Benefits of internships and part-time work while you’re studying

Working while studying is one of the best ways to spend your free time. Other than the financial independence it gives you, there are many benefits of doing an internship or working part-time as a student.

Working while studying is common practice in foreign countries like the US, UK, Canada and Australia. While an internship is a great introduction to the career you want to pursue, a part-time job can help you develop some core professional skills that every job requires. Internships are typically arranged through an educational counselor, your faculty or university placement office where you are joined with a company that fits your career goals. Part-time jobs, on the other hand, can be found online or even on university notice boards.

When your time at uni comes to an end and you set out on your chosen career path, consider how an internship or a part-time job could help you narrow your focus and train you for future jobs. Here is how internships or part-time jobs can help you in the future.

Job experience

Once you complete your studies, you will find that most job listings often ask about work experience. If you wait to graduate before you start working, you will be at a disadvantage. Other candidates who have some professional experience will have already started “building their resume” and have a competitive edge over you. An internship or part-time job can help you learn the inner workings of how businesses run.

Time management

Your life as a university student can be very strenuous as you attend classes, work a part-time job or internship, do your laundry, get your groceries, cook your food, socialize with friends, and finally, make time for your hobbies. Juggling all of this will help you refine your time management skills. You will automatically learn how to be more efficient with 24 hours and maximize your time.

Interpersonal skills

While you may learn a lot in employability workshops of what is expected in a workplace, the best way to put it to practice is to dive right into it. Internships allow you to learn how to interact with different people – an essential skill in all jobs. During internships and part-time work, you will work or interact with people from varying backgrounds and abilities, requiring you to be sensitive to the social and cultural differences in the workplace. These engagements will teach you the best ways to communicate with your colleagues, customers or clients and enable you to think about how your words can affect other people’s actions and outcomes.


One of the obvious part-time job advantages for students is having an income. You will be able to pay bills, buy groceries, and avail transport all on your own. Aside from learning how to manage money, you will have some extra cash for fun stuff like concerts, road trips, sports or a nice day at the spa!


You can find resources for your professional journey outside of your university. Internships or part-time roles will give you one-on-one training with skilled professionals. They will also help you develop your relationship with a mentor quite organically.

Career goals

University is a time for new experiences. It helps you find your calling and the path for you to follow once you complete your education. You may be dabbling in a variety of subjects at the moment, but taking up an internship or part-time job could help you identify what professional path does or doesn’t interest you before you take the next job. Every experience can also open up other career options that you didn’t know existed.


You will soon realize that most job offers come from meeting other professionals in your field who can recommend you for positions. Internships and part-time jobs are excellent ways to meet new people and expand your professional network. you’re your curiosity, enthusiasm, reliability, willingness to learn and your professional contacts will be able to see your potential and recommend you for your dream role.

Resume building

Each job experience strengthens and builds on your resume. Not only can you add relevant duties and projects from your internships and part-time jobs, you can also accurately respond to questions about your work experience and grab a head hunter’s attention!

References and recommendations

The people you work for can become valuable sources of reference and mentors when applying for a full-time job. The harder you work, the more chances you have to generate life-long contacts for future roles. References carry heavy value as your superiors have personally seen how you contributed to the company and can speak to specifics and describe your strengths.

Permanent job

Internships and part-time jobs can also lead to a permanent role if your work has made a positive impact in the work place. Many companies use internships as a test to determine who would be a good fit for their company. These can be paid or unpaid, but the main purpose is for you to gain valuable experience. You will eventually reap good results that may change your future career path.

Taking up an internship or having a part-time job while you are studying is a great way to understand the work culture in the country you are in. You will learn “soft skills” on the job, that cannot be taught to you in a classroom. However, if you feel you your studies are suffering make sure you reduce the number of hours you are working. Speak with your career counsellor or your supervisor to help you overcome this. Remember, you can take up internships and part-time jobs even during your vacations and gain the experience you need!

To explore your career options after studying abroad, start a co-design conversation with Gradstar.

Date Published: May-19-2022

Our Dream Makers are expert listeners, educators, career consultants and student supporters. They co-design your study abroad experience with you to empower you to reach for the stars. Because dreams deserve a helping hand.

About the author

Anupama Kumar is a content writer based in Bangalore, India. She writes blogs, stories, articles and social media content and has a passion for helping people and connecting with them through her writing. A professional writer by day and a creative one by night, her own stories, musings, quotes and poems inspired by her travels are also published on various platforms.