Meet Tufts' HelpU Campus Reps!

 

Seniors Gus Santos and Jenny Lidington serve as the campus representatives and social media managers for HelpU, a unique startup that helps find employment opportunities for students in the New York and Boston area. To register students can sign up on the website and fill out a profile of what kinds of jobs they’re looking for. They will then receive e-mail notifications when opportunities that match their interests are available. Sounds easy, right? To learn more about their initiative, I asked Gus and Jenny to answer a few questions. Here is what they have to say!

 

How does HelpU aid Tufts students?

Jenny - We believe that there is a student-employment paradox that students face.  In order to find good jobs, students need to have valuable first-hand work experience, but for the most part the only jobs students can hold during a semester are part-time internships or on-campus work-study jobs. These can be limiting and often don’t provide students with meaningful enough work experience to bolster their resumes. Through short-term business projects that offer flexible schedules, students can gain valuable experience while still keeping up with homework, sports and other extra-curriculars. Even more, we’ve already seen some of these temporary opportunities turn into full time job offers for 2014 graduates!

Gus- In terms of wages, some internships are unpaid, which means students need to spend a lot of time finding additional sources of money. HelpU averages about $22.00 an hour, which exceeds any on-campus job wage as well as some offered by paid internships. HelpU makes it easy for students by connecting them with jobs that never pay less than $10.00 an hour and often pay over $30.00 an hour.

 

What is the most important and unique aspect of HelpU?

Jenny- Something that really sets us apart is our scholarship program. Not only are students paid immediately, but also with each job completed they help contribute to their entire school’s community scholarship fund. We donate a portion of our annual earnings to HelpU Scholarships, which are then awarded to both the school with the greatest number of completed jobs and to the top students who have fulfilled the most jobs. In this way HelpU not only supports students by guaranteeing them an immediate and direct pay (it uses Venmo, which is also tax-free!), but it also has the capability to bolster the financial aid packages for future students at Tufts. In the end, everyone benefits when jobs are posted and completed

 

What was your inspiration for joining HelpU?

Jenny- Gus and I decided to join HelpU in its very early stages because we loved the idea of starting on the ground floor and helping build an audience at Tufts, a place that is very much in need of this kind of service.  Like many of our fellow students, we both have crazy schedules and need an income to pay for our everyday expenses as well as the opportunity to build up work experience for our resumes.  We were drawn to HelpU because it provides a practical and flexible way to do just that. We knew this was a company we could really put our hearts into. 

 

Why did you get involved in this initiative?

Gus- As a student athlete here at Tufts I became fascinated with the idea that I could manage work during the soccer season. I knew my teammates would be interested in HelpU as they also struggle to make money and balance a fixed schedule for both school and soccer.

 

What are your future plans for HelpU?

Gus- In the future we would like to expand our community to new campuses in order to successfully engage students and help them in their search for convenient job opportunities. Additionally, our plan is to spread our presence on social media to other channels such as Vine, Snapchat, and Instagram in order to create a more diverse social media platform. We are always looking for new ways to reach out to a greater audience even if it means taking some risks.

 

What is your favorite part about being involved in HelpU?

Jenny- I love that I’m able to work as a social media manager while still being in college. Other than being a campus representative of HelpU, I work at a marketing agency downtown where I have little say in what goes up on their social channels. With HelpU, Gus and I write a lot of the copy, we take the photos, and we do most of the market research and analysis ourselves. It’s been a great opportunity to really hone my social media skills.

 

Gus- I also enjoy the opportunity to exercise my creativity. It’s great to have the chance to establish an audience at Tufts; a place where I’m familiar with peoples’ social media habits and know what content will resonate. Additionally, I love being able to work with Jenny and having the chance to bounce ideas off each other for the posts we create.

Want to find out more about HelpU? Visit their Facebook page and their website: https://www.facebook.com/TheHelpU and http://www.thehelpu.com/