Ah yes, the perennial question: What about working while in school? Some students depend solely on student loans, while others utilize savings or family income, but many of our students work while studying at The Seattle School. We thought we’d give you a snapshot of how students coordinate work and school, including some of the helpful job search resources we’ve found.
How many hours a week do most students work?
This is one of our most frequently asked questions, and understandably so. The Seattle School is designed to be a full-time graduate institution, meaning classes take place during the week between the hours of 9:00am and 7:00pm, so it’s rarely feasible to work full-time (30-40 hours) while being a student full-time (7-10 credit hours). That said, classes are scheduled on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays (there are a few intensive classes held on weekends and an occasional Thursday class that is typically an elective), with hopes that Thursday and Friday are available for work, family, study, and play. Usually, depending on the term, a student is on campus two of those three days. Therefore, it is feasible to find a flexible part-time job working between 15-30 hours a week while studying full-time.
A few caveats…
- Graduate studies in general require a significant investment of time and energy. Graduate studies at The Seattle School invite a level of academic and emotional engagement that increases this investment of time and energy. Be kind to yourself and wise as you explore your own capacity for this work.
- The first trimester of the first year involves some reading groups that meet outside of class, so although you will be taking 7-9 credit hours, you’ll likely be on campus closer to 12 hours a week.
- The Seattle School has a trimester system. Fall Term is September through mid-December, Winter Term is January through March, and Spring Term is late-April through mid-June.
What kinds of jobs do students have?
There are a few types of jobs common to Seattle School students:
For those of you who love children or might have baby-whisperer skills, Seattle is a city that loves its nannies! It’s a job with flexible hours and good pay. Here are some ways to find nannying gigs:
- There are websites you can upload your resume and search for openings. Families can also search for you. Think LinkedIn for the nannying elite.
- There are also respectable nanny agencies that hire you to represent their agency, pair you with a compatible family, and manage pay, time off, problems, etc.
- The job board in our front stairwell is also a great place to look for openings. Alumni will often advertise there for their kids’ nannies.
- Word of mouth! Amidst this relational work, it seems like people who nanny almost always know of at least one family who has asked them for referrals. Once you get here, try to meet current students who nanny and work with their contacts.
The Seattle School does have federal work study positions in multiple departments, including in admissions, The Allender Center, conferences, admissions, and the front desk. We also have student contractors for jobs like note taking. Open positions will be posted on our Current Openings page later this summer. Here is the important information to know:
- First, once your financial aid has been awarded, find out if your financial aid package qualifies you for work study funding. Our Student Financial Services Coordinator, Ligaya Avila, can tell you all about this.
- Second, read the newsletter, which you will begin receiving once you enroll. It’s good to get in the habit of doing that anyway, as the newsletter is the primary way work study jobs at the school get advertised—along with all the other important community information!
- Third, you can apply for openings just as you would any other job. Fill out the application form (sometimes you have to send an email to request it) and email your resume and cover letter.
Part-Time with Insurance
Here are some companies that offer insurance to part-time employees. Usually they require that you work a certain number of hours, such as an average of 21-25 per week. It depends on the company, so don’t be afraid to ask.
- Whole Foods
- Trader Joe’s
Also, some companies consider you full-time and offer benefits if you work a minimum of 32 hours. Most students find that a bit too much to accomplish on top of school, but there are some who do it. You just need to be really diligent with time management.
The Restaurant Industry
Waiting tables can offer good paychecks in the city. In Seattle, servers make minimum wage—at least $12.00 an hour, depending on the company—plus tips.
Ministry and Counseling Jobs
If you’re looking to find employment in the industry you hope to work in upon graduation, you’re not alone. Our job board often has postings from social service agencies, mental health hospitals, and churches. Depending on your previous experience or education, some of these may be a great fit. Mental hospitals and agencies occasionally need on-call staff or overnight workers, and some students have found this to be a schedule that works for them.
With church jobs, depending on your financial situation, this may or may not be enough financial support during this season. Of course, that varies depending on placement. If it’s what you love to do, you can find a way. For tips and connections about church jobs, chat it up with the current MDiv students!
Some people like to do temp work because they can say yes when they’re available and no when they’re not. Also, it’s possible to find administrative positions that are part-time at churches, businesses, and in the public sector.
For those of you daring enough to try and start a business while attending graduate school, How to Become Self-Employed in Seattle by Jenny MacLeod is a great resource. It’s also worth a read if you already own your own business and want some advice on how to succeed setting up shop in the Emerald City. Buy it wherever books are sold, or check out our copy from The Seattle School’s Library once you get your student account!
How do people find jobs?
Here are the most helpful job searching resources we’ve found.
- Incoming Student Facebook Group: As we hear of job openings at the school, we’ll be sure to post them on the Facebook page.
- Elliot’s Wall: This is the Seattle School online notice board. You can find housing, employment, and classified notices here (you can also post them!). All you need to access this page is your personal “@theseattleschool.edu” email address.
- Job Openings Bulletin Board: The Seattle School maintains a bulletin board in the eastern stairwell.
- Association of Washington Cities: (AWC) is a private, nonprofit, non-partisan corporation that represents Washington’s cities and towns. The AWC Jobnet board posts various types of positions with Washington cities and towns.
- CareerEco: An online community for eco-minded jobseekers and employers.
- Craigslist: Believe it or not, this is a great resource for job openings (Craigslist also has a map search feature that allows you to search for work within specific geographical locations).
- Idealist: Find opportunities at more than 25,000 nonprofit and community organizations in 153 countries.
- Jobdango: It’s the most popular and most visited job site in the Northwest! Based in Portland, Oregon, Jobdango was built to serve the people of Oregon and Washington.
- NWClassifieds: A service of The Seattle Times Company, representing the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
- USA Jobs: The official site for federal jobs and employment information. Search by agency, location, or job type functions.
- Worksource: A local job board from a joint venture of organizations dedicated to addressing Washington State’s employment needs.
- Another Source: Serves Pacific Northwest companies who are seeking qualified employees in the customer service, office administration, accounting, human resources, and sales fields.
- Express Employment Professionals: Express Employment Professionals makes it easy—whether you’re looking for work tomorrow, a job next week, or a career move for the rest of your life. Once they get to know you, they match your skills to client opportunities. The rest is up to you.
Hopefully these will be some helpful resources as you discern and explore your options for working as a student!