It’s no surprise that many college students maintain jobs during their undergrad and graduate careers. People tend to gravitate towards many different jobs from work study jobs on campus to various off campus jobs. During my undergrad I was a tour guide on campus so I may be a bit bias when I say I think that is definitely the best job on campus. I had many friends and fraternity brothers who held different jobs during their four years on campus and off campus and myself had a few others. Everyone has different experiences with their jobs and to some its a primary income with school being part time and to others its just a few bucks from week to week.
Some of the better or best jobs…
Tour Guide – I did this for 2 and a half years pretty much year round. One of the best perks of being a tour guide was being asked to live on campus for free all summer and give tours and get paid for it! This works out great for anyone like myself who was adventurous enough to take classes during winter/summer’s and in turn live on campus giving tours. Tour guides got paid very well as we were the face of the campus, we had the first interaction with prospective high schoolers and transfer students. A bad tour can really diminish someone’s desire to go to a school so it was important for us to always be on our A-game. Another awesome perk at most universities is tons of free school gear. I had school gear in everything you can imagine from the campus store. We got a substantial amount every semester to go shopping in there plus 50% off the listed price which as many of you know the campus store is usually expensive. I had sweats, boxers, shirts, hoodies, socks, koozies, hats, gloves, everything!
Work Study- Various – Computer room aid, Library, campus store, offices, TA’s, administrative, etc. – What is work study jobs? Undergraduate and graduate students with work-study jobs will work part-time on or off-campus while enrolled (credit: http://studentaid.ed.gov/). Basically, its the various jobs on campus that you are allotted a certain amount of hours per semester to work and a pay rate for the job and that is what you do. This can range from many things on a typical campus such as campus center staff, event staff, office aides and various admin work and much more. Work study jobs are great for many students who qualify as part of their financial aid package.
Off Campus – Waiter/waitress + bartender – This type of service job is great for those that like it. I did some waiter-ing during college and didn’t like it at all to be honest. Not that I didn’t like the server aspect, I just think the restaurant I worked at wasn’t very fun and didn’t attract a pleasant crowd. I did it for a few months then said enough was enough. One of my fraternity brothers had a very different experience as he worked in a fancy restaurant and would take home around $300-500 on an average night in tips. Ya, thats not a typo.
Off Campus – Retail – I worked at Circuit City for a while freshman year before it went out of business. I would go back home every few weekends and bang out a few shifts from Friday through Sunday before heading back to school. I made very good money being a computer tech there since I worked there for a while throughout high school so it was worth it for me. The only downfall is the hours aren’t always as flexible as you would like for a student in retail as some places have set shifts and you may have classes during those times. Also, the pay in retail at times can be similar to jobs on campus and you can cut out commuting costs.
Real Estate (hopeful) – This is one I am throwing in just in hindesite of where I am now. In relation to what your potential earnings can be getting your real estate license is a piece of cake. Take the class, study, pass the test, join an agency. Thats when the hard work starts. Real estate is a business that you can make your own and develop your own niche. Looking back I would have loved to have been the “go to guy” on campus for rentals. By the time we all got to senior year I don’t think I knew anyone who still lived on campus. I did however know plenty of people who lived off campus and had terrible landlord experiences. This is one thing that can be weeded out with a successful agent who does a good job in the rental market. If you are able to earn your license and develop your business on the side while earning your degree, you have the opportunity to make substantial earnings all the while building a brand for yourself which you can that put into full gear when you graduate!