4 Ways to Capitalize on Your College Social Life

Now that summer is here you’re probably on your long-awaited hiatus from college. If you’re lucky you’ll find summer work to earn a little extra money during your time off, but then what happens once school starts again? That seasonal cash cow seldom spills over into the regular school year, and by the time the holidays roll around you’re usually strapped for funds again.

But what if you could combine your college social life with a year round job? Wouldn’t that relieve a lot of monetary pressure? But who is going to pay you to be social during the school year? EVERYONE is social in one form or another, right?

Yes, they are, and that’s exactly why there are job opportunities lying in wait centered on your social life. Whenever you get a group of people together needs arise. And it’s up to the enterprising visionaries to fill those needs and capitalize on them at the same time. So without further adieu, here are four ways that YOU can capitalize on your college social life throughout the school year.

  1. Social Media Consultant
  2. Anyone who saw the film “The Social Network” knows that Mark Zuckerberg saw a need for college students to congregate online so he created “The Facebook” (which later became just “Facebook”). That’s not to say you should quit college to start a major corporation (although that’s not a bad career move—if it works), but if you’re on Facebook, or Twitter, or Digg, or LinkedIn, or…whatever, all the time anyway why not share your expertise with others for a price? Become a social media consultant that helps everyone from your college roommate to local small businesses. Offer to create a Facebook page for a club to which you belong. Show an aspiring writer how to get his or her articles noticed on Digg. Write clever tweets for businesses on Twitter. For a retainer you can even agree to maintain multiple businesses’ Facebook pages and/or Twitter accounts so they can build their clientele. The possibilities are endless if you really put your mind to it.

  3. Mystery Shopper
  4. If you’re a business/advertising major then you probably already know that the entire existence of your industry hinges on consumer feedback. And even if you’re not, being a mystery shopper is fun AND social. Basically, a mystery shopper gets paid to shop with someone else’s money and then provide customer feedback to a marketing company about the service he or she received. There are mystery shoppers for retail stores, restaurants, grocery stores, even theme parks. So if you like going out for dinner, for example, sign up to be a mystery shopper for restaurants (and yes, you’re allowed to bring dinner guests). At the very least your meals are free and typically you’re paid a stipend. Hey, you have to eat anyway, right?

  5. Newsletter Writer
  6. If you like writing, and you’re pretty good at it, offer to take over the newsletter for any club or professional organization you’ve joined. Sometimes the newsletters are online, sometimes on paper, or both—it should make no difference to you. If you’re spending time with those folks anyway it’ll be easy for you to come up with stuff to write about. If you have time to expand see if local newsletters (for realtors, community centers, restaurants, etc.) need copywriters as well. In this case you’ll probably have to show writing samples, but if you’ve already written newsletters for your club then you’ll have them. And if you really want to branch out get on Elance, the freelance writers website for contract writers.

  7. Telemarketer
  8. Not every business uses telemarketing in that traditional annoying manner (i.e. calling during dinner time to sell timeshares). Many charitable organizations, for example, use the phone to alert the community to local events or donation pick-ups in their area. Professionals use calls to remind clients of appointments. Organizations collect marketing data. There are many ways to use telemarketing without being irritating. If you’re already involved with your church, community center, local youth group, or any philanthropic organization find out about any paid part time positions (such as telemarketing or office work) these places might have. You’d be surprised how many non-profits hire students to do small jobs, especially phone work. Yes, you will likely get minimum wage, but if you’re hanging around the place anyway, why not get paid for it, even if it’s a small amount?

These are just a few examples of how you can use your social interests to build jobs around your college schedule. If you’re innovative you can probably think up more. Unfortunately, just because summer ends doesn’t mean your expenses do too. In fact, once school starts back up in the fall your bank account starts draining money faster than a rusty pipe. Wouldn’t it nice if you could stop that leak simply by ramping up your already robust college social life?

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