants her free time. Taking 17 credit hours and working 12 hours a week, she says that it all falls down to time management. Shaikh says using a planner and Google calendar have both been very helpful in organizing her schedule. They have also helped her see when she has time to run errands, schedule time with friends, etc, or find time for herself. While studies and work may get busy sometimes, Shaikh says "It’s important to give yourself time off when you need it."

Students may wonder what jobs they can get if they don’t have experience. Bahgvat Patel, a senior double majoring in biology and history, recently got a job as a Peer Success Coach for the Academic Center of Excellence. As his first job on campus, he is happy that he has been able to help first-year students by talking about his UIC experience.

"You shouldn’t be discouraged if you don’t have experience, because on-campus jobs can be a stepping stone,” says Bhagvat.

If there is a job you are interested in, then go for it! Take risks when applying, because you never know, you may find a job that you love. To find on-campus jobs, visit the Student Employment website and register for a Handshake account. Handshake allows students to gain access to not only on-campus job opportunities, but also internships and off-campus jobs.

Showcasing our campus’ student employees helps us to learn more about the involvement that they do and their unique stories. Keep an eye out for other student spotlights!