How to Make Money at UBC – Part 1

First of all, there’s no quick trick to success. Making money is hard work and even with all the loose money thrown around at UBC, it’s still an arduous process. Be prepared to invest time if you’re serious about making a few hundred quick bucks on the side. This guide is by no means all-encompassing. The stars are sort of random, but they’re quite pretty so I’m using them.

1. Workstudy Jobs

By far the most lucrative job on campus, “UBC Work Study is an employment program that provides students who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents with the opportunity to work on campus in a variety of jobs and earn additional income to help finance their education. Students can work a maximum of 10 hours/week and earn up to $3,000 for the Winter Session (September – April).” I applied for a few but didn’t get them, and slacked off on applying for the rest of the year, heh.

Profitability: Workstudy wages are superb for a students. At the low end there are opportunities for simple sitting-down for $12/h; most are around $16/h while those that require course and/or technical expertise can go up to $18-$20+/h.

Time: Maximum 1 work study job/year, usually maximum 10 hours/week. Perfect for a full time student with a medium course load!

Skills/Difficulty: There is competition to a degree for these jobs, and many of them require upper class credits or understanding of financial modelling, for example. Some of my friends have really easygoing supervisors and allow them to work from home, while others have to adhere to strict hours and standards. These jobs have intellectually glamorous titles which would add some great sugar coating to your already sweet resume. But we’re not doing it for that, are we? It’s all about the experience baby!

2. Other parttime jobs (call center, SUB, Rec, AMS, Rez) –

Profitability: Some of the ops in this category fall into the standard college campus job one sees in movies. Food industry’s wages hover around $9/hour if you’re lucky. Call centre is around $10/h with possibility of $18/h. AMS runs on an annual salary system that varies from $5000/year to $20000/year, and if you’re on exec council, $30000+.

Time: Shifts that vary from 5 hours to 20 or more hours a week. AMS job postings specified 20-30 hours for some of the roles (don’t let the five digit salaries fool you, they come out to be around $10 an hour).

Skills/Difficulty: Assistant to the President of the Alma Mater Society of the University of British Columbia. Ain’t that a snazzy title? But that’s about as high end as you can get in this group. To my amusement, a friend once told me he would never stoop to the level of serving food to his peers, no matter how much he needed the money. I disagree. Sure, some of these aren’t career-oriented, but a little customer service experience (and lots of discounts) wouldn’t hurt.

I might make a more detailed posts about specific job opportunities, so stay tuned for that.

3. Course Notetaking

At the start of the term, you may receive emails from the Access and Diversity Office regarding notetaking jobs for one of your classes. I did one last term for CPSC111 and made $337. Also applied for ECON101 and didn’t get it.

Profitability: $337 per 3 credit course, $674 per 6 credit course. No flexibility.

Time: After each lecture, you have 48 hours to email your notes to the recipient. In the case the notes are handwritten, you have to go to the Crane Library and scan it there. There’s very little interaction from the recipients from my experience, just the occasional clarification for a abbreviation I used. No more than 1 extra hour a week outside of lecture.

Skills/Difficulty: If going to class is already difficult for you, I don’t recommend this, unless you see it as an obligation that drags you to class. In addition, if you miss class you must make someone else in the class take the notes for you! During the hiring process, you have to submit a sample of your notes and the recipient picks one, so there could be quite a bit of competition in the bigger classes. Piece of cake if your notes are already perfect and godly. Forces you to review lecture material which is great.

4. Tutoring

Profitability: probably the only time when you get to make $25 an hour before you start your white-collar corporate job. Of course it’s contract based so depends on your client number and fame (why does it sound like a pimp business… *cough*). Group tutoring is also an option. For ECON 101 and 102, I know Ecoman (I should be paid for all these free advertisements… *sigh*) hands out flyers after lectures and host group sessions right before midterms. The charge is $80 for 8 hours total, multiply that by 30 students and you’re making $2400 in a single weekend.

Time: Depends on your student. You can join organizations within UBC that hooks you up with the students (this is not sounding sweet and innocent at all) or you can go find them yourself. Pre-exams is the super busy period.

Skills/Difficulty: probably more opportunities for upperclassmen who have taken the courses. Large intro science / social science courses are probably where tutors are needed the most so ace those courses people!

5. Opt-outs

This is a one time action that most people forget to take advantage of. Included in your humongous and ever-growing student fees are $210 for AMS Health and Dental plans. For local students like myself who are already covered under our parents’ employer insurance, there is no need to double-insure. Please make sure you are COVERED in all the areas you want before opting-out.

Profitability: $210 returned as a cheque, for the 08/09 year anyway.

Time / Skills / Difficulty: Go to the website and read all the info before making a decision.

How to Make Money at UBC Part Two is coming up next with more wonderful ways to get cash on campus. Take everything I say with a grain of salt. I’ll try to keep things legal… kidding!

In case you’re interested, I wrote a post a few months ago about how I manage my budget at university, including exact expense and income amounts. Happy financial-planning!

Read 14 comments

  1. Pingback: How to Make Money at UBC - Part 1 | 如何在网络上赚更多的钱

  2. Another excellent post, Phoebe! With all this content, your blog’s really starting to climb up the almighty Google ladder — looks like you’re at PR 4 now. 😀

    Oh, don’t forget about scholarships, grants, bursaries, and student loans. These are, by far, the most “lucrative”.

  3. Wow Phoebe thanks for sharing, it’s really insightful and thorough. You really know the campus inside out! Maybe you should sell your writing to AMS so they can dedicate a special section in next year’s AMS Insider 😉

    About opt-outs, you missed a couple fees. According to AMS Insider 08/09, the following fees are also opt-outable (total value of $30)
    -sexual assault support services fund ($3)
    -student aid bursary fund ($12)
    -student legal fund ($1)
    -student services fund ($9)
    -Ubyssey campus newspaper ($5)

    A couple more ideas, you might already thought about for part 2:
    -psych studies (sell your soul at a convenient time for quick bucks)
    -UBC fundraising (annoy alums on weekend afternoons for money)
    -rush cashiers at bookstore
    -help desk
    -library monitor
    -misc contract jobs

    Really looking forward to part 2, hope it’ll be way more awesome!

  4. So this is what you’re doing when you aren’t studying or processing reimbursements o_O! Nice write up Phoebe, hehehe! Btw, care to explain what PR 4 represents? (personal rating)…

    From your boss,

  5. @Ming – Thanks for the awesome list.

    @Travis – Your comment cracked me up, seriously. PR 4 = Page Rank 4 on the mighty Google machine. Every site has a rank, with 0 being the lowest and 10 being the highest. People dedicate their careers to trying to game the Google algorithm. The higher you are, I guess the more important Google thinks you are. I think if it stood for Personal Rating, it would be much, much higher…. just kidding!

    From your reimbursement minion,

  6. I worked at War Memorial Gym for $13 an hour and had a blast! Workstudy is indeed uber fun! =)

    Don’t forget to add in ‘Doing random Psych surveys/experiments at the Kenny Building’ for random splurges of lunch money…..

    “ jibblyess _

  7. Pingback: How to Make Money at UBC Part 2 » UBC Years - Phoebe Yu

  8. @Mimz – Yep. The fee is included as part of the tuition. You submit the form and once it’s processed you will receive an email telling you to go to Brock Hall and pick up a cheque.

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