Many college students work part-time jobs that are far less glamorous than the careers they plan on having after graduation. Most students view these jobs as nothing more than a source of income to help pay for school. Yes, it would be nice to have a job working in the same field as your major, but that does not mean your part-time job can only provide pocket change. The trick is to make sure you take advantage of all the opportunities for self-improvement the job offers.
During college I worked part time in retail for a little over three years and yes the primary motivation was the paycheck (modest as it was), but it also helped develop many important skills that were not learned in the classroom. Most obvious is that having a part-time job helps students develop time management skills and more importantly learn how to create their own work/life balance. Having an employer who is not concerned with your education can be difficult, but it does force a student to learn how to be efficient with their time. There are more direct lessons that can be learned from part-time jobs as well.
Retail and service related jobs are especially beneficial when it comes to perfecting soft skills. As we have mentioned in previous posts, soft skills are vital when it comes getting an internship and ultimately a job offer. Part time jobs are great opportunities to fine tune your soft skills both in dealing with customers and coworkers. The large variety of customers you get to interact with are especially useful for practicing the communication styles that help people succeed in the business world. This is especially true when it comes to public accounting because of the diversity between clients. Knowing how to communicate professionally and effectively with various personalities is a skill that can only be developed through real world practice.
The important thing to remember is that no matter where you find yourself during college you need to focus on how to get the most out of the situation. Every job can teach you something, you just have to be willing to look for the lessons.