Freelancing is free experience

Kori Hassinger Op, Ed Contributor

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Everyone in college has been asked their thoughts, advice, guidance, or even asked to complete somebody else’s work because of their experience of pursuing a specific major.

At the moment of question, it may seem to be a friendly thing to help that person out, but how would that benefit you? If you are using any skills that you have learned throughout college or at any place of employment, you are freelancing.

Freelancing is using any skill that you possess whether it be something like writing, social media enhancing, or artistic skills, and putting that skill to use while getting paid for it.

The most convenient aspect of freelancing is that you can make your own schedule. That means you can easily work around any class schedule or work schedule and sometimes both, and still make money on the side by doing freelance work.

Now, even though colleges all like to advertise and promote their students to get real-world experience, they do not encourage students to freelance. Certain classes are beginning to appear that do require students to do some freelancing work through contacts the professor knows within the university.

I am a double English major and have taken three classes so far that have had some sort of freelancing aspect to them. For the first one, I worked with a group  to create posters for the English Department. For the second one, I had to work with Huskies Helping Huskies to design and write postcards to be distributed during Homecoming weekend. For the third I had to go out and find my own freelance job.

This sounds like a lot of work, and it is, but the experience and the contacts that you end up with makes the whole experiential learning, or real-world experience, aspect of freelancing worth it.

Plus, once you do a few freelancing jobs, your network will continue to grow and grow. Therefore, as your network grows, so does your bank account. Now the only important thing is that you have to continue to produce good work, which is why universities should be promoting freelancing within all majors and minors.

If all majors and minors were actively teaching their students how to freelance, then the university could take advantage of that skill and knowledge to put together groups of students, and create a team to do legitimate freelancing jobs for either class credit or as assignments for a given class.

Some may get confused about freelancing in comparison to student interning and it is essentially the same thing except freelancing is doing a specific job whereas a student intern is doing a wide variety of small jobs by only getting college credit or as work study credit.

Freelancing allows students to gain real-world experience by finding jobs of their own, creating proposals and sending them in to be processed, and basically trying to fight for their own jobs by working to promote themselves with the skills that they possess.

By having students work with other students, problem-solving and hands-on experience would be at play. The Marketing and Communication students could work together with the English  and Art Studio students to help create online or printed content as well as merchandise.

The Business and Foreign Language students could work together and create business plans or support production while expanding the project internationally or to a larger and more diverse crowd.

Not only would this idea benefit the students, but it would also benefit the university. Colleges always try to showcase what skills and accomplishments their students obtain so it would be in their best interest for colleges to begin to put the idea of freelancing within academia. This would allow the university to use the students’ skills and even have the students do freelancing work for the university.

This would mean the schools could have free work done by its very own students. What better way to showcase how well the school has taught their students than by having them apply their skills with advertising, writing, designing, marketing, health clinic, and foreign language dealings for the university’s direct benefit?

Freelancing is not a thing of the past, but a trend of the future. Why waste the gas and car expenses to travel to work when most students only have access to the campus and wherever the shuttle buses will take them?

Why not pay the students with either money or class credit for using their skills while they gain real world experience rather than make the students find these jobs on their own like they would in the real world?

Kori is a junior Creative Wrting major and an Op/Ed Contributor for The Voice.