=== Jobs for College Students ===

Finding a part-time job near campus is difficult. I competed with 10,000 other students for the few jobs that exist locally. The pay is low and the hours often compete with study time and even with class time. Eventually, I accepted a job at night which led to lack of sleep and skipping morning classes. A poor job choice, but I needed the cash to survive.

The Job List

I tried a variety of jobs, a few were in desperation. Only juniors and seniors are given parking permits. Transportation to off-campus jobs is difficult, if not impossible.

Job #1 – Ice Cream Shop – The name of the campus shop was "Pistachio's". A catchy name, but the hours were primarily in the afternoons and competed with lab time for my science classes. The pay was minimum wage.

Job #2 – Information Booth – The job was a weekend job. Answering phone calls, providing directions all day, and providing change (quarters) for cash to students still hung-over at 11:00am Saturday morning, but wanted to do their laundry while a washing machine was available.

Job #3 – Campus Security – The grave yard shift was an interesting perspective of campus activities. On a Thursday night many students started the weekend with "happy hour" at 6:00pm at a local fraternity, an all you can drink event. The "happy campers" were well primed about the time our shift started at 10:00pm. The music, screams, and sound of doors slamming continued until 2:00am. The best hours on the job were from 2:00am to 6:00am, the end of the shift. By that time, you were punch tired and at dawn had to attend a Freshman English class at 8:00am. Yes, only a Freshman is so ignorant as to sign up for an 8:00am Friday class and ACTUALLY defend their reason for doing so with enthusiasm. Two weeks into this job, the Friday morning class became a quick casualty and was often skipped.

Job #4 – Grading – With 1,500 students taking Calculus, another 1,000 taking Introduction to Economics, and another 1,200 taking Chemistry, there existed a clear need for tenacious upper class students to score exams. Don't kid yourself, professors don't do the tedious task of scoring. This role fell to TA's (teaching assistants). I became good at grading and would grind through 1,200 handwritten Calculus finals in 48 hours. I lugged the exams around campus in a duffle bag that (sadly) looked like a leather body bag. The last day of finals no one asked "what's in the bag?"

Job #5 – Tutoring – Coaching Freshman students on introductory courses was a simple task. You didn't need to be a straight "A" student, just talented at posting flyers on campus and have a willingness to tolerate lazy students. My most successful referral source was the Athletic Department who contacted me several times to help their recruits survive. Having been a grader was insightful and I would spend time calming their nerves with a practice test questions that I'd crated to build their confidence. Yes, many professors create the content of their nasty finals, but many are lazy and only slightly modify the questions they used from the prior year. I know of several Fraternities that pooled prior year exams of upper class student's to help their members. They had entire libraries of prior year exams on hand for their new recruits.

Better Approach

After trying those jobs, I decided to try something different, I started my own business.

Job #6 – Book Broker – I would buy textbooks at the end of the semester in December and sell them 30 days later in January. One semester I made $1,500 the first week of classes peddling books that I had acquired just 30 days earlier. I sold most of the books on eCampus, Amazon, and Half (an eBay subsidiary). This was a simple supply and demand business. Cheap books the end of one semester, charge twice the price when selling the beginning of the next semester. A good concept until I had a run-in with the campus bookstore. I made the mistake of posting flyers outside their entrance way. The manager was a little upset. Campus security showed up and, unbeknownst to the manager, they were my buddies I worked with on the night shift five months earlier. I was "escorted" off the premises and laughed about the situation outside the building with them. The bottom line, this was a quick cash generator if you have the energy to flyer the dining hall and large freshman dorms.

Job #7 – Campus Recruiter – A job providing jobs seems like a funny twist. I contacted several local companies who needed part-time workers in their call centers. I set up pre-screening interviews and introduced students to local businesses. I made a "finder's fee" for my efforts. For me this was fun helping others find work. For the business this was a huge cost savings. They saved advertising cost, staff time, travel time, parking cost, and endless time reading pitiful resumes all speaking to the same theme – full of hope, ambition, but no business experience. I had migrated from brokering books, to brokering job opportunities. I never charged the students. The businesses always paid my fees. The process of helping others find work was a great challenge and the process of speaking with hiring manages taught me good interviewing skills.

Post College

I recently started writing part-time for an online site. Basically, I earn income by sharing my knowledge. I have to say, it's amazing how the internet has enabled an opportunity to make money while sitting quietly at a computer for thousands of students sitting in their dorm rooms. The process is simple and each day the information I post generates a trickle of income into my checkbook. By the end of a semester I could easily generate enough pocket money to afford textbooks next semester.

I wasn't aware of likes of eHow or InfoBarrel until a friend mentioned their success. I strongly believe in the program as it has been fun writing 90 minutes a day on my free time. It's an easy part-time job with flexible hours. You will need to be 18 years old to participate, but most of us are 18 when attending college.

Next Step

If you are interested in earning a part-time income, open an author's account and begin today. There's no fee to sign up or participate.