How to Make Extra Money as a College Student
by Limus Woods
We college students many times simply need to make extra cash. So, we will sometimes take any job that’s hiring at the moment. There’s nothing wrong with that, as long as whatever job you are working you are keeping in mind your ultimate goals. Maybe you are trying to pay your tuition that’s due. Maybe you have children that you have to take care of. Maybe you are saving up the money to fund a business that you are trying to create. Whatever the reason is that you are working at that place of employment that you don’t particularly enjoy, remember, you are studying hard in school so that you don’t have to work there forever.
That being said, since you already have to physically focus energy every work shift on a job that you really don’t want to be working, the last thing you want is to have to go home and mentally focus on classwork that you really don’t like studying. Passion is something that equips you with the energy you need to love your career. The field you eventually will be working in is based on what you’re studying right now. So, it’s important that you don’t just like your major… you have to LOVE it.
Focus on Paid Internships
Nowadays, there are more independent students than ever attending school online who are getting their degrees completely over the internet. These students are sometimes parents; other times they’re working adults that can’t afford to invest 3 or 4 hours a day into an internship that they aren’t paid for (those are hours when they could have been making money for bills on their 9 to 5 job!). That being said, focus on attaining paid internships.
Remember those jobs we talked about that you worked, but didn’t really like? The one flipping burgers, washing cars, or doing janitorial work? Well, this is where they come in handy. They show your work ethic and drive, even if they are not directly related to what you are majoring in. So, let’s say that you are working as a short order cook at a restaurant, but majoring in Criminal Justice or Law. PUT THAT COOK JOB ON YOUR APPLICATION FOR THE LAW OFFICE’S INTERSHIP in addition to writing down the classes you are taking and what you are currently majoring in. It may seem weird to do, but do it. That lets that law office know (in additional to you verbally telling them) that you are trying to be a PAID interning paralegal, and that you have real bills and real responsibilities. They will see that you are willing to do something that you don’t want to in order to get what you want. The lawyer who is hiring you will respect that.
Also, when you do your initial online searches for internships, be sure to type in “Paid Internships” in your Google search. And, it doesn’t hurt to ask the internships that aren’t listed as paying ones will there be a chance of any compensation any time soon. If so, and it’s not a bad investment of time to wait, say, a month or so before you get any money, it may be worth checking out. Many 9 to 5 jobs that pay bi-weekly will make you work a few weeks before getting your first paycheck, so what’s the harm in waiting just a little while on pay from the internship? Thinking of it in that way will keep you motivated. Also, get something in writing saying that you’ll begin to be compensated sometime in the near future for your efforts…specify an EXACT pay date on that written contract.
Getting Major-Related Work While in College
If there are jobs that are hiring that are related to your major that are not labeled as an official “internship”, by all means inquire with the employer about whether or not they can CHANGE IT INTO a paid internship. You will be diligently working there every shift as an employee after all, and what can transform it into a paid internship instead of just a job is the fact that you are looking for college credits and letters of recommendation from that employer. For example, if you are a cook and pursuing a degree in Hospitality Management, there is no reason not to ask your supervisor would they consider writing you a letter of recommendation if you did a good job there over time. Ask them and your college if there is any chance that you could receive credits for your hours spent there grinding on the clock. This way, you could pay your bills AND some tuition at the same time!