Need Part-time Job advice for college student in Gainesville
September 24, 2008 3:31 PM   Subscribe

Need Part-time Job advice for college student in Gainesville

My son just started his first year in college at University of Florida in Gainesville. Unfortunately, while sampling all the perks and fun of a college lifestyle away from the 'rents, he sort of missed the bus when it came to getting any decent work-study or local part-time jobs.

I've suggested several entreprenuerial ideas to him such as a deli sandwich/food services or tutoring (he's been an A student for years) , but I'm sure the hive-mind may have some other suggestions.

Transportation is an issue as he does not have a car on campus and the bike laws and policing of said laws on campus is kinda crazy. People get ticketed for the slightest infraction. So something he could do on campus or nearby would be a plus.

Regular hourly-pay jobs or self-made jobs are welcome. If you know of an offbeat or low stress job that would be great too as he'll have varying class schedules over the next four years and fitting work into those would be great.

He is currently pursuing a medical related degree and wants to pursue a law degree after undergrad.

something to defray his costs and our budget

anything under 40 hours a week (ideally 15-20ish)
flexibility in scheduling

bonus points if you have specific contacts or places to go as we're a few hours from Gainesville (Orlando, recently relocated) and I don't know either market very well.

Private advice can be sent to debtucation (at)
(yes debt and education go hand in hand, don't they?)
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (12 answers total)
There are no on-campus jobs? At every university I've ever been at, the cafeteria is always hiring.
posted by k8t at 3:44 PM on September 24, 2008

Most schools usually have a website advertising jobs inside of the school, ranging from Alma Mater Society jobs like tutoring, safewalk or speak easy, to marking jobs, student service jobs (bookstores, food services, student service centres and other) and work at libraries (shelving, customer service, etc). There are plenty of jobs for students.

If all else fails, some professors hire students for research assistantship jobs, which pay low but are great learning opportunities, help you get into grad school, and look great on the resume. Best way to get one of these is talking to profs in person, but the jobs are usually very competitive.
posted by shamble at 4:07 PM on September 24, 2008

Can he type well? There's a place called Copy Talk on University Ave near Main St.(about 12 blocks from campus) It's a transcription service. The hours are extremely flexible as they employ mostly students. Gainesville has a decent bus service, especially near the school, it would be easy to get there on the bus. The only contact info I have is the number (352) 375 5151. If he can't get a hold of any information through that, he can post to Gainesville Livejournal and ask who and how to contact someone about employment, quite a few members work/have worked there.

Also what k8t said. There are two dining halls on campus, there's the bookstore, the union. The Center for the Performing Arts will be starting their season, if it hasn't already, and may need help. Also he can check the gift shops at the museums right next to the CFTPA.

And like I said the bus service in Gainesville is decent. There's a bus that runs along University Ave to the mall that runs late into the evening..and one that runs to Butler PLaza(basically a huge strip mall) until about 6 or 7. Both those places have lots of potential
posted by Epsilon-minus semi moron at 4:10 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]

I would suggest a menial, entry-level job in the type of environment he might like to work in after school -- if he wants to work in medicine, work as an orderly or a registration clerk in a hospital -- if he wants to work in the legal field try to get a job as a receptionist or gopher in a law office. This tactic is how I realized I did NOT want to be an architect after all -- I worked for a year as a receptionist in an architect's office for a year before (not) going of to architecture school.
posted by Rock Steady at 4:55 PM on September 24, 2008

A friend of mine who wanted to be a nurse worked at one of those plasma-donation places. IIRC, she made better than minimum wage.

As for tutoring, the real money is in math (and maybe science) tutoring. My sister does a good bit of math tutoring, but she is a high school math teacher and gets most of her jobs through being on school list a list of teachers who tutor.
posted by Airhen at 5:06 PM on September 24, 2008

Frito Lay Distribution Center is 5.1 miles north of the campus. Good pay (I make 12.50/hr in NY), work is 2:30pm - 11pm usually but they're usually pretty flexible. Kind of far away but still bike-able. Call them first or take a ride up there. Everyone's usually very nice and they're always looking for new people.
posted by Sgt.Grumbless at 5:07 PM on September 24, 2008

Seconding CopyTalk, or (if he has some sort of waitstaff experience), food service. However, as a grad student here, I can tell you this: 1. Any "professional" job here is going to be in high demand, and very difficult to obtain--I know fellow grad students/spouses of grad students who had to work for months to find jobs here, even with college degrees. 2. Because of grade inflation here, unless he's a maverick at the hard sciences, those A grades aren't going to get him much in terms of tutoring because he'll be competing with a gazillion other A students, not to mention the substantial population of graduate students looking for extra bucks.

Transportation is an issue as he does not have a car on campus and the bike laws and policing of said laws on campus is kinda crazy. People get ticketed for the slightest infraction. So something he could do on campus or nearby would be a plus.

Also, did your son tell you this? While the policing of bikers here is strict, as long as he's following the laws, he'll be fine. The things that cops get bike riders for here--like not stopping at stop signs, or not using a bike light at night--are for the safety of both bike riders and pedestrians. Seriously, there's no reason he can't get a bike and use it for transportation.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 6:02 PM on September 24, 2008

Transportation is an issue as he does not have a car on campus and the bike laws and policing of said laws on campus is kinda crazy. People get ticketed for the slightest infraction.

This is an oft-repeated tale that is really absurd. In my four years at UF I never knew anyone who got a bike ticket. I saw people pulled over several times who were biking on the sidewalks.. boo hoo.
posted by gatorae at 6:13 PM on September 24, 2008

Oh, and in Gainesville, even if you have no bike or car, transportation is not an issue. He can take the RTS buses for FREE almost anywhere in town that he would need to go - on a direct bus line that leaves from the student union. For example, the 20 runs from the union to the Oaks Mall and comes by about every 10-15 minutes. In Gainesville, the world (or, Gainesville, at least) is your oyster.

Tell him to get familiar with the bus schedule. RTS is one of the best things about being in Gainesville.

If none of the above suggestions pan out, just tell him to hop on a bus and see where it stops. If it stops in a shopping plaza, he can get out and see what stores are hiring. That's what a lot of people I went to school with did as freshmen!
posted by gatorae at 6:35 PM on September 24, 2008

The first thing he should do, if he's dead set on working on campus, is hike over to Criser Hall and get a work permit.

Take a look at the university jobs site - use "OPS hourly non-secretary/clerk" in the classification title field - these are usually the most flexible about hours. Many are in chem and bio labs that need bottle washers and other peons. He could also check with his professors or TAs, or go down to Shands and ask around.

A front desk job at one of the libraries is pretty good - it might be at odd hours, but it's pretty laid back, especially for smaller places like the music library. You sit there and do your homework, and maybe every 30 minutes check out a book for someone. If he's any good with computer networks, he could also try the various computer labs for a similarly low workload at even odder hours.
posted by casarkos at 7:09 PM on September 24, 2008

I just posted an FPP on the subject, but business devoted to picking up dog poop in peoples' backyards are hot. Really. If he's game, he can probably do well.
posted by freshwater_pr0n at 7:53 PM on September 24, 2008

I attend UF. While I don't work, I have some friends who do.

Some ideas:
Recreation centers (Southwest Rec Center, Student Rec Center, etc..)
Smokin' Notes / Einstein Notes (if he's a good note taker and is taking popular classes)

A lot of the places on campus require that students apply a semester in advance, so he may be able to get started for the spring. Tell him to look into the Library and Circa Labs.

There are a bunch of restaurants and shops on University Avenue that wouldn't require him to have transportation.

Tell him to check out the classifieds in the Alligator, too.
posted by alligatorman at 9:09 PM on September 24, 2008

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