You never forget the feeling of your freshman year at university. Just being on campus makes you feel that you have finally reached the threshold of adulthood. Adulthood, however, would entail getting a job, something more and more AUC students are beginning to do while studying.
“I’m used to working and studying at the same time,” says Valentina Cattane, a graduate student who took two jobs- a part-time as a reporter for Al-Masry Al Youm and an assistant at AUC’s library.
During her stay in Italy for her first Masters degree, Cattane used to waitress as well as teach Greek and Latin. “It’s not easy,” she said.
AUC offers several employment opportunities for students who wish to acquire hands-on experience. The work-study program is offered to both undergraduate and graduate students for either a discount on tuition fees or a salary based on an hourly wage of EGP 15.
“I think work and study absolutely enhance my studies,” said Shams Essam, an English and Comparative Literature sophomore, who works at the AUC campus bookstore.
“It’s quite a dream come true for me to spend a considerable amount of time every week among books[….] Balancing work and school has actually been quite rewarding. It’s taught me to prioritize.”
Richard Vedder, an economist, said that parents and students are “over investing” in the higher educational system.
“Over 317,000 waiters and waitresses have college degrees (over 8,000 of them have doctoral or professional degrees), along with over 80,000 bartenders, and over 18,000 parking lot attendants,” Vedder argued in his article Why Did The 17 Million Go to College?.
Part-time and on-campus employment may have beneficial effects in encouraging students to continue their education.
Cattane thinks that her toe-walking lifestyle is the “best thing a student can do.”
“If the job is related to your studies, you can constantly apply what you are learning in theory, which is clearly useful because practice and theory rarely coincide,” Cattane added.
“Grades are quickly forgotten by the person who reads your CV,” she continued, marking that working puts one on the spot for being obliged to perform well. “You can be replaced anytime.”