Working in Tech whilst studying at University

Working part time in tech and studying at university

Thriving in both worlds: University study and part-time work in tech

Like many students, I found myself working in industries unrelated to my studies, like hospitality and retail, for financial reasons. For me, the fixed working schedules and travel costs, in addition to the challenge of balancing study with work, made it less practical to work in these industries alongside pursuing my degree.  

However, it all changed when I found a part-time job through my university careers page working for ProvenWorks, a software company and partner of Salesforce. The possibilities were limitless – working remotely, being part of the global Salesforce ecosystem, and gaining access to the most cutting-edge cloud-based technologies!  

Join me as we delve into the challenges and benefits I’ve faced along the way, sharing top tips from other part-time members of ProvenWorks on how to manage your productivity whilst studying at university in this unique industry.   

Decisions and priorities: Navigating university work commitments

As a university student, managing academic commitments is critical, often requiring tough decisions between university and work. To navigate these decisions, you must prioritise. For me, this looks like organising tasks and situations based on their urgency and importance, allowing me to focus on what truly matters.  

Let me illustrate this approach with an example. I find myself torn between a group meeting for an accounting report due at the end of the week and a weekly team meeting at ProvenWorks. 

Recognising that the accounting report takes priority given the deadline and potential repercussions, I make the decision to focus on this rather than attending the team meeting, knowing I can catch up on the meeting later as it can be recorded. This way, I’m able to prioritise my studies without neglecting my work.  

This flexibility within the tech industry clearly contrasts to the rigidness of hospitality and retail. In these sectors, students are often faced with a choice that boils down to working or not. Due to the nature of these workplaces, rearranging shifts and the need for constant staffing makes it difficult to adapt and the final decision is often left in the hands of management.  

Safeguarding your well being: Balancing work and battling burn out

Working in tech part-time has been a fantastic experience for me. As I pursue a degree in Business Management and Marketing, the Marketing Assistant role complements my studies perfectly. I get to apply my academic knowledge of marketing strategies and branding theory to practical scenarios, such as social campaigns. However, it can also be mentally draining, especially after long days of lectures and staring at my laptop.  

To ensure I stay productive and maintain a work–life balance, I set aside time for personal activities during the working week and weekend, whether it’s hitting the gym, enjoying a refreshing swim, or spending time with friends on a night out. I guarantee my world doesn’t solely revolve around the demands of part-time work, despite the significant benefits that come with the job.  

For more insights on how to achieve a balanced and productive lifestyle, check out my colleague Beth’s post: How to increase your productivity.  

Flexibility and focus: Scheduling for triumph in tech

As I’m sure many newbies to the Salesforce ecosystem will agree, there’s a huge learning curve! The demanding nature of balancing tasks and training in the tech industry, particularly within the Salesforce ecosystem, is one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced as a newcomer.  

To address this, ProvenWorks Marketing Assistant Sean suggests having a to-do list every day to know exactly what needs to be completed. Following a similar strategy, I use my calendar app to schedule and set deadlines for when exactly I’m going to tackle tasks and training around my university commitments. For example, I’ll schedule in time to complete a Trailhead module on data imports to prepare for an upcoming task around uploading accounts to Salesforce.  

Whilst the extent of training in tech, especially the Salesforce ecosystem, is far more demanding than hospitality and retail jobs, I’ve experienced less pressure and stress in comparison to those industries. With hospitality and retail, it’s common to receive on-the-job training, requiring you to shadow and then immediately replicate in real-time. This can be intimidating and challenging with potential for mistakes and constant pressure not to keep customers waiting.    

In comparison, training in tech offers greater flexibility, allowing you to have a better balance between work and training as you can schedule it when you want. With Trailhead, you work in demo orgs which simulate real Salesforce CRM instances. You can break down complex topics into bitesize modules, with clear step-by-step guides to tackle in your own time all for free!   

Ultimately the flexibility offered in a part-time job in tech gives me the time and resources to better understand the platform, get hands-on with the solutions, and balance work with training better.   

Strategies for success: Time management in the tech industry

Working for a Salesforce ISV partner gives me an invaluable opportunity that extends beyond the usual part-time job experience. The industry’s incredible networking opportunities with events like Salesforce World Tour London can open doors for future placements or graduate jobs, giving me a competitive advantage over many students who may not have access to such opportunities until much later.   

However, the challenge lies in ensuring there is no lack of focus on the here and now: with so much flexibility about when I complete my work and so many opportunities for networking, setting boundaries is crucial. As I’ve already said, my academics and maintaining a healthy balance between work and studying must stay a priority. An effective way of setting boundaries, prioritising my university studies and maintaining a work-life balance is to practise good time management.   

To gain insight into productive time management I asked Jai Mansford, our Support & Solution Engineer who’s also a university student, for his advice:  

“I find that communicating working hours with whoever assigns tasks to me works best. I found I was consistently free in the evenings, outside of working hours and allocated time to work on tasks that are not time constricted such as blog posts. I also do bits and pieces during the day to handle tasks that require attention during working hours when other people are online.”  

This level of flexibility and time management available in the tech industry aids students as they are still able to focus on their studies without having fixed working schedules, something that’s just not available in “regular” student jobs. By establishing boundaries between working hours and studying, Jai can dedicate sufficient time to work, university and the rest of his life.  

Thriving academically and professionally in tech

My experiences in the tech industry have proven to be an invaluable opportunity that lets me apply academic knowledge to practical scenarios within a thriving industry.   

Despite the challenges of task completion, burn out and risk of losing focus on my university degree, I and my part-time ProvenWorks colleagues can thrive both academically and professionally through dedication, effective time management and prioritisation. Our journey so far in the Salesforce ecosystem is paving the way for a promising future within the tech industry, opening doors to exciting possibilities in this dynamic space.   

To explore how you can be part of the ProvenWorks team and embark on a rewarding tech career, visit our careers page. Join us in the world of Salesforce and cloud-based technologies!  

Learn more about working at a Salesforce ISV partner

Why work for a Salesforce ISV? – ProvenWorks 

How to get a job at a Salesforce ISV – ProvenWorks 


Leave a Reply