Business School Assistantships: Trading Time for Money
A n assistantship is an arrangement where a school waives your tuition and pays for you to work as a research or teaching assistant. This is designed to be mutually beneficial, providing cash-strapped students with income and the university with affordable labor. Business school assistantships are uncommon, but, when available, they usually entail 10 hours of work per week. If you don't mind working while attending business school, this is a phenomenal way to keep your finances intact.
Types of Assistantships
Assistantships come in two flavors: teaching assistantships ("TAships") and research assistantships ("RAships"). A TAship requires you to help teach a graduate or undergraduate course. This can include anything from taking attendance, grading papers, holding office hours, or teaching classes. In an RAship, in contrast, you'll focus on helping faculty conduct their research projects. Sometimes, you'll be able to incorporate the work you do into your coursework, or an independent study. With both TAships and RAships, you'll gain experience that will strengthen your CV when looking for a job later down the road.
Full assistantships normally entail 20 hours per week and are designated 0.5 FTE (full-time employee). These are rare in business school. Still rare, but more common, are reduced forms of assistantships (0.25 FTE), which normally require you to work 10 hours per week and receive commensurately lower compensation. Other benefits of assistantships may include free (or discounted) health insurance, and other fringe benefits depending on the school's policies.
How to Apply
Each school has its own policies regarding business school assistantships. In most cases, schools will automatically consider you based on the merit of your application. In other cases, you'll have to submit a separate application, usually explaining why you are worthy of receiving such funding. Inquire with each school.