When we asked a bunch of final year students what they are looking forward to in the upcoming academic year, the surprising answer was — “to work”Faustina Johnson firstname.lastname@example.org
That’s right, paying jobs to help them use their free time productively during the academic year is the latest trend among students in the city. The concept of earning while studying is quite common in the West, where children are left to their own devices after they complete eighteen years of age. In a healthy twist, this is soon catching on with the local students.
Students have a variety of options open to them. Freelance photography, content writing and modelling are high on the list of preferred jobs. PR related jobs also allow flexibility, and are therefore favourable. All of them pay quite well and allow students to work comfortably in their own time. Event management jobs typically require about three or four days of the students time per event, for which the pay is handsome. The freelancers use innovative ways to advertise themselves. Other atypical, but interesting jobs include starting a patisserie out of the house, a job that lets the students earn while doing what they love.
Working gives the students a taste of the professional atmosphere. “I joined to gain hands on experience in the field of marketing communication to have a better understanding of the subjects I learn in class”, says Sanjay Deshpande, who works in a tech PR profile. It is a great way to break into the chosen line of career while also adding on to their resume. By working to earn their own money, they be learn essential skills. Who can resist the lure of financial independence? You now earn enough to pay for that phone you wanted so badly, you don’t have to depend on your father for petrol money. Some students even save up the earnings to pay for their higher studies. This leaves them with better choices for college with the added funds.
Making their own money also offers a form of personal satisfaction that few other things can. The feeling of being able towards the family’s financial requirements is a great booster of self esteem. It is undeniably a good way of filling up all that free time you might have wasted on Facebook.
The hours are long, how do they manage to cope? “ I work in the evening, study during the day. I take weekends off and finish my assignments” says Sanjay, adding “Its a matter of prioritising according to the workload.” Degree students are invariably awarded a lot of free time, what with the political agitation, college events, etc. It is also a way of keeping busy while waiting for placements, college acceptances, or if detained for any reasons. “You have to give some to get some. The freedom is relieving, and a few extra hours is worth it”, says Anirudh Reddy, who worked as a process associate at GE. Jobs like content writing allow the students to work at their own pace, thereby reducing pressure.
The concept of financial freedom runs high in their blood. Why wait till graduation? “Everything I have right now, including the clothes on my back, came from my efforts and I don’t need to ask my parents for money anymore”, says Rustom F, who began day trading in the summer before his last year at college. Working while studying gives a thin slice of the career option. The students can then make informed decisions about what to do next, which line to pursue. One of the few problems faced is the load. Can they manage a balance between both? Will they be able to pursue higher studies after realising their potential to earn without a post graduation?
Whatever the catch, currently, the idea of working before graduating seems to be doing more good than bad. As the saying goes, earning is learning.