College Labor: The Solution for the Monetarily Distressed Student

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Be it to pay off rent or to tip the food delivery guy, the quick buck is every college student’s best friend. College Labor is a service geared toward helping out college students who would like more spending money but can’t commit to a full-time job. The website allows college students to earn extra cash by performing mostly standard jobs including shopping, moving, and delivering for San Franciscans who need some help and are willing to pay for it.

 

Currently, 22 USF students are employed by College Labor. “I am very happy with the money I make from it. The jobs can pay really well for relatively short hours of work, so it is very profitable,” said junior Ashan Fernando. “I make way more than minimum wage,” said another junior, Christopher Viray. “We make a good amount of money with tips.” Viray added that he would recommend this job, since the “bosses are great, the jobs aren’t too bad and the money is good for a struggling college student who needs pocket money.”

 

College Labor was launched in September 2012 by Joey Toboni and Justin Ohanessian, a 2007 USF business administration alum. Ohanessian and Toboni conceived the idea for the company in college when they came home seeking the perfect summer job. However, they found it difficult to find jobs that would pay “under-qualified 19-year old students.” Sound familiar? They tried but had no luck, so “in an act of desperation” they posted advertisements saying they’d do anything for money. “We soon discovered a real demand for odd jobs, tasks and general labor help, especially if it was from friendly and reliable college students,” Ohanessian and Toboni explain on the “About Us” section of the website.

 

Student workers appear on the College Labor website. Their pictures are shown, as well as little blurbs identifying their first names, the schools they go to, and how much money they have made with the company thus far.

 

According to Ohanessian, a majority of the people hiring students are older adults living in San Francisco. Very rarely do students hire other students for jobs. If you’re a fellow San Franciscan who needs some sort of hauling or cleaning job done, you simply post it on the website, and College Labor will come up with a wage for you. Once you accept that wage, the job is sent out to all College Labor workers until someone claims it.

 

Most of the jobs utilize manual labor skills. Students don’t need to have a car and don’t need to be able to lift heavy items. Toboni said that some employees have a membership with Zip Car, which provides car and van rental services at affordable prices for students.  Those interested in working for College Labor won’t have to worry too much about getting stuck with an abnormal job. The strangest job posting Ohanessian found was a request to ship pork rinds from the Ferry Building farmer’s market to someone living in North Carolina. Ohanessian said. Another odd job was for a student to wait in line for the iPhone 5 the first day it was released. College Labor has also connected students to helping out with an online cooking show with chef Michael Mina and musician Michelle Branch.

 

Although there are many websites dedicated to providing folks assistance with daily tasks by connecting them with responsible people online, College Labor was created specifically for college students burdened with loans the high costs of tuition. “Some customers have mentioned they feel uncomfortable making someone their same age or older do the same task,” said Ohanessian.

 

People can also count on College Labor to get their jobs done. Ohanessian and Toboni will personally cover shifts if students are not able to at the last minute. “We will do our best to make up for it with refunds and discounts,” Ohanessian said . “We just want to make sure everyone is having a great experience.”

 

“We don’t have huge [venture capital] backers forcing us to expand and grow as quickly as possible. We are funding this venture ourselves and our focus is really making this a great local service, “Ohanessian said. “For now we just want to offer a great experience for our customers and our students. If we do that, we feel we’ll be successful.”

Requirements (SIDEBAR)

1. You must be an active college student.

2. Simply visit the website at http://collegelabor.org and “Apply to be a Helper.”

3. Once you submit your information, your profile will be looked over and, if qualified, you will be called in for an interview.

4. New hires are put through a training session to prepare them for different job scenarios.

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