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The 5 Best Jobs to Go Along With Your Summer Internship


So many BC students have been lucky enough to snag stellar internships for the summer—and for some people, they’re even luckier enough to have that internship be paid.  For those of you who are just happy to get a foot in the door and are planning to work unpaid internships for the summer, have no fear.  It doesn’t mean you have to head into fall semester completely broke.  After doing some research and talking to some experienced unpaid interns, I’ve come up with a list of the 5 best on-the-side jobs for every college student whose summer focus is to be the best unpaid intern there ever was.


1.  Tutoring

Under-the-table money is the best kind of money.  A lot of middle schools and high schools keep a list online or in the office of summer teachers and tutors, so that parents can find help easily for their children.  Call up your old teacher in your best subject, and ask if they can put in a word to get you on the list!  Another option is going online.  I’ve found that WyzAnt [link: http://www.wyzant.com] and Care.com are really worthwhile visits.  Both allow you to search for tutorees in your area and give you the option of ordering a background check on yourself so that parents feel comfortable with you.  WyzAnt even allows you to get paid online and offers quick certifications in different subject areas.  I’ve personally used these sites and have made up to $30/hour from tutoring. If you really want to aim high, consider teaching SAT prep with an organization like The Princeton Review, Kaplan, or a local program.


2.  Nanny

Surprisingly, a lot of families are looking for consistent babysitters to work any number of hours.  I’ve encountered families that only need a sitter from 6:00pm-10:00pm, three days a week—this is perfect for anyone working a 9-5 internship!  At $10/hr, times just 12 hours/week, you’ll be making $120/week.  Unless you’re a crazy shopper, you probably don’t spend nearly this much per week, and will be able to save most of it.  If you hate kids, consider becoming a pet-sitter.  Same thing… but with animals.


3.  Freelance Writing

A lot of people don’t believe me when I tell them that this is how I supported myself during my freshman year of college.  However, it’s incredibly profitable, if you know how to do it right.  Freelance writing gives you the freedom to choose your own hours, decide your own pace, ask for the wages that you want, and can stop at any point if the workload is too much.  Some useful sites for those wishing to become freelance writers are Elance [link: www.elance.com]—this is the one I’ve always used—Guru [link: www.guru.com], and Scriptlance [www.freelancer.com].  Here are some tips of how to be successful at this:

  • Identify your unique skills: what can you do that other people can’t?  Do you speak a foreign language?  Try translation.  Did you work for the Career Center this year? Try resume review.  Are you an experienced writer for The Heights?  Try proofreading or ghostwriting.
  • Do NOT be afraid to be bored.  Some of this work is extremely tedious and boring—or else people could do it themselves and would not have to pay you.  Remember that work is work and you’re getting paid.
  • Submit high quality work. Do good work, and submit your work on time.  Most sites include a post-project rating by the receiving party.  The better your rating, the more offers you will have and people will want to hire you.
  • Offer to do work for a lower price than others on the site.  When applying for a freelance job, take a look at competing applications and offer to do the work for as low as you are willing to go.
  • Do NOT begin work until your contractor has funded Escrow.  Don’t waste time.  Make a contractor commit and fund Escrow before beginning or submitting any work.  After all, you can’t be too careful on the Internet.


4.  Data Entry

In our highly computerized world, more and more companies are hiring temp workers for data entry.  Entering data into a computer all day might seem incredibly tedious—because it is—but the time flies when you’re listening to music or Netflix from your phone.  I did data entry for a law firm last summer that was processing a huge project of contracts.  They hired tons of people for the summer, gave a nudge into the legal field (my aspiring profession), and let us choose our own hours.  Most importantly, they paid me $15/hr.  I ended up wanting to work over 40 hours a week, just because I had time and wanted to save more money.  Check around with local document-processing companies and large firms to see if they are looking for temporary workers!


5.  Camp Counselor

Becoming a camp counselor is a really good way to make money without worrying about working all summer.  A lot of camps run during the weekend, during only some weekends, or for only 1-2 weeks.  Most internships do not stretch for the entirety of the summer, and very few internships involve working on the weekends.  Contact one of the camps that YOU used to go to!  It’ll be a fun chance to play with kids, be a leader, be outside, and take a break.  Plus, you really might impact someone’s summer experience!  Most camps pay counselors in a lump sum, and you might even make some fellow college-age friends.

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