Students and the Workplace: A Symbiotic Relationship


Andrea Piacquadio

Having a job as a student can have lasting benefits for your academic or professional career. Find one that suits your interests!

Raju Rawal

While the advice to start working may elicit a generally negative reaction from students, 30 percent of high schoolers are employed, and all are reaping the benefits of having a job. Can students spend time outside of school working for businesses or other organizations and still maximize their learning? The answer is yes! 

All students should have jobs or other experiences outside of school because they provide lifelong benefits to one’s academic career as well as one’s personal growth. Whether it entails working as a coffee shop barista, interning at a university lab, or managing the social media of a small business, every job has the potential to teach broad, critical concepts. Applying what one learns from the job back to the classroom can prove to be an essential tool as high school students move on to higher learning or vocational training. 

In regards to being a student, maintaining an enriching job can increase the value of classroom experiences and broaden the scope of the lessons. Within a job, there are many opportunities to learn and find things that pique one’s interest that can serve as possible career paths. 

For example, if one is exposed to managing the social media of an organization, they may find that marketing and business interest them as college majors. Additionally, hands-on skills development early on can allow one to get a head start in the workforce and even higher learning. 

One of the most important, yet fundamental, things that a job can teach a student to do is manage their time well, encouraging students to carefully allot time for homework between their job hours and extracurricular activities. No matter what one’s career path will be, time management is essential to successfully balance education, jobs, and free time with family and friends. 

Not only do jobs provide skills and experiences that can be utilized in maximizing the high school experience, but they also can broaden perspective in other aspects of life. There are many workplace interactions that can teach, experientially, what one would not normally learn in school. 

Important strengths and values, such as responsibility and resilience, are further developed in the workplace. Workers are expected to commit to projects and duties during work hours, which can also serve as a self-esteem booster for students, as they know they are a valuable asset to the team. 

In addition, a job is a perfect place to hone communication skills, which prove paramount in higher education and the vocational setting. I have been able to practice these skills extensively in the medical practice I work for by writing informative and promotional articles that are published in magazines with an expansive audience. These experiences have challenged me to effectively address audiences from different backgrounds, thus broadening my own perspectives. 

Though many students might doubt this, jobs can benefit from their high school workers as well! As our generation is adept at technology and new forms of media, we have the opportunity to bring something fresh to the table that might not have been thought of otherwise. We also have the opportunity to review practices through the lens of a young consumer, and to improve them. 

For example, the aesthetic medical practice I work for wanted to understand better how to provide education about and examples of its procedures and other information. With a knowledge of how different aspects of social media are the most beneficial to existing and hopeful patients from different age groups, I have been tasked with leading the practice’s social media marketing, helping the practice to market itself to a wider audience. Everyone (even older, more experienced individuals) is capable of learning something from others, and students should not hesitate to introduce new ideas. 

There are countless benefits to having a job besides making a little money. Gaining lifelong skills that can set one up for success in any profession is invaluable, and every student that is able to should find a job that suits their interests to take advantage of these benefits.