More college and university students today should take their cues from entrepreneurial successes such as Steve Jobs, Michael Dell, and Bill Gates, when it comes to getting a satisfying part-time job. In short, they should become entrepreneurs themselves.
Becoming an entrepreneur is not difficult. In a nutshell, all it requires is (1) identifying a growth area in the local, regional, or national economy, (2) observing the needs of customers in that sector of the economy, and (3) dreaming up an activity which meets the needs of a specific type of customer.
With the extraordinarily large baby boomer generation nearing retirement and thinking of such things as their legacies and philanthropic endeavors for the good of society, they’re becoming more concerned with, of all things, history. Here’s a unique part-time job which an ambitious college or university student could handle–freelance oral historian.
Increasingly, local history societies, civic groups, churches, and even private families are eager to collect oral histories about themselves. (Oral history refers to having someone talk, usually in a one-on-one interview format, about a particular subject, while being recorded on audio- or videotape.) As these various organizations and other entities collect oral histories, they place them in their archives, to be consulted by scholars, researchers, and others.
An enterprising student can offer to conduct and/or record interviews as a freelancer. There are a number of benefits to be gained from doing such a job. They include the following:
1) meeting a number of different people, some of whom will be impressive for one reason or another,
2) learning about the history of organizations and/or families, and seeing firsthand how important history is in our lives,
3) being able to enjoy a flexible work schedule, without having to punch a time clock somewhere,
4) being able to charges prices for services rendered, according to what the market will bear, and
5) possibly finding an unexpected career.
Based on their academic studies, most students tend to think of history as boring. For far too many of them, it’s a seemingly useless exercise in memorizing dates and places.
It’s very probable that in becoming involved in the collection of oral histories, they’ll see how history can effectively come to life. They’ll see firsthand how people’s feelings, emotions and sentiments influence what happens in a family, in a community, or in an organization.
What an invaluable lesson to learn!