I know they say we can't work while in the ACE program and some current students I've talked to advise against it...but then I've met a couple that make it work but picking up shifts every now and then - obviously not full time!
I had a friend who completed the program. I'm pretty sure she had a pretty good gpa. But she didn't work at all. She was up at 4am studying no time to work. She had children and her parents helped her for the year. She said there's no way to work and succeed at the same time. If you get caught up with working you are basically setting yourself up for failure. Hope this helps. Good luck to you.
A friends of mine in the programs does what you stated, she works here and there, but doesn't have regularly scheduled hours. She advises against a regular schedule, but said she doesnt feel overwhelmed to work here and there.
IMO, decide what is best for you. Some people can swing working part-time or even full-time while in school. Others--for whatever reasons--are unable to make a job and school at the same time successfully happen. Some prefer not to work so they can focus on school.
My only advice regarding working while in school is that if working starts to negatively impact your academic performance, then cut back on your hours or stop entirely. "C=RN" doesn't cut it anymore in this job market and definitely doesn't cut it for graduate schools.