Student Taking Money out of wallet

An illustration of a student bringing money out of his wallet, Jan. 29, 2019.

Whether you’re an incoming freshman or a returning upperclassman, we’re all struggling with what it means to be coming to Blacksburg in the fall in the midst of such uncertain times. While you probably have a host of concerns on your plate, a big one on your mind might be making some extra money to save up or spend during the semester. Whether you have to think about tuition, textbooks or just some extra savings, it can be overwhelming to try and dig through all the options for jobs you can get around campus and in town. Here are some ideas to help you get started in your search.

Virginia Tech Dining Services

Working in one of the many dining halls at Virginia Tech might not seem like a very appealing idea at first, but the job comes with a surprising amount of benefits that you might not have considered. Hours are flexible at most dining centers. Pay starts at $10.50 an hour for student wage workers, and additionally, you get a voucher for a free meal with every single shift you work. Working in Dining Services can save you a lot of money on your student meal plan if you have one. Additionally, you’ll be working with a lot of other students, so it’s a surprisingly good opportunity to meet new people and work somewhere fun and energetic. You’ll learn to work well with a team, gain experience in customer service and much more. Plus, you’ll probably gain some fun skills: ask anyone who’s worked at Qdoba to roll you the perfect burrito and they can do it, no problem. It is worth noting that due to recent changes to on-campus dining policies in response to COVID-19, student jobs in dining will look a little different this semester. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not an opportunity worth looking into.

Department of Recreational Sports

Rec Sports at Virginia Tech employs over 500 students every year for various jobs, including over the summer. From working at the front desk at McComas Hall, to teaching a group exercise class, to even being a lifeguard at the pool, there’s a job for everyone in rec sports. Many of the applications are on a rolling basis. You might even inspire yourself to make some healthy changes to your own lifestyle. 

The Writing Center

Whether you’re an English major or an engineer, you have the opportunity to flex your writing skills as a coach for the writing center through the university library system. Just take a tutor training course through the English department and you’re on your way to making $10.00 an hour by helping students with their writing assignments and class essays. Work-study opportunities are also available if that’s something you’re more interested in. 

Waitstaff/Hostessing at local restaurants

While it’s definitely a tough job to get the hang of, waitressing or being a host at one of Blacksburg’s many downtown restaurants can prove to be a valuable and rewarding experience. Whether you choose to take your skills to Cabo Fish Taco, Mellow Mushroom or elsewhere, weekends in Blacksburg are always packed with visiting families, prospective students and more. While restaurant service might look a little different right now because of the circumstances, there are still plenty of valuable opportunities to be found if you do your research. 

Doordash and other food delivery services

If you have a car, delivering for Uber Eats or Doordash is a great way to make extra money on your own time. Busy students and families are ordering delivery more than ever now that many restaurants are closed for dine-in, so delivery is a great way to familiarize yourself with the Blacksburg area while making extra cash. Best of all: you’re your own boss, so you can set your own hours and deliver whenever you have the time.

The Student Call Center

Located just outside the Math Emporium, the Student Call Center is an easy way to make money through the University. You’ll be calling alumni about donating to the university. It’s a low-stress job that doesn’t involve a lot of moving around, so if you need a job that allows you to sit back and relax for a few hours while still feeling productive, the Call Center might be something good for you to look into. 

Pet-sitting or babysitting

Blacksburg isn’t just home to college students; it’s home to families and pet parents who need people to watch their kids. Whether you create business cards, advertise on Facebook, or simply go by word of mouth, there’s always babysitting or pet-sitting work to be found in the Blacksburg area. Make sure you’re CPR- and first-aid-certified, but if you’re experienced and ready to watch someone else’s kids or pets, there’s good money to be made. 

Creative endeavors/running a small business

This is for the more entrepreneurial, but if you have a talent or product that other students might be interested in, you can use Facebook groups as a way to get yourself out there. From selling hand painted denim jackets or records to renting out your dresses for date parties and events, Hokies are always happy to support each other. Put your creativity to work and see where it takes you.

This is just a sampling of the many different ways you can make a little extra money while you live and study on campus. Just make sure you take care of yourself; the most important thing you can do is find a balance between working, studying and simply taking time for some self-care. Happy job hunting, Hokies.

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