What were your jobs as undergrads?

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I was wondering what you guys typically did as undergrads for money. Currently I'm in my second semester of my first year. I'm 25 years old and living with my partner who's 26 and has her MS in GIS and is working for a local consultant group making more money than I could ever could right now. I currently work as a private tutor for some families and university students around my city, but I'm looking for something more substantial to make myself a bit more useful to my girlfriend. I had to give up my certification as an LPN for psychological reasons and I don't have many other skills other than being good at math and dealing with people. I'm willing to work as a register monkey if need be, or something of the like in the service industry. But what did you guys do to keep yourselves afloat, and how many hours did you typically work?
 

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  • #2
Doug Huffman
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The best money and hours was running the dehydrator ovens at Lester's Pruneyard Farm, 12 hours/day, 20 minutes per hour actual attention, the rest of the time was spent on my reading list for the next semester. Bookstore clerk, busboy, county wildfire fireman, county health service chasing insects in human feces. Then I dodged the VN draft in the USN where I got an effective education and began my career.
 
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donpacino
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I worked as an intern at a local factory, as well as worked in the engineering labs at school.
 
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I've been a desktop support specialist with the city for half of my degree. I study and do my research in between calls
 
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I work as a TA for the physics department. Gets me about $150/wk, not quite enough to live off of but it certainly helps. My first year, I was a cashier at a hardware store. Definitely prefer being a TA - one of the perks of my university not having a graduate school!
 
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Choppy
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I worked in the Canadian Armed Forces Reserves as an undergraduate. That was good experience, but there was a committment to it - at least one night a week and one weekend per month if I remember... and the potentiall to be called into full service (which at the time was minimal).

When I was a graduate student I got a job as an auxiliary officer with our university constables. That was a great job, although I have to admit it delayed my graduation by about six months.
 
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Doing research! My school pays its undergrads ~$12 an hour for their research work. I'm doing theoretical work, which means I can work from my computer wherever and whenever I want to. It's loads of fun and is productive academically at the same time. Rad!
 
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QuantumCurt
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I work about 20 hours a week in the science/math tutoring center at my school. It's enough to keep me afloat.
 
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vela
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I worked as an engineering intern for $10 an hour (back in the 80s), and I also tutored at the university. It was enough to pay for my textbooks each quarter and provide spending money. If you like tutoring, high school students is where the money is at, it seems. Parents will pay quite a bit to have their kids do well in school.
 
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462chevelle
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I'm a diesel mechanic, I'm 26 and I've been doing it for 8 years. Started school in 2013.
 
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Vanadium 50
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I did a lot of things - clerical, light manufacturing, warehouse - but the most unusual was being a subject for psychology experiments. Mostly studies on memory.
 
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Astronuc
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I was wondering what you guys typically did as undergrads for money. Currently I'm in my second semester of my first year. I'm 25 years old and living with my partner who's 26 and has her MS in GIS and is working for a local consultant group making more money than I could ever could right now. I currently work as a private tutor for some families and university students around my city, but I'm looking for something more substantial to make myself a bit more useful to my girlfriend. I had to give up my certification as an LPN for psychological reasons and I don't have many other skills other than being good at math and dealing with people. I'm willing to work as a register monkey if need be, or something of the like in the service industry. But what did you guys do to keep yourselves afloat, and how many hours did you typically work?
In my senior year of high school and into my freshman year, I worked in a grocery store stocking the dairy section, helping carry groceries and cleaning floors after closing. During the summer, I'd work 40+ hours, but during school it would be on weekends, but then I quit to focus on studies. The first summer after freshman year, I took a job in the Buildings & Grounds (Maintenance) department as a plumber and mechanic. I repaired sinks, toilets and showers, pumps, compressors, motors, air handlers, and cleaned out sewer and drainage lines, and installed water lines, condensate lines and steam pipes. I did that job part time during my sophomore year. A senior plumber assisted me in getting a job at an oil refinery during summer after my sophomore year. That was mostly unloading trucks and railroad cars (broke a rib falling out of a boxcar and landing on the edge of the loading dock).

During my junior year, I took a job in food service that paid for my room and board, and I worked part time in the Maintenance department. I also worked nights as a janitor. And somewhere during that period, I took a part-time job at a local museum and planetarium. By my senior year, I decided to transfer to a different university and change majors. During the summers, I did iron work - structural iron and metal sheets for walls and roofs. The iron work paid well especially the higher one went. I could earn in one summer to pay college expenses and living expenses, and give money to my folks and friends, who needed it more than I did.
 

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