A trip down memory lane

November 18, 2009 at 10:55 am (Reporting)

Chuck Dean, a husband and father of two returns to school seeking a degree to help solidify his future.

“Right now, I work in the IT field as a dataflow technician. It’s okay – but it’s just about all I’ve done for 25 years [in one form or another.]”

“I currently attend Howard Community College; I have one class left then I’ll have an associates [degree] in general studies. I’m also enrolled in the bachelors in intelligence studies at the American Military University.”

“I’ve got a lot of experience in my field, but I’m pretty much locked into it since I have no degrees. I’ve found that many employers value experience, but they’re required to hire folks with a degree – in something. The customer wants people with degrees or certifications to be on a contract; experience doesn’t always get you in the door. I want to be able to have some flexibility in my future career decisions.”

“I’ve always wanted to be an intel analyst, so I’m hoping a bachelors in intelligence studies from AMU [plus my military experience] will help me find something in that field.”

Throughout his life he has held odd jobs periodically. The economy is not the only reasons people look toward odd jobs; Chuck Dean used these options throughout his life.

“I worked on a dairy farm where I basically got the lousy jobs that the owner’s family didn’t want: forking out the manure piles, carrying feed and water to the barns, stacking hay and straw in the haymow. I didn’t get the cool jobs like driving the tractors or milking the cows.”

“One of my jobs in the Navy was a flight deck safety observer. That job consisted of me walking all around the flight deck of my ship, keeping my eye on the guys actually doing the work (handlers, fuel guys, maintenance techs, and ordnance men among others), making sure they worked safely and that they were aware of what was going on around them. Most of them had no communications in their helmets, so they didn’t know when helicopters or Harrier jets were coming or going. I made sure they kept clear of landing spots and that they were wearing their safety gear properly.”

“Odd jobs are definitely character-building experiences… they can teach some humility to young folks who have basically never had to work for anything. Another thing that odd jobs can do is help a young person possibly see some of the details that go on which they may otherwise had not been aware of.”

“I believe that having any job [odd or normal] will enhance a person’s career plans with regards to making more money – if the job is done well.”

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A look from the norm

November 12, 2009 at 6:07 pm (Reporting)

Not only do people with odd jobs have advice but people with regular jobs do too. Kristen Joyce, a senior at Towson was able to grab a two of the “normal” jobs that this area had left, however it hasn’t stopped her from giving advice to other students about how to make money in other ways.

Joyce works at Olive Garden and Winebrenner and Associates Physical Therapy. She says the goal to finding a job and making money is, “Just have motivation to get your act together.”

Joyce also expresses the importance of not living off your parents and how big of a role that plays in the grand sceme of things.

“I think that in college you should have any kind of job you can get. By this age you should have some responsibility in your life and should be paying for things yourself and not living off your parents. I think that it is OK for college students to be getting some things paid for by their parents but you aren’t going to be able to practice good finance management later in life if you don’t take some responsibility now.”

Another important thing she adds is that you have to settle for whatever you can get in this economy.

“At this point if you need a job you need to take what you can get…especially for those who aren’t creative…there are jobs out there. They might not be jobs that you want but if you need a job you have to do what you have to do to make the money so if that means working in a fast food place or doing something that you don’t want to do or is low on the totem pole you have to suck it up.”

All in all, Joyce said, it’s all in who you know.

“Get out there and meet people… they might know someone who needs help too.”

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Odd job number seven: unique sales

November 5, 2009 at 12:51 am (Reporting)

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Courtesy of Facebook

Josmari Rodriguez, a senior mass communication major at Towson has her own ideas about making money. And she has found a unique way to do it. With family circumstances being a factor, this students does what she can to help her family and afford school.

“My real job, I’m a manager at Aldo shoe store and how I try to make extra money is… well let me just start from the beginning, it all ties together.”

“My father was just recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s so he was dismissed from his job, so my sister and I, she does a lot of crafty stuff and she sells a lot of that. I don’t have time to do that so I just take all my purses that I don’t use ever and I took my mothers shoes that she hasn’t used in years, most of them were brand new or lightly used, and I box them up and chose the nicest ones to sell. The ‘80’s style is in so her shoes from the ‘80s are perfect for people who really like vintage.”

“Everything is lower than $20, what I make is money that my mom doesn’t have to spend on me.”

“I could used the money to help pay for my school. So since my dad doesn’t work anymore, last semester I had to work full time. Because of that I failed two of my classes. I’m retaking them right now, so I’m not working as much at Aldo right now. That is why I decided to sell that stuff out of my car to make extra money.”

“I can’t tell people to come to me to buy stuff, I have to bring it to them that is why I keep the stuff in my car.”

“I haven’t been advertising lately as much as I was in the beginning because its November, the semesters ending and there’s a lot more school work to do. But I did have some phones calls.”

“Some ads get ripped down so people can keep the phone number or so other people can put their stuff up and I haven’t been reprinting them like I should be.”

“I mostly took all the purses and had an event at my house to sell them. We have one once or twice a year. That’s where my sister sells her stuff so I sell mine to.”

“Creativity is key, basically creativity will tap in when you really, really need the money. I really needed the money so I started selling my stuff.”

“That’s so 5th grade, but I had to think of it as a way to make money. I had to price it as high as possible, but I had to think of what students would buy, so it couldn’t be over $20.”

“When someone has the resources, like I have a car, I can bring the stuff to you, you don’t have to come to me and when you need the money, the ideas will come to you.”

“I printed out flyers. I picked a font and wrote out the prices. I did it all in the library.”

“I’ve done it since the beginning of the semester.”

“I had a lot of clients in the beginning of the semester. Word of mouth helps me. It doesn’t mean I get a sale every time, but it’s something.”

“I sell knock off bags. I sold a knock off Dior bag for $20. The buckle was broken, but the girl still wanted it. I mean it was a Dior bag, what the heck.”

“There’s name brand and non name brand stuff.”

“Once I sell the stuff I have I will do other stuff. Even right now too, I make and sell earrings. I buy the posts and glue stuff to the front of it.”

“It’s really easy but sometimes people don’t have time to do it, so they’ll just buy it.”

“I also got this idea from a local headband designer, you just glue decorative flowers to the band. So when you put the headband on, it looks like you have a flower in your hair.”

“This is kind of funny, but I was watching Master P, he has a reality show and I only saw the first one and I think he’s so corny, a rapper trying to have a reality show, but his points were so true. Excuses won’t get you anywhere. Just because I dress a certain way, means I cant get a job. You’re not obligated to dress the way you do. You can change what you look like to change the impression you give people. Its just excuses.”

“If you want to make money, you will.”

“If you’re good at something, sell it. If your good at braiding hair, advertise that you know how to braid hair. I did that when I was younger, I could corn row. I don’t do it anymore, I don’t have the time and it makes my hands heart, but yeah.”

“Market yourself if you know how to do something. If you know how to dance, shoot, put on a show.”

“Everybody is looking for something different, especially if it’s affordable.”

“Its important to just be creative. Then your not blending in, your standing out and someone is going to look at you.”

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odd job number six, high profile nanny

October 29, 2009 at 11:02 am (Reporting)

Towson Junior, Amy Fauber

Photo courtesy of Facebook

How many of you do your share of clubbing? Well this individual, sees clubbing from a whole new perspective. Amy Fauber, a junior at Towson University is the nanny for two kids. Their parents are the owners of Fur Nightclub, Lotus Lounge, Midtown, and Tatoo in Washington, D.C. What a crazy and interesting job. Lets hear what she has to say about it.

“I am the nanny or weekend babysitter. I babysit Friday from 12:30 to 8 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from nine or 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. I either run errands with the mother and her kids, or play with the two children, ages six and four. The mother is always with me. I mostly am in charge of watching the younger child and making sure she is okay, and I mostly do whatever the kids want me to.”

“I wanted to be a part of this job because it pays so well, and it is the most ideal job in my opinion for a college student. I met the family through my dance teacher. I used to be a server at a local restaurant, one day the mother came in to the restaurant and said that she needed a babysitter and that if I quit my job she would pay me more than I was making. The next day I put in my two weeks notice.”

“I remember the first day I babysat we went into Tyson and she had me return a $2,000 purse. I walked out of Neimans with $2,000 in my hands, and I was in shock. Now that is just normal two me. She has a purse fetish, she will buy Channel purse, after Gucci purse, after Louis V purse. She buys them like its pocket change. She also has a Starbucks addiction and will sometimes get Starbucks six times a day. She will also get drinks for me (or the weekday babysitter) and both kids.”

“There are also many stories about the kids. They are not the easiest to handle, the four year old had a fit one time because she didn’t like her vanilla latté and wanted a new one. Also, she was mad at me and ripped my sunglasses off my head and almost body slammed them. These kids get everything they ask for. If it is something small they will get it that day, if it is bigger the mother will look for it until she gets it for them.”

“I think it is important for students to do odd jobs, I think it gives a lot of life experience. I had always told my mother I wanted to spoil my children rotten, but now I know I never want to do that. I think it is also a lot more interesting than waitressing, but I think it is a lot harder sometimes as well.”

“The average pay is $25 an hour cash. But, she also gives me many things, and buys me many things. She does not believe in keeping anything if she isn’t going to use it. She will just give me things. One time she gave me four bottles of Gain detergent, four bottles of Gain fabric softener and four boxes of Gain dryer sheets because she said they didn’t make her clothes smell enough. I have made up to $300 in one day before.”

“I would recommend [students] just continue looking for jobs, it seems hard to find, but I constantly see hiring signs in windows, so I would just say don’t get overwhelmed and eventually if you keep looking something will work out.”

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Odd job number five, adolescent firefighting

October 21, 2009 at 10:59 pm (Reporting)

Brian Shipley is a Howard County volunteer firefighter, he has worked at the fire department since he was a teenager and although he is not getting paid, he expresses the importance of odd jobs that have a long-lasting effect on the lives of young people.

“I first joined the Elkridge Junior Firefighters in 2000. I was a junior until I turned 16 and joined the Elkridge Volunteer Fire Department. Both of my parents and my grandfather were firefighters/ EMT’s so I was destined to become a firefighter.”

“I got voted into the department in October of 2004 and started taking Firefighter 1 not too long after that. I’ve been constantly taking classes since I joined. I’ve taken Firefighter 1&2, Rescue Technician, EMT, Hazardous Materials, Truck Company Fire Ground Operations, Fire Officer 1, and I’m currently enrolled in Fire Officer 2 and Fire instructor 1.”

“There is a lot that goes into being a volunteer firefighter, but it is all worth it. It is not the normal job that a kid does, but that is part of the excitement.”

“This definitely helped me mature as I was growing up. I was 16 when I first saved someone’s life and it was an eye opening experience. “

“I think it is very important for older teens to get involved in their local fire department. It will show them not to take things for granted.”

“Currently I am a lieutenant in the Elkridge Volunteer Fire Department. I am the officer in charge of the fire engine. I also work with the Rookie Program. The Rookie Program is what we call firefighters first year in the department.”

“I would encourage others to get involved by telling them what we do, and some of the stuff I’ve seen. They would have to come fill out an application, and get voted into the department. After that they would need to go get a fire department physical and then they can start riding and taking classes.”

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Odd job number four, farm end at a horse farm

October 16, 2009 at 11:51 am (Reporting)

Days End Farm, Horse Rescue is a rescue mission in Woodbine, Maryland. Colleen Steiger, worked as one of the farm ends that works there. She would take care of the horses, do tours for students and clean up after them and care for them as if they were her own. Not your typical after school job. Steiger has since graduated from Towson University and talks about how her odd job influenced her life. Let’s take a look at what she has to say.

“At Days End Farm, Horse Rescue I basically I just cared for the horses. These incloudes feeding, medicating, farm chores and those are just a few.”

“I love horses. I would much rather be around the animals and working with them than working around people. I tried being a waitress and doing ‘normal’ jobs and I hated it.”

“You have to look for something you want to do, or you’re just wasting your time.”

“If you need a job, I think any job is good for people. But then again…doing farm work and cleaning up after animals, in a way does build character.”

“If you don’t enjoy your job, it will just bring you down.”

“Now I’m a veterinary technician at an animal hospital and I’d say that Days End changed who I am because of the things I saw there. I saw things there that a lot of people won’t see in their entire life. It changes you, and it proved to me what I wanted to do after I graduated.”

“I’ve seen animals come in completely emaciated and parasite infested, practically dead.
Then I get to see my hard work pay off by seeing them become healthy again and go to new homes, it’s a rewarding job.”

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Career Center gives their perspective

October 9, 2009 at 11:54 am (Reporting)

The Career Center on Towson University’s campus sends a representative to give their perspective on jobs for students. Job developer and events coordinator for the center Anna Berglowe-Lynch tells us what she thinks.

“People are still hiring, absolutly. I am looking at a report [from hire@tu] right now and there are 185 jobs hiring right now, some are paid internships but most are part-time jobs. Nannys, babsitters and some sales representatives are the top jobs needing to be filled by employers. Salaries for these jobs rage from six dollars an hour to 450 for a high school tutor.”

“There are jobs that still exist it just takes more time. Walking through the mall once is not going to work, you have to be creative. You may need to hit the street and pass out resumes.”

“[Students] need to make a solid resume and have thier basic information down.”

“Most companies are still hiring, there are still help wanted signs it’s just more work to track them down.”

“It’s good to use your network. The odd jobs still are a great idea, they have needs for them. the best way is by using your personal network.”

“We have an on-campus job posting system, hire@tu, people are looking to hire University students. They are looking specifically to them.”

“We’re always here to help them find a job, it’s hard, you have to be creative. Use your resources.”

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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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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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