Part-time jobs can boost students’ skills - GulfToday

Part-time jobs can boost students’ skills


Students of Skyline University College in Sharjah bond through books and discussions.

Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter

Two academicians believe permitting adolescents, specifically university students experience part-time jobs, within protocols or set rules, will boost their personality and help them become much better individuals ready for expected bigger responsibilities.

The two academicians are Skyline University College (Sharjah) assistant professor Dr. Sharon Mendoza and Canadian University Dubai professor Dr. Rommel Pilapil Sergio. Both have extensive background in the field of human resources.

Mendoza worked for many years in the hospitality/tourism/government sectors in the Philippines and earned in 2009 her doctoral degree specialiSing in human resource management. Her doctoral research was “Work Ethics, Values and Performance of the Non-Commissioned Officers of the 601st Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army.”

Certified psychologist/human resources management specialist and professor Sergio was a working student since high school.  

Their views on the value of part-time jobs for university students floated when Gulf Today sought them on how teenagers, alongside their parents or guardians, could very well prepare for the academic year 2019-2020 commencing in September.

It was Mendoza who began the discussions: “The transition from adolescence to adulthood is extremely high. It is the stage where either a young adult will make it or break it. The youth of today face a lot of challenges. Parents must allow their children to experience some situations that will teach them to become resilient.”

She said resilience will be inculcated in the young through part-time jobs “because these will teach important lessons in life” such as discipline in time management as discipline would also lead to more productive use of time. 

Mendoza reiterated what experts have said regarding education and learning not limited within the classroom setting: “Part-time jobs will teach them the norms and responsibilities in a workplace. It will develop their skills and abilities. It will improve their self-awareness by having better understanding of their career path.”

Sergio was of the same view: “Independence and self-care can only be practised in activities that can teach the youth the values of responsibility and diligence.”

Yet, he also raised a caveat: “As long as the adolescents or college students are at least 18 years old and they have secured the consent of their parents which is among other requirements under the UAE Labour Law.”

“I do not see any concerns why students, as long as it is their free will, will be deterred to do part-time jobs,” stressed Sergio.

Both educators emphasized the significance of open communication between and among parents, elders and their children. They pointed out the multi-faceted changes in the latter’s physical, psychological, emotional, and even spiritual make-up which cause them to be in a very fragile state that requires more patience, understanding and love from those who have learnt from past experiences—their parents and elders.

Mendoza said part-time jobs may not be related to student’s college or university course. It does not even mean “just earning money leading to learning the value of financial freedom.”

It is the relevance of honing the “soft or essential skills.” 

In a 2015 interview for his research paper on emotional intelligence (EI) and the workplace, Sergio said “soft or essential skills” include one’s value system and coping mechanisms or one’s EI and the capability to deal with/overcome situations and people. 

Mendoza said: “These are the skills many employers are looking for and require from applicants. They want those who can do the real job. These are not taught within the classrooms but through the learning processes (at workplaces).”

She illustrated by citing the subject on customer relations, the theories of which could be applied and the skills enhanced through “a simple part-time job as a cashier in a small grocery, promoting products, or cinema ticket counter personnel.”

“Many of our working students are more responsible and mature. They are the ones who discuss the applications of the theories taught in the class. They make the discussions livelier, more interactive. They inspire others.”

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