by Dudley Raymond
(Frisco, Texas)

In college I worked as a chauffeur part time for two years. I had a friend who was quite the entrepreneur and had managed to purchase 2-60 inch stretch limousines. There were used but in the city we both went to school in, they were considered the best available. If you have the ability, and business sense, that is the better job to have, owning the cars and running the business.

For me, however that was not an option. So I was hired as the driver. It paid well plus most people gave generous tips, I made far more than I could have working a regular part time job or as a waiter. It required that I was flexible with my time to some degree as calls for service were not always predictable, although it was mostly Friday night and all day Saturday and most of Saturday night. One of the more enjoyable times, was quite a few people would book the car in December to look at Christmas lights. Which was particularly helpful as I needed additional money towards the beginning of the new semester as well as at Christmas time?

Generally a limousine ride is associated with celebration or fun, so other than a few rude customers most everyone is in a good mood and treats you well. The times are flexible and for the most part are outside of class time. There are times when you waiting for the client and you are able to rest or study. If you work at the company long enough, you are able to meet famous people, as well as people who struggled to scrape together enough money to rent the car for a special occasion. Everyone is trying to have a special time and if you have the right attitude you can be a part of making fond memories for people. I was able to meet professional wrestlers, singers that were on the charts, performers of yesteryear who are trying to make it to retirement, partiers for the night, people celebrating an anniversary or making a marriage proposal that night, and more wedding couples than I can count.

It’s a pleasant job, with flexible hours that pays well, what more does a student need…

Thanks Dudley for sharing your student job experience as a Chauffeur. I love it - flexible hours outside of class time, good pay. Your point about attitude is important - help create fond memories for people. Best of luck to you.

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Keeping the Coop

by Elizabeth Linderberry
(Deer Lodge, Montana, USA)

The most unusual student job I held during my undergraduate years was as a chicken sitter. I was able to work this job during the academic year, as well as during breaks and the summer sessions.

I had no experience with farm animals other than a petting zoo. I found that I needed some extra cash for fees and books so I began to scour the want ads for part time work. I found this farmer who did not have a lot of money to spare for help, but had many chores that needed to be done.

I was hired on to help keep the chicken coops clean, gather eggs, and take general care and attention to the farmers flock. This job was a bit unconventional, but when needing money to stay in school any job will do the trick.

When seeking a job to help pay for expense, tuition, or even for living costs it is best to seek out any employment that one feels comfortable with. I had a few run ins with extra large hens that did not want to give up their eggs, but made enough money to pay rent (and I even got to take home farm fresh eggs and milk from the farm).

I did this job while also working at the University Pizza Shop and serving as a student government representative. Paying for college is never easy and finding time for work and classes can be a juggling act. The best way to approach the demands of any college degree is to keep on keeping on and do not give up on your dreams.

Always keep your eyes on the goal, even if it is cleaning out chicken coops and shoveling out cow stalls. It will all pay off in the long run and the jobs that you hold during the degree can be just as challenging and fulfilling as the degree you earn.

Elizabeth, thanks for sharing your most unusual job. You are right that it will all pay off in the long run. Best of luck to you.

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Summer Jobs and Bartering Are The Key

by Kyler
(Raymond WA U.S.)

I work in Bristol Bay Alaska on a commercial gill net boat every summer to help pay for expenses and help on my family and neighborhood Christmas tree farms. My parents have greatly influenced my education and values. They have taught me the value of living on a budget, living within your means, working hard for what you want to achieve and giving back whenever possible.

One of the best cost cutting efforts that I have learned is the art of bartering. When my truck’s brakes needed work I traded my labor with a neighbor who needed Christmas trees loaded. Another time when I needed a new ignition switch put in I traded the work by helping haul and dump a load of gravel. I have traded a video game for a pair of Romeos and I also help train youth in basketball or weightlifting when I have time.

My parents have worked hard to buy a home, make a living, and support a family of three active boys. My mom has taught me to shop at canned food stores, making menus around the deal of the week, and to cut my own hair. I can take 1 pound of hamburger, 1 can of spaghetti sauce, and Top Ramen noodles to make 3 meals for $1.16 each. The rising costs of four year universities keep my debt anxiety levels and worry extremely high. Going from $6,000 tuition per year to $25,000 plus drives me to continue to work hard and apply for scholarships to help save for my expenses.

Thanks Kyler for sharing your summer student job. Sometimes a summer job allows the student to focus on work, while saving money for the school year. You also raise some great points about being frugal with spending, and bartering is a win-win way to keep things affordable. Good luck to you!

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