Faculty / Staff Resources Student Resources
University of Southern California
University of Southern California
USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
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Life as a Student Worker


November 2, 2020
by Yna

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“Is it possible to work while studying?” This is one question that frequently comes up and understandably so, given the full-time enrollment and the intensive nature of the academic programs at USC Chan. The answer to this question is yes, it is a possibility for one to work while studying. Although it really depends a lot on the individual, I would say roughly about 10-12 hours per week is recommended. To give you a better idea on how this is dispersed throughout the week, I am going to share with you my typical work-study schedule and some of my duties as a student ambassador.

As a Post-Professional Master’s student, I am currently taking a total of 18 units for this fall semester, comprised of 3 core courses (8 units) and 3 elective courses (10 units). For a better visualization, here’s a table showing how my weekly class schedule looks like.

Fall class schedule

Class schedule for the fall semester

As you can see, you really only spend a few hours of your day sitting in class. However, do note that for each course, there are out-of-class activities and requirements that need to be worked on, which could take up a substantial portion of your time.

I schedule my work hours as a student ambassador around my class schedule, so I typically work on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays in the morning before my class, totaling to 10 hours per week. One thing that I really like about being a student worker at USC Chan is the flexibility in scheduling that they give students that allow us to move our time around in case we have exams or other requirements to prepare for. This is also made possible by the amazing team of student ambassadors who are always willing to help out whenever one of us is having trouble fulfilling our duties. Our supervisor, Kim, never fails to remind us on every team meeting to prioritize our academics and also take care of our health.

One of my tasks as a student ambassador is to liaise with Global Initiatives for certain projects. This is another area where I find the flexibility in scheduling really helpful, especially for time-sensitive projects, because you can choose to dedicate most of your work time to accomplishing it or even work on the weekend if you’re willing to. For example, for the recent World OT Day last October 27, we created a video that shows how people all over the world have reimagined their doings. Check it out below!

Sometimes, I also give informational presentations together with the admissions team, as part of our role to help raise awareness about occupational therapy and our programs at USC. Other ways we can disseminate information and share our experiences as current students and student workers is by posting to Chan Division social media accounts (check us out on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube!), writing blog posts about our experiences, and answering questions from prospective students. Lastly, student ambassadors also partake in certain steps of the admissions process, with the guidance of our Director of Admissions, Dr. Anvarizadeh.

Hopefully this glance into my life as a student ambassador answers some questions you may have about being a student worker! If you have any questions, you can reach the ambassadors at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).