In 2020, many students experienced their student jobs differently. A report by Belgian employment agency Randstad, found students weren’t able to work as much as the years before. However, they also saw the job market was already slowly recovering in 2021. So, how do students in Belgium experience their job this summer? These five students gave us a peek into their work-life.
Merel (21) — Studies Linguistics and Literature
Merel found her job at Café Mombasa in Antwerp last summer, ‘My mom had seen a Facebook advert for it and sent it to me.’ Since she works in the hospitality industry, her job was affected greatly by the pandemic, ‘We weren’t able to work for a long time, and now there are still sanitary measures.’
Jules (18) — Last year of high school
‘My mom works in the park and recommended this job; it’s the third summer I work here,’ says Jules, who works a landscaping job at the Antwerp Rivierenhof park. He says the work hasn’t changed much, ‘but not the whole team can lunch together inside, so we take breaks in shifts. Outside, we usually don’t wear masks but stay at a distance.’
Lariatu (24) — Studies Accountancy and Taxation
Lariatu works evenings in coffee and tea shop Mattheus~B to stock shelves, ‘I found this job through my friend Fanny, whose parents own the shop. I’ve been doing it since December 2020, so, for me, Covid-19 didn’t change anything on the job because I started it during the pandemic.’ She doesn’t work with clients, so ‘it’s a fun and peaceful job,’ she adds.
Jelle (18) — Studies Criminology starting September
Jelle delivers Pizza at Pizza Hut Lange Leemstraat in Antwerp. ‘A friend from school worked here too and recommended this job. I’ve been doing this since September now, and delivery just went on like normal, so Covid-19 didn’t have a huge impact.’
Manon (21) — Studies High School Teaching
‘I found this job through family, and I’ve worked here every summer,’ says Manon, who works in the Antwerp Rivierenhof petting zoo. ‘This year, our job turned out to be more of a security job because visitors have to be reminded to keep to the Covid-19 rules. We have to wear masks indoors or when working together too, and in the canteen, only three people at a time can enter, which makes it pretty awkward sometimes.’
Text and pictures: © Lisa Poppe