If there is one thing most people know about me is that I’m a workaholic. I don’t mean to brag about it because I don’t necessarily take pride in it, I just blame this specific unhealthy behaviour on my North-American hustler mentality. However, since I have had so many different experiences working while still being a student over the years, I thought I could share some insight into how one goes about finding a job that fits a student’s schedule and budget.
To give you an idea, I’ve had over 10 different odd or part-time jobs since arriving in Sweden a year and a half ago. Considering that many non-Swedish students ask me how they can find a job or look for one here in Stockholm, I decided to give you a list of all jobs I know (from personal experience) to be accessible to students and what kind of skills they would require from you as an applicant. I hope this can help you find a job to earn some pocket money or manage your finances a little less stressfully, so that you can make the choice for yourself to work while studying or not. Umar, a fellow blogger at KI, wrote a piece on a few ways to fund your studies here in Sweden.
But first, keep in mind that KI does NOT recommend that you rely on an extra job to fully cover all your expenses while being a full-time student, since we wouldn’t want you to be overwhelmed with a full course load and a side job. With that being said, you must judge for yourself if you have the stamina and time management skills needed to juggle both school and work.
Now, let me introduce you to the miscellaneous array of paid side hustles and part-time jobs I’ve had since arriving in August 2020 (by chronological order, from oldest to most recent).
1) Digital Ambassador (DA)
- How I found this job: KI Students Facebook page
- Tasks it involves: researching, writing, taking photos, being creative, engaging with prospective and current students
- Skills it builds: autonomy, creative writing, ability to build a story and make useful content, ability to connect with students and share experiences
- Salary: 150 SEK/hr, up to 15 hrs per month
- Duration: Ongoing
- Best part: feeling like you play a small part in someone’s life-changing decision to move to Sweden and study at KI; also, the KI DA team is pretty dope 😉
- Worst part: honestly, just procrastinating on writing too much (but this is a ME problem)
- Swedish required? Nope
2) Interior design freelancer
- How I found this job: WhatsApp student accommodation group at KTH – the client asked for help there.
- Tasks it involves: having good taste (lol), knowing how to build a space, basics of interior design and decor, sticking to a budget, client-relations, finishing a project within a certain deadline
- Skills it builds: ability to make money out of anything (freelance any skill you have and you can find people who are willing to pay for your work instead of paying a professional agency for much more)
- Salary: I set this rate myself at 168 SEK/hr for my consultant hours
- Duration: 28 hrs over 1.5 months
- Best part: collaborating with my mom and staying in touch frequently with her since she’s the interior design expert
- Worst part: having to travel so much between stores and shops in Stockholm’s central and suburban areas
- Swedish required? Nope, my client spoke fluent English
- How I found this job: Babysits.se
- Tasks it involves: babysitting experience, basics of looking after children, playing A LOT, cooking, doing minor house chores, picking the kids up from school, being trustworthy and responsible
- Skills it builds: compassion, empathy, creativity, patience and ability to de-escalate tantrum situations
- Salary: I set it at 150 SEK/hr
- Duration: Ongoing – occasionally, approx. once a month I babysit one evening; I was doing it regularly for the same family, 3 hours a day (after-school until dinner), 3-4 times a week for 6 months in 2021
- Best part: my kids were DOLLS, such sweethearts
- Worst part: having to say goodbye when the family moved out of my neighbourhood
- Swedish required? Nope, but my kids were Swedish-American so some words they only knew in Swedish and I actually learnt a lot of Swedish with them haha.
4) SciLifeLab Summer Research Fellow
- How I found this job: Email (read more about this fellowship in the blog I wrote)
- Tasks it involves: wet lab work, data analysis, presenting in front of your group
- Skills it builds: science communication, critical thinking, ability to carry out a project and see it to completion
- Salary: 36 000 SEK in total (pre-tax)
- Duration: 8 weeks or ~2 months in the summer
- Best part: the research environment and team, had such a positive experience in Dr. Lindahl’s lab, in part thanks to great mentorship and collaboration between team members
- Worst part: not knowing when to go home and call it a day – I suck at work-life balance (I have a serious issue with academia because of this lack of boundaries since you can always keep collecting data and don’t have a set time to “clock-out”…)
- Swedish required? Nope
Want to learn more about my experience as a SciLifeLab summer fellow? Then just check out my blog about what it was like to do research at SciLifeLab during the summer of 2021.
5) KI Welcoming Ceremony Host
- How I found this job: Extra job offered by KI Communications, found through KI DA internal comms
- Tasks it involves: speech writing, public speaking, ability to work with a co-host, brand building
- Skills it builds: co-writing, body language coaching, ability to represent KI brand and communicate effectively to an audience, improvisational skills
- Salary: 150 SEK/hr, max of 20 hrs
- Duration: 20 hrs over 3 months to prep, rehearse and do the live show
- Best part: working with my fellow DA and friend, Grace Marshall, and eating all the cookies she baked for me
- Worst part: the nerves leading up to the live show at Aula’s largest auditorium
- Swedish required? No, but we did have to learn how to pronounce Swedish names and organizations properly
They are currently hiring for this job, if you think you would make a great host and student representative, don’t hesitate to apply before May 22nd!
Since my job list was too long to be included in a single blog, I’ve continued describing my million work experiences over in Part II. Take a look!
Hej! My name is Francisca. I come from the faraway land of the supreme maple syrup, aka Canada. I’m the blogger for the Master’s Programme in Molecular Techniques in Life Science at Karolinska Institutet. I love to write about my experience as a student in my programme, a newcomer to Stockholm, and a rookie at life in general. In my free time, I enjoy playing tennis, making music, sketching the city’s landscapes, and reading about anything and everything that interests me.