Odd job number three, student-owned business

September 30, 2009 at 10:55 am (Reporting)

Some students are now looking above and beyond the typical college job scene. University of Maryland, Baltimore County student Brady Wolfe recently kicked-off his own clothing business called Chaste. The business is co-owned by Wolfe and his business partner Decceco Dockins. Wolfe talks a bit about his business and gives some advice to other students.

“I decided to start my own clothing brand because I thought it would be fun, something to keep me occupied other than work, and would enable me to make some extra cash on the side. Above and beyond those reasons, I thought it would allow me to make myself a staple in my local community, or even my state, by providing the best quality and stylish articles of clothing.”

“Based on how I started my brand, I just jumped right into it. I purchased a few sample shirts to see which brand shirt I’d prefer to print on, did research on companies who printed on shirts, graphic designers, etc. Once I found some concrete people, I ran with them, spent some money, and started a brand, something people often talk about doing, but never really get around to it. I’m honestly happy for myself.”

“For selfish reasons, I’d say people shouldn’t look more towards odd jobs. Leave the market for me! On a serious note, I have always been that dude to make money outside of your typical waiter or waitress job, and I’ve been fine through school. If you’re the type of person that can manage their time well and knows how eBay or other marketplaces work, I say go for odd jobs. You work at your leisure; you decide how much work you want, etc. It’s nice honestly.”

“Benefits of owning my own business include I work whenever I want, I decide how much work to give myself, and I make things exactly how I want them. With the first two, don’t get me wrong, I work and I work hard. However, it is nice to work when you’re in the mood, not when the clock tells you, you have to clock in. Producing things exactly how I want them is nice as well, especially because I’m typically picky when it comes to clothing.”

“To be honest, I don’t think I’ve received a single negative comment about starting my own business, both being young and in school. If anything, I’ve received all positive comments. People are intrigued on the fact that I am only 20, doing things people do on a regular basis for their career. If I maintain satisfactory grades, people seem to be enlightened by the idea that some young kid actually turned something that was a simple idea into reality.”

“If I had to give a few pieces of advice for people looking for a job or starting a business, I’d say take your time. I work on top of owning my own brand, and it works like peanut butter and jelly. My job is not demanding, and neither is running my brand. It took me about 6 months of avidly looking for a job and planning my business before I had anything concrete. I love the way my schedule works on a daily basis, as its stress free, but pays at the same time!”

Check out Brady’s Web site to learn more.

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Odd job number two, nuts and bolts

September 24, 2009 at 3:37 pm (Reporting)

Another odd job students may want to take a second look at is the nuts and bolts industry. I spoke with the warehouse manager at Robnet Fastener & Industrial Supply who gave his thoughts on young people in the warehouse.

Al Frisbee
Robnet Fastener & Industrial Supply, Warehouse Manager

“The nuts and bolts industry could be very interesting for a young person. They would learn something mechanical and they would learn sizes, screws and fasteners and especially mathematics skills that can be useful your entire life.”

“A student would fit in here if they are healthy and not afraid to lift things. Most things in the warehouse are under 50 pounds, but sometimes they may go over, but if you are in good shape and not afraid to work, you’ll fit right in.”

“In the nuts and bolts industry you’re always going to need to build something, so keeping in mind you’re going to need fasteners to build, there’s always going to be a job. If you have knowledge of mathematics, fractions and things you can get a job.

“My advice is searching yourself as to what you’d like to do. Find your interests and go with that, because finding something that you do not like, well, you will not be happy.”

“Before your first day here, get your mathematics book out and read your fractions because everything is broken down into a mathematical situation. [If you read] you’ll know this stuff very easily.”

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In Good Faith makes for interesting read

September 24, 2009 at 11:13 am (Reaction)

As I try to keep up with some of the other blogs on the wonderful world of the Internet, I made my way to The Baltimore Sun’s blog page, choosing to take a closer look at the In Good Faith blog posts. As I found the content interesting, two things troubled me. One, while I am interested in the topics, I feel like I jumped into the middle of a story in each post. I don’t think the posts give enough context to give the reader background information to help them understand. Also, the second thing that I found interesting was how many acronyms for words they had in the titles of the posts. What catches a reader is the title of the post and if they dont have any idea what CAIR or ELCA is, then it is very difficult to get a readers attention. If you look down a ways at some of the older posts, they do have fairly interesting titles, so it must be just the latest posts. Some good things they do are incorporate photos, this helps bring the readers eye down the page and make it more visually appealing. I also like how within the posts, they provide links to things that the reader may find interesting and want more information on. Overall, this is a neat blog with interesting and valuable information. As I continue reading I think I will become increasingly familiar with the stories and layout which will help the blog appeal to me even more. Check out In Good Faith for yourself.

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Man completes mission, odd jobs in every state

September 23, 2009 at 5:31 pm (Research)

The article from the San Francisco Chronical, Mission accomplished: 50 jobs in 50 states, is a great example of odd jobs and how to stay employed. The article talks about a graduated student who couldn’t get a job in his major. Daniel Seddiqui, instead came up with a plan to hold 50 odd jobs in 50 states. Now thanks to his unique idea, he has given all students ideas and the knowledge that, you can always find a job. He also is working on a book and setting up classes for students to take to test out other jobs. Needless to say he is set for a while. Seddiqui proves that despite the economy and what degree you have you can always get a job. He was a ticket agent, cheesemaker and dietician among others. He is a great example for my study and among that has given me great ideas to further educate students on different types of jobs they can hold. I don’t think I could have found a better article to illustrate my point. Seddiqui shows that no matter how hard you study in school, your degree may not always get you a job. Not only should students learn how to get odd jobs to save money while in school, but they should also look at odd jobs as a “Plan B” for when they graduate. Check out the article to see a full list of Seddiqui’s 50 odd jobs and stay tuned for more on Seddiqui and his future book.

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The difference in multimedia storytelling

September 18, 2009 at 12:16 pm (Reaction)

Multimedia storytelling can make all the difference in the world for a viewer. The Baltimore Sun published an article and multimedia package of a German Bakery. The article can be found here and the video can be found here.

When you read the article it opens in a Word Document as four pages long, any normal reader starts to zone off after about one and a half. With the multimedia package it allows the viewer to engage more with the story and get to know the people involved. This keeps their interest and makes it more interactive for the viewer. Visual things always catch the consumers eye first. Although article are informative, adding multimedia facets to the package give the story more depth as you can tell with the German Bakery story. It is difficult I think to read about people without seeing them, you need a face to put with a name. With the multimedia package that The Baltimore Sun put together, it allows the viewer to do that.

There are big differences as you can see from articles to full multimedia packages. Not only does it interest the reader more, but it also makes the reports job more fun. But hey, thats just my opinion.

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Odd job number one, knife sales

September 18, 2009 at 11:48 am (Reporting)

One odd job that I know of is Vector Marketing, they target college students and are always hiring. It is a sales business and the product is Cutco Cutlery. I took the time to gather some more information about this odd job by talking to Pilot Sales Manager, Mustafa Nasr. Take a look at what he had to say.

“One of the great things about our company is we work with such a great product and you save money in the long run. The direct market approach we use is great; we go out and get our customers. Whether people want it or not whether people want to spend money or not were still doing the presentations.”

“Our product has a forever guarantee, and people want to save money so were having one of our biggest years ever. Anytime we’re in a bad economy we usually do pretty well.”

“There’s the flexible schedule [students like], you get a chance to plan your own schedules and have an incredible income opportunity. You can make from $2,000 to $5,000 in a semester. Another appealing part is the resume and advancement opportunities.”

“It’s not experience you can get elsewhere, we allow students to have entrepreneurship and business experience.”

“The economy doesn’t really hurt you when you have a recruiting company versus a staffing company. Every recruiting job goes up, we don’t really have to change the incentives, and in fact we could probably reduce our pay right now and still have applicants.”

“It is an odd job and we joke about it all the time, the knives are just what we have to be selling and they just so happen to be good. But it’s everything else that comes with it that keeps people around.”

“We do have in certain places a stigma about the knife thing, but in many places it’s a good stigma, people say, ‘Oh, you did the knife thing.’”

“Everyone has their fun stories from appointments and what not, but overall it is very odd and “the knife thing” is what a lot of parents call it. It’s the word that spreads around, and it’s known as a good experience from people who have done it before and people who have the products.”

“The business alone can be found in the Wall Street Journal and Consumers Digest and they rave about the experience.”

“The Wall Street Journal wrote about how this was an odd job, but it was a great job. If you can look past the knives you can have a great income opportunity and meet great people.”

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Coming to a decision

September 18, 2009 at 11:22 am (Research)

This semester I want to focus on a topic that is both interesting to me and my audience. That is you, the average student. I have come up with an idea I think is great and a few others as back up plans.

* Odd jobs – (My great idea) In the current state of the economy some students find it difficult to get a job to make some extra cash. The typical waitressing jobs and mall jobs are taken and it seems like no one is hiring. But wait, there are plenty of odd jobs waiting to be applied for. I have had a few myself and I plan on introducing you to some as well.

* International students – Most students want to travel, but for some reason or another they don’t get to it or can’t afford it. My proposition is to bring the culture to you. Towson is full of international students and I bet most would love to talk about their culture and heritage.

* Staying hip with a low budget – As college students we can all pretty much say we are not made of money. So how can we still satisfy our needs and wants? I plan to find out and give you a step-by-step tutorial on how to stay hip with a low budget.

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