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Background / Possible Necessary Info:

  • I'm currently studying computer science and about to go into 2nd year, this summer I have had a research internship with one of my tutors. To clarify he was a replacement tutor for someone who went on maternity leave but will be my tutor next year.
  • The module he tutors is a software development project module so I will see him at most once a month during college and possibly during an elective module (I haven't decided if I want to take this module yet).
  • The project module is worth half my credits for the year and grades are largely based on the opinions of the tutors.

He has mentioned multiple times the possibility of keeping me on for work during the semester but I am unsure of how to approach this topic with him.

Currently I am paid below minimum wage in my country (this is possible as it is given to me as a stipend/grant instead of hourly wage) and I don't know how I would be paid for part time. In order for me to live I need a job that pays at least minimum wage but don't know how to ask for this.

Main Questions:

Is it a conflict of interest that he would be my tutor and my employer?

How do I approach the topic of part time employment during a college semester and how do I discretely/politely ask what I will be paid?

Note: I realise that this: I'm an intern going back to school and my boss has proposed that I work for him part-time. How do I go about negotiating here? could be a possible duplicate but the answers to that question does not suit my situation.

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He is the one offering you part-time employment during the semester, so he already approached you. You don't need to "approach" him or anyone or anything else. What you need to do is follow up on his approach to you.

  1. Catch him in the hallway or where ever he is going, and ask him when is a good time for you and him to discuss the part-time job. Ideally, it should be lunch time, and he pays for your lunch :)

  2. I don't see a conflict between your tutoring and your project. Your tutor has to evaluate your project on its merit and frankly, either you were successful in your project or you weren't. And the basis for determining success is whether your project met the criteria it was supposed to meet. The criteria for the project have nothing to do with your duties as a tutor and how well you perform them.

  3. Ask him point-blank how much the part-time job pays, and how many hours the part-time job is. You need this information to plan your budget for your semester and it would be polite of him to disclose the info you need.

  4. Ask him who is the one paying you. Knowing who is paying you will help you determinate whether the hourly rate you're getting has some room for negociability.

  • I'm not sure of other countries but here it is not likely nor would I be comfortable with him paying for my lunch. It would also be incredibly out of the ordinary for us to even go to lunch together, he often goes home for lunch. I assume I would be paid out of the team's research budget as that is how I am paid now and the pay is set by him. – Clíodhna Aug 10 '16 at 15:31
  • @Cliodhna Blame my American attitude for trying to cadge a free lunch out of my superiors - All anyone ever got out of inviting me for a free lunch is the chance to invite me to another free lunch :) Having said that, ask him point blank and informally i.e. you are relaxed and easy going "Hey, how much are you planning to pay me?" He gives you the rate he has i mind. If the rate is not what you want, then ask just as informally "Can you push it to to xxx?" If he says no, it is what it is. Thank him for his time and tell him that you want the job. – Vietnhi Phuvan Aug 10 '16 at 18:36

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