From babysitting to pet sitting, bartending to personal shopping, Hire a Student connects students at the College of William and Mary to potential job opportunities in the community.
As part of www.williamsburgfamilies.com, the Hire a Student program began in 2010 when the previous student information system ended. Much like Craigslist, the initiative acts as a public notice board on which local residents and businesses can advertise jobs. It also serves as a place for students to advertise their expertise.
Ginny Gasink ’01, co-owner of the website, helped launch the Hire a Student program to connect assistance-seeking residents of Williamsburg with job-hunting students.
An alumna of the College, Gasink said she regretted not taking advantage of the job opportunities in Williamsburg while she was an undergraduate. Gasink encourages students at the College to use the website to network in the community and possibly to kick-start future careers.
“Think of Hire a Student as a resource for the long-term, rather than just a job to get money right now,” Gasink said.
Some students at the College have also found the Hire a Student program beneficial.
Hannah Ritsema ’15 saw an advertisement for Hire a Student on the Williamsburg trolley during the summer and decided to give it a try.
During the summer and at the beginning of the academic year, Ritsema received various job offers for pet sitting, babysitting and tutoring. Although the frequency of offers waned when school began, she said she still keeps up with contacts in the area.
“It’s a great way to connect with the community,” Ritsema said.
For others, however, the experience was not as rewarding.
Matthiessen Chatfield-Taylor ’16 received job offers from his advertisement for “odd-jobs,” but he did not find them profitable in the long term.
Chatfield-Taylor spent most of his time moving heavy items and landscaping and said he only found the Hire a Student program marginally successful.
“I cleaned a pool once, that was really sweet. I was that ‘pool boy,’” Chatfield-Taylor said. “But it didn’t pay the rent.”