Lessons in Student Jobs from 1906

work-ones-way-through-collegeThe students of 2010 may take some comfort in knowing that their financial woes aren’t new. Shelby A. Moran addressed the question of working in college in his 1906 book, Over 100 Ways to Work One’s Way Through College, published by Ann Arbor’s University of Michigan press.

“Young people owe it to themselves and to society to acquire the best education within their reach and should be encouraged to make every reasonable effort to obtain it,” writes Moran. He acknowledges that students who also work will miss some of the social pleasures of college life, but commends the other skills they will gain, including self-reliance and time management mastery. “When they go out into the world, these things give them an advantage which enables them rapidly to forge to the front.” He adds that they will have a real-world advantage over competitors who had all their college expenses paid by others. This advise still holds true today. Future employers see your part-time college jobs as a sign of initiative and good work effort.

Here are some of Moran’s job suggestions to pay for tuition: waiting tables, selling breakfast foods, distributing circulars, peeling potatoes and setting type. He recommends that you chose a line of work that you have some interest in or to which you have some exposure. You can check out the rest of Morgan’s advice on Google books.

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education.

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College Grads Searching for Jobs in a Bad Economy








5 Responses to “Lessons in Student Jobs from 1906”

  1. nancyb says:

    Potato peeling aside, I was told by a hiring manager at a large company that he always added (mentally) a full grade point higher to an applicant’s GPA if they had worked their way through school. Like this author, he thought that working added maturity and discipline to an applicant’s repertoire, and that it conveyed proof of initiative and resolve.

  2. PCB says:

    Peeling potatoes used to be a skill the US Army taught newly enlisted
    soldiers but no more–civilian contractors now do much of the mundane
    tasks of military life. Hence the many descriptions of wartime military life
    as “endless hours of boredom broken by unimaginable moments of terror.”

  3. brianc says:

    This is a great idea. My keen interest in peeling potatoes will propel me to the front of the pack when I graduate!


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