When you think of student jobs, you probably think of sitting in an office or a lab somewhere, wearing a professional outfit or a lab coat. However, some students (including yours truly) are getting paid to sit on their couch with their computer, wearing pajamas and eating popcorn.
When you work remotely, you still have to do actual work – this isn’t paid Netflix-watching (though believe it or not, that is a real job). However, there are a number of perks that come with working remotely:
1. You can work from anywhere and everywhere: This may seem obvious, but the ability to work from wherever you want has a number of unexpected benefits. For example, I was able to log some work hours on the most recent snow day without leaving my apartment, and I often get work done on the weekends and at night when my supervisor isn’t in the office. I’m not the only student who takes full advantage of this level of flexibility.
“I get my work done literally anywhere – in the library, in bed, even on the plane over break,” Christy S., a senior Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering major, said. Christy works for the Vice Provost of Education, and her job is to create an online database of information about alumni job placement.
2. You can work during college hours, not just business hours: It can be hard to hold down a job in a traditional office setting when you have classes all day, but just because you can’t work from 9 to 5, it doesn’t disqualify you from making money and gaining skills that you can transfer into another position.
“Honestly, I don’t think I’d be able to work if I had a more traditional job where I have to show up to an office at a specific time, because I’m always busy,” Christy said. “It’s nice that I can choose my own hours and work whenever I have free time.”
3. You can get a head start on real world work: While there are some opportunities to work remotely for campus employers, there are many more opportunities to work remotely for companies off-campus, especially for students interested in media careers. Katie D., a 2016 alumna who majored in Writing Seminars, got started as a freelance writer when she pitched a feature article idea to a magazine at the start of her junior year. After writing a few more pieces, her editor asked her to start writing daily web articles.
“For the entirety of that year, I was writing about 15-20 stories per week. I ended up budgeting my campus life around my freelance work, because I knew it was a job that could continue after I graduated – which it did,” Katie said.
She now works full-time as a freelancer for a variety of different websites, including Teen Vogue, TIME/Motto, and Bon Appetit. While she noted that her entry into freelancing was a lucky break, many companies will post openings for freelance positions that you could take on while you’re still in school.
“For college students interested in freelancing, I would suggest using a site like Ed2010 to land a magazine internship,” she said. (Note: Type “remote” into the box for “Location” to find freelance gigs)
The Career Center’s Handshake portal also features some remote internship opportunities, so sit down on your couch and get to work!