Working During University: How to Find the Right Job for You

By Wilfrid Laurier University - Waterloo Campus Modified on June 27, 2022
Tags : Academics | Careers | Money

Wilfrid Laurier University has the programs, resources, and support you need for job success and financial well-being.

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 Working During University: How to Find the Right Job for You

Going to university is a big financial investment. Even if you know the career you want to get when you graduate, you might also be interested in working during university to help cover your school costs. Fortunately, there are lots of options and support available to you.

As an international student, you may not have much (or any) previous work experience. That’s okay! Your university will have resources and support available to help you find the right job during your studies. Read on to learn more.

Have the right permit

Your study permit will indicate if you are allowed to work in Canada; you don’t need to apply for a separate work permit. Check the information available through Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for the latest information on working in Canada as a student.

At Wilfrid Laurier University, our International Student Advisors can help you make sure you have the proper permits so you can work in Canada.

Find the right job

Once you’ve chosen the university you’re going to attend, you can reach out to the supports and resources at the school for more information and guidance. At Laurier, our Career Centre offers specialized services just for international students to help you find the right job, even in your first year and even if you don’t have previous work experience.

Laurier also offers the International Student Work Experience Program, or ISWEP. Through ISWEP, international students work in part-time jobs on campus to gain valuable work experience while also earning money. If you’re interested in participating in ISWEP, you’ll need to apply for available positions, meaning you’ll also get experience writing a cover letter and resumé, as well as go through the interview process. And we want you to be successful in finding a job through ISWEP, so there is support available to you every step of the way!

Explore opportunities in your upper years

Once you’re done a year or two at university, you might be ready for a job with more hours or different responsibilities. In some programs, you might already be participating in a co-op work program. Even if you don’t do co-op, there are other opportunities available in your upper years.

You could become a teaching assistant or lab assistant and work with faculty at the university. You might want to become a residence don to support students living in residence. Maybe you want an opportunity off campus so you can be immersed in the local community. Be sure to check in regularly with the Career Centre at your university for the most recent job postings and to get advice on searching and applying for the right job.

And if you are interested in co-op, Laurier offers co-op in more than 50 undergraduate programs and has the largest business degree co-op program in Canada!

Learn how to manage your money

Once you start earning money, it can be tempting to spend it all. Or maybe you’re not sure about taxes in Canada or how you can save or invest your money. Your university will offer support on how to manage your money or can direct you to the resources that can best support you.

At Laurier, we have a robust money management program to support all areas of your financial well-being. We have services to help you learn how to budget, support you in managing your credit, provide information on filing taxes in Canada, and more. We also have a Money Management Certificate that you can earn through non-credit workshops on budgeting, investing, credit, and financial planning.


Working during your studies might seem daunting, but the right support and services can help you find the job to earn money while still allowing you to focus on your studies.


Learn more about job and career supports at Laurier

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