Author Topic: Side hustles for a graduate student at a rural university?  (Read 5661 times)

panda

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Side hustles for a graduate student at a rural university?
« on: August 23, 2015, 11:49:20 AM »
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« Last Edit: December 15, 2017, 10:14:26 AM by panda »

Kaikou

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Re: Side hustles for a graduate student at a rural university?
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2015, 11:55:05 AM »
I'm leaving in about a week to attend graduate school in a very rural part of the country and I need ideas on side hustles.

Working in my advantage is the very low cost of living in the area since $1,500/month is a generous estimate of what is needed to provide food, shelter, and pay a face-punch worthy car payment. Working against me is how rural the area is. The population around the university is only about 15,000 residents, not counting university students. Also, there are winters that bring an average of 218 inches of snow starting around the end of October.

Thus, I'm open to ideas for side hustles. In terms of goals I want to pay the car off and be putting all extra money towards savings, so anything over that $1,500 is going to toward the car until it is paid off and then savings. One big advantage that I have is that even though graduate school is a bit of a career change for me, I have over a decade of software development experience under my belt and I'm going to be looking for remote freelance work. Also, I've been told I'm a half decent photographer and where I'm going to be living is downright beautiful country (even when buried in snow) and far enough north that the aurora borealis is a semi-regular feature. I've also been doing picking for eBay long enough to have a good reputation and I've got some experience flipping goods, but the best I tend to do is beer money (under $100 profit).

I would like to know too. the best college hustles. I live off campus a couple of blocks of the major public uni.

cdttmm

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Re: Side hustles for a graduate student at a rural university?
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2015, 11:59:29 AM »
The most obvious: one-to-one or small group tutoring. You could do this for undergrads for whatever intro level courses exist in the field you are getting a grad degree in or you could do it for middle school or HS students in whatever subjects you are strong in (math and science likely being the areas with the greatest demand).

Learner

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Re: Side hustles for a graduate student at a rural university?
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2015, 08:00:33 PM »
Definitely agreed on tutoring.  Private one-on-one tutoring varies by location, but typically brings in $20-40/hr without much effort.  If you go this route, consider prep time.  For example, I typically focus on HS math.  I could do university math (I've taught calculus in a university setting), but I would have to review my notes more often, depending on what exactly their problem is.  With the lower level, I can just grab a notebook and explain most concepts 2-3 different ways, so it's a good return on time investment.

Syonyk

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Re: Side hustles for a graduate student at a rural university?
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2015, 08:19:43 PM »
Get good at cell phone & laptop repair.  It's a constant thing, especially around universities.

muckety_muck

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Re: Side hustles for a graduate student at a rural university?
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2015, 08:32:24 PM »
Tutoring. Even high school kids with generic algebra/geometry/trig/calc math. If you are good with math, there are SO many who need help and are struggling in middle school/high school. Parents will pay big bucks to see their children really understand math.

Dog Walking/Dog Sitting. Depends on your apartment, but maybe offer to dog-sit for professors and/or admin staff at the university. I've advertised through craigslist. You can also dog-sit at their home. Lookup the rate at the local doggy day spa ($60/night in my area) and charge about 60% of that rate to attract a good client base. Works best if you will be around for major holidays.

Ebay picking. You mentioned you have done this. Find a niche and work it hard. Watch the ebay clips on thrift store/garage sale flips.

Website development. You mention a strong computer background. Start-up companies are a great target. Put the word out that you are knowledgeable in this area.

Really, if the town is so small, you may want to focus on things you can do remotely (ebay picking, online tutoring, etc). Good luck!

Noodle

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Re: Side hustles for a graduate student at a rural university?
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2015, 08:34:31 PM »
House-sitting/pet-sitting. In an area with as much snow as you say, there will be folks who want someone staying in the house in case of pipes freezing, etc. It's not so much the money you make, as the fact that decent clients encourage you to eat the food in the fridge, watch the cable TV, do laundry while you are there, etc. Basically, you get the amenities of a much nicer place and some cash on top of it. My favorite in grad school was a client who had an absolutely spectacular garden and encouraged me to cut as many flowers as I liked.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Side hustles for a graduate student at a rural university?
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2015, 08:38:37 PM »
That much snow? Find folks to shovel it for.

Goldielocks

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Re: Side hustles for a graduate student at a rural university?
« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2015, 09:31:41 PM »
Second language tutoring -- coffee conversations, that sort of thing.

Laundry for fellow college dorm residents?  Some of them should have large loans that they are willing to spend.   

May be hard to find rural hustle jobs outside of the college community... but something on-line or serving the local students / staff should do the trick.

expatartist

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Re: Side hustles for a graduate student at a rural university?
« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2015, 11:29:11 PM »
Ditto to tutoring, and helping people out in the winter.

Re. photography, pursue it as a non-paying obsession that may yield results after a year or two. Find a niche by shooting thousands of photos - and checking out other photographers - during your free time, then see what you can do with it. You'll be competing with pros so it takes time to develop a style that people will pay for.

Or you could perhaps find some photo gigs on campus.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Side hustles for a graduate student at a rural university?
« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2015, 05:47:10 AM »
Spreadsheet analysis for small businesses that aren't sophisticated with computers?

Papa bear

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Re: Side hustles for a graduate student at a rural university?
« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2015, 06:11:54 AM »
group tutoring.  I made a killing on that back in college with a business class that everyone seemed to hate and not pass.

I would charge 20/ 2 hour session, groups of 10.  I had to expand to 15 people and 3 sessions before midterm and finals. 


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MayDay

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Re: Side hustles for a graduate student at a rural university?
« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2015, 06:30:16 AM »
Snow shoveling?

My 7 year old is looking to get into that ;)

I'm a red panda

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Re: Side hustles for a graduate student at a rural university?
« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2015, 07:14:41 AM »
Is it a university with a football obsession?  Babysitting- people will pay A LOT to get to attend football games.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Side hustles for a graduate student at a rural university?
« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2015, 08:31:01 AM »
Ditto to tutoring, and helping people out in the winter.

Re. photography, pursue it as a non-paying obsession that may yield results after a year or two. Find a niche by shooting thousands of photos - and checking out other photographers - during your free time, then see what you can do with it. You'll be competing with pros so it takes time to develop a style that people will pay for.

Or you could perhaps find some photo gigs on campus.

Lots of people get engaged during college, and/or like to do photos at their college campus (I know 6 couples off the top of my head that went back to our campus for engagement photos). Unlike wedding photography, it's lower key, easier on the timeline, and you only have the couple to deal with- not their whole families. So if you're good at outdoor/indoor portrait work, that could be an option. Plus, people are more willing to 'risk' a novice for their engagement photos rather than wedding photos because if you don't like them that much, oh well, just don't include one on the save the date or get others taken. Generally, there's plenty of time between engagement and wedding for a re-do if needed.

Trudie

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Re: Side hustles for a graduate student at a rural university?
« Reply #15 on: August 24, 2015, 09:33:58 AM »
You would have to provide references, of course, and reassure people that you're on the up and up, but we live in a university town  (rural) and would like to have someone look in on our house while we're gone.

The thing with university communities is that faculty/staff tend to travel a lot -- so any services you can develop around that would be good.  Some ideas:  house sitting, plant watering, pet walking, rides to the airport (often a challenge in rural areas; and then we need to pay for parking), lawn mowing, snow removal.... basically anything people can't tend to while they're gone.  I think if  you could reassure that you're reliable and could be a "one stop shop" people would love you.  I often wish I could call just one person instead of three to take care of things while we're gone.

galliver

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Re: Side hustles for a graduate student at a rural university?
« Reply #16 on: August 24, 2015, 12:48:11 PM »
What kind of program are you doing?

I kind of feel like if you have time for a side hustle in grad school, you are delaying your graduation one way or another; or you are sacrificing your health (sleep, cooking, exercise). Why  not instead devote your extra time to taking an extra course or committing more time to your research/thesis so you can finish sooner, and stop losing potential income?  It is a bit of a different story if you feel you need to do something for fun/sanity and it happens to generate money...anyway, something to think about.

teacherwithamustache

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Re: Side hustles for a graduate student at a rural university?
« Reply #17 on: August 24, 2015, 04:29:52 PM »
What sport is your favorite sport?  Go officiate those games at local HS and Jr Hi's.  You will make $60-80 a day and only work between 2-4 hours.  Best College job ever.

Christiana

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Re: Side hustles for a graduate student at a rural university?
« Reply #18 on: August 25, 2015, 01:13:55 PM »
Cleaning viruses and malware off computers.

Snow shoveling, but get a snow scoop.  Get a roof rake, and you can do roofs as well...snow loading is serious business with that kind of snowfall.

I'd consider downgrading the car while in grad school.  You want something that won't leave you stranded in the middle of nowhere (and no cell towers), but you will save a LOT faster without a car payment.

A rural area has more opportunities for acquiring and practicing rural how-to skills:  picking and preserving wild fruits and berries and nuts, hunting, fishing.  Sometimes there are creative housing options (trailers, cabins, shacks), but remember you'll need to be near a road that gets plowed in the winter, and always ask:  "Is heat included in the rent?"



I'm a red panda

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Re: Side hustles for a graduate student at a rural university?
« Reply #19 on: August 25, 2015, 06:59:08 PM »
Quote
As far as I know football isn't that big of a deal, but hockey on the other hand. The catch there is that it is a big enough thing that people might just bring their kids.

Possibly not infants. Or as a date night.
Football tickets are generally too expensive for the whole family (or tailgating is not family friendly). I don't know if you'll have that advantage for hockey.

Rulefollowing

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Re: Side hustles for a graduate student at a rural university?
« Reply #20 on: August 27, 2015, 08:27:35 PM »
I lived in an undergraduate dorm (as an RA) when I was a graduate student.  Free room/board. No commute.