Having a job in college can be rewarding. It can give you useful work experience, help with daily expenses like food (or even larger costs, like tuition) and be a fun way to meet people. However, when you’re trying to ace your schoolwork and your job, it can seem like a challenge to find the right gig. Sometimes, college students wonder if the perfect “side hustle” is a bit like a unicorn — a mythical creature. How do you find that magical job that allows you to balance studying with making the money you need? Does it even exist?

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In many cases, yes. Students all over the country have found a job that allows them to succeed in both school and work.

Kristen Pizzo, a student at University of Central Florida in Orlando, recently shared the fun job she does while in school to help pay the bills.

Q: What Are Your Side Hustles to Make Money?

A: I currently walk dogs for a dog walking app, and I also blog and manage social media for a wedding invitation designer, and manage the social media for a restaurant franchise.

Q: How Did You End With Those Really Different Jobs?

A: I discovered the dog walking site online. And I scored my job with the invitation company through small job website, where I signed up as a freelancer. The social media management job happened by accident: I was interviewing for a store position, but the store opening date got delayed and it would not be open before I moved out of town. The owners then offered me a job running the social media, instead, because I had done a little of that in the past.

Q: Why Are These the Perfect Jobs for You While You’re in School?

A: Dog walking is perfect for me because it is flexible and doesn’t take too much of my time. Freelance wedding invite designing and social media management are remote work that I can also do on my own time.

Q: What Do You Love About Your Jobs?

A: I love the clients I have with dog walking! Getting to walk a variety of dogs is so rewarding, especially since I don’t have any pets of my own due to my busy schedule. And freelancing and social media management are awesome because I get to learn more about marketing and writing than I do in the classroom thanks to the hands-on experience.

Q: What Do You Find Most Challenging?

A: I often find it difficult to prioritize tasks when I have school, an internship and my side hustles, as well as my personal hobbies. I try to look at the big picture and think about what is most important in the long run, but it can be hard to know what is really worth the bulk of my time.

Q: Do Your Side Hustles Help With What You Want to Do as a Career After School?

A: My freelance and social media work definitely help me develop my professional portfolio, because I am writing and learning about marketing every day. I want to open a business one day, and so it is great to learn the ins and outs of marketing products online with social media and content. I have learned a lot about the power of social media when it comes to sales and the importance of two way communication.

Q: What’s One of Your Craziest Memories From Working One of Your Side Hustles?

A: When I first started running social media for the restaurant, the store wasn’t yet open, and I was mainly trying to build up hype and keep fans up to date on the construction. However, due to permit delays, the opening date just kept getting pushed back further and further. Potential customers following the social media started to get angry and lashed out in the comments. I never knew people could be so rude over Italian Ice.

Q: Is It Hard to Balance School Work with Paying Work as a Student?

A: Balancing school work with paid work became especially difficult when I had to take on an unpaid internship for school credit. I want to give my internship my all, but at the same time, it is a lot easier to stay motivated and put hours into my freelance work [because I get paid].

Q: How Does Having Some Financial Independence and Bringing in Your Own Income Affect Your Life?

A: Having various sources of income definitely gives me a confidence boost because, like many college students, I always worry about how I’m going to support myself after graduation. It has been empowering to realize that I can get freelance work before completing my degree and make money doing what I enjoy. I now feel more confident about the future because I know it is possible to get work.

Q: Would You Recommend Any of Your Side Hustles to Other Students?

A: If you love dogs and the outdoors, I would definitely recommend trying a dog walking app. Unless you’re sitting/boarding dogs or walking 10 dogs a day, you won’t get rich, but it is still a great way to earn some extra spending money. If you want to go into a creative field, I suggest checking out jobs on job listing sites. At first, I thought I was too inexperienced and that I would just end up sending my resume into a black hole, but I got the first gig I applied for! It’s all about crafting the perfect proposal and showing that you understand the client’s needs. It’s an excellent way to hone your skills, and unlike internships, it’s always paid.

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