9 to 5 versus 4.5: Three Nigerian Students On Working Full-time Jobs While In School

3 min readSep 16, 2022


For different reasons, students have to undertake the demanding task of going to school while working full time. These three students take us through how they have managed this experience.

Anthonia 400 Level Accounting Student.

I always had a passion for numbers and the corporate lifestyle, and that’s why I studied accounting. In my school, you have to wait until 300 level before you go on the university-mandated industrial training, but because of my strong desire to work in a corporate environment, I started applying for internships in my first year.

I was in my second year when I got my first internship and it was an eye opener. I was getting so much value from it and getting paid, but when it was time for school, I had to stop, the next year I went back again, this time after the internship was over, I just continued working there.

The value I get from here is so much more than I get in school. If I worked here for 4 years and didn’t go to school compared with someone who only went to school, the difference is clear. So naturally, the school became less of a priority.

On some days when I have morning classes from 8–12, I attend, then resume at my office at 1. For the other classes, I get someone to sign attendance for me, but I make sure to always do my assignments. I also have a really good support system of friends who cover my back.

Oluwatumininu 300 Level Mass Communications Student.

I started working in 100 level, doing social media management jobs but I was at home and it was really frustrating, especially during the strike when I really didn’t have much to do.

From working in social media management I developed a strong interest in advertising and marketing, and then I won a scholarship to go to an advertising school.

I finished as one of the top students at the school and received three job offers from different advertising agencies. At first, when I resumed work, school was on strike so I was okay, but when the strike was called off, I tried working full-time for a while but it was too stressful so my company offered me a hybrid role. People think it’s so cool having a job while going to school, but really it’s the ghetto.

During my final papers in year 2, I had a pitch and an exam on the same day. Obviously, I took the pitch more seriously and my grades suffered. My GPA dropped badly and my parents were concerned.

We had a conversation and I told them to forget about me getting the first class as that was no longer possible. It was after this, that I asked my company for a hybrid work option and they gave me one. I’ve been lucky to work with companies who understand the fact that I’m a student.

Elizabeth, ND 1 English and Yoruba Student.

I started teaching to put what I was learning in school into practice. I am studying Yoruba and English education, and that’s also what I teach, just on a lower level.

The owner of the secondary school where I teach is a family friend, so it was very easy to get the job. It’s not so difficult managing school and work because I go to school on weekends and work during the week. But sometimes they both clash when my attention is needed on the weekends, however, school usually takes precedence.

One time, in particular, I had exams and there was supposed to be a kind of screening test for the students which I was meant to coordinate but I couldn’t because I could not miss my exams.

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