Office of Communications

5 Ways to Earn Extra Cash This Summer

Just because it’s (almost) summertime doesn’t mean your bank account is taking a break.

If you want to make extra cash over the summer, but you’re super busy with classes, traveling or an internship to get a full-time job, we’ve got you covered. Here are five simple ways anyone can keep the cash coming in this summer, no matter what your next few months have in store.

 

Tutor Students.

Put your many years of school experience to good use by tutoring a middle or high school student in the Houston area on basic subjects like math, reading and writing. Many organizations around Houston are actively seeking college-age tutors and will pay you for your time. You can also set up your own tutoring business by posting ads online or advertising through word of mouth.

 

Sell Your Old Books.

Still have a few textbooks from the semester lying around? It’s not too late to make some money off of them. List recent textbooks on sites like Book Scouter or eBay so current college students can find them before classes start in the fall. You can also sell other old books to make yourself some extra spending cash.

 

Deliver Meals.

If you want to make some extra money over the summer but have no room in your schedule for a part-time job, try signing up for a delivery service like Postmates or Favor, which allow you to deliver food to customers on your own time. Simply select a shift whenever you’re free, deliver the requested meal and keep the majority of the delivery fee (plus 100% of the tip). Working for one of these delivery services can earn you anywhere from $10 to $25 an hour.

 

Start a Side Hustle.

Are you a pro at perfecting your Instagram feed? Secretly talented at Pinterest crafts? Make extra money this summer by cashing in on your favorite hobbies. Set up an Etsy shop to sell crafts or art projects, or pitch yourself to companies to become a brand ambassador through your social media channels. Not only will you make money by doing something you already enjoy, you’ll also gain valuable entrepreneurship experience in the process.

 

Use Your Phone.

To make some quick and easy cash, take advantage of the electronics at your fingertips. Apps like Savvy Connect will pay you just for downloading them and letting them run in the background as you surf the web, while apps like SwagBucks award you gift cards for watching videos or taking online quizzes.

By Priscilla Aceves

 

7 Career Experiences to Add to Your Bucket List

You probably already have a bucket list full of travel, adventure and life experience ideas. But have you applied that same kind of goal setting mentality to your professional life?

If you want to succeed in the workplace, it’s important to have well defined long-term goals. Here’s our list of 7 career experiences that you can toss into that “to do” bucket at work.

 

Find a Mentor

A professional mentor can serve as a great guide for the workplace and become a valuable connection. Find someone whose career trajectory you admire and ask if they’d be willing to talk about their journey as a way to get the conversation started. You’ll be surprised to find that most people are flattered to have the opportunity to talk about their experience and would love the opportunity to mentor a younger colleague.

 

Receive a Company Award

Who doesn’t like a trophy? Top company awards recognize individuals who have gone above and beyond their job duties to contribute something meaningful to the company. Receiving such an award will not only set you apart in your current role, it will pave the way for future opportunities. Look for ways to stand out at your organization, whether it’s by exceeding sales targets, assisting colleagues or taking on extra projects.

 

Learn Something New

Just because you’re done with school doesn’t mean you should stop learning! Employees who prioritize personal development always stand out in the workplace. Demonstrate initiative and commitment to your role by learning a new skill on your own time, reading books in your field and attending conferences or seminars.

 

Travel for Work

Chances are, you wouldn’t turn down a little bit of travel, right? Why not combine that goal with your professional life? There are many ways to travel through your job, from applying to positions that require travel to considering relocation opportunities within your company. Not only will you learn valuable skills such as adapting to new environments, you’ll also get the chance to explore new parts of the world.

 

Mentor a Younger Colleague

Just like finding a mentor can provide value to your professional life, finding someone to mentor can also be a rewarding experience. Even if you’ve only been at your job for a couple of years, your knowledge can help to guide a new employee through the company. If you’re just entering the workplace, consider reaching out to college students who’d like to follow your career path by networking during alumni/student mixers.

 

Share a Great Idea

Don’t just take assignments. Figure out ways that you can stand out while putting your creativity to use by developing a unique idea to solve a problem at your organization. Not only will you earn recognition from your leaders, you’ll also experience the satisfaction of witnessing one of your own ideas come to life. While getting a new idea implemented will require a lot of focus and dedication, the reward you’ll get will make it all worth it.

 

Speak at Your Alma Mater

There are a lot of ways to give back to your alma mater, and one is to return to inspire the next generation. Many professors welcome back alumni to speak to students about what their job entails and share advice on how others can follow in their footsteps. Start working toward this goal by reaching out to past professors to see if any offer opportunities for alumni to speak during classes.

By Priscilla Aceves

8 Things You Must Learn About a Company Before Your Interview

Really nailing a job interview is about more than knowing the right answer to “Where do you see yourself in five years?”

If you want to make a strong first impression, you should be ready to show your interviewer that you’re already familiar with the company and position.

And, it’s not just knowing what you can see on the homepage of their website, either. Here are 8 things we think you must know about a company before you step into your first interview.

 

Mission and Values

The mission of a company is the driving force behind everything they do. Most of the time it’s easy to discern, but knowing exactly how the organization words it is important in case the question comes up in an interview. Search the company’s website to find the mission statement, and also take note of any values listed.

 

Key Leaders

Depending on its size, the company you’re interviewing for may have a lot of top-level leaders. But the most important ones to know before your interview are the top C-level leaders (think CEO, CFO and COO), as well as the key leaders of the branch you’re applying to. This information can usually be found within the company’s website.

 

Their Competitive Advantage

Successful organizations have something that sets them apart in their market and serves as their competitive advantage. It’s important to be familiar of what that is before you step into your interview because that’s what determines how the company makes their most important decisions. When researching what makes the company you’re applying to unique, consider questions like whether they are a business-to-business or business-to-consumer organization, whether they specialize in a niche market and what kind of differentiation strategy they might use.

 

The Company Culture

Apart from determining your experience level, hiring managers also use interviews as a way to decide if you’re a good fit for the company’s culture. While not as easy to research as the company’s history or mission statement, company culture can usually be understood by speaking with a past employee or looking at the organization’s social media sites and blogs. Pay particular attention to any company events that are mentioned, especially those that are organized for employees.

Recent News

Knowing the recent news about the organization you’re applying to will not only make you a more informed applicant — it’ll also help you understand what kind of environment you’re walking into. Search the organization’s name under Google News to find out about recent acquisitions, mergers or any other current events and be ready to address them if they come up during the interview. You can also mention recent news when answering questions. Just stay away from topics that could be considered controversial.

 

General History

The history of an organization speaks to the company’s roots and mission. If you want to work there now, it’s important to understand how the organization came to be. While you can usually find this information through a Google search, the best place to study it is straight from the company’s website because it represents the people and events the organization considers the most significant.

 

The Role You Want

While you may not know everything about the position you’re applying for, being aware of the responsibilities listed on the application is a must during your interview. Knowing what’s expected of an applicant for your position will help you tailor all of your answers to make sure you meet the qualifications. If you’re unsure about any of the specifics, don’t be afraid to ask the hiring manager about them during the interview.

 

Something Not Found on the Website

Interviewers will sometimes ask you to mention something about the company that can’t be found on their website. If you’ve done your research well, this should be an easy answer. But to make sure you’re fully prepared in case the question comes up, choose a specific answer beforehand that’ll demonstrate your detailed research about the organization.

By Priscilla Aceves