I am a senior at a big state school taking five courses, doing an internship, prospecting for my future job and trying to maintain a suitable social life. Being financially stable while attending college can be a challenge for many students, especially those paying for their own tuition or living situation. Even for those students who are not paying for their tuition, having money in the bank is important for many reasons. The reality is that we want to make money in the most convenient form. Get a job? Sure. But many students cannot cut time from academics to earn cash.
On an average day, I leave my off-campus apartment at 8:00am and return only at night. There must be a way to make money, right? Should I take surveys online? Should I donate my plasma at the local Bio-Life plasma service location? Should I drive for Uber? None of the above. I found a simple solution for this by selling my notes on the digital platform called Omega Notes. I looked into the platform and saw that I could post my notes and sell them at any value I choose. What does this mean? It means that if I go to every class (let that sink in…No skipping or ditching class on hungover mornings) then I have a product that other students don’t. I also added the value of translating complex concepts and terms into a form of language that us students understand. I used a unique technique of placing the product in front of my direct customers – the students in my class at the perfect time. I did this by waiting until 2-3 days before the exam and sending a personal email to each student in the class notifying them I had notes up for sale. The next day I had made around 25 sales and I was happy!
In addition to being mindblown, I had money in my pocket! Since trying this for the first time, I have done this for three exams and had the same outcome. Not only is this a money-maker for me, but it encourages me to take good notes and brainstorming how to earn more money through selling notes.
There is always a common misconception that all interviews are the same, everything ranging from big corporations to small startups. However, we have to understand that interviewing for a startup is not merely the same as anything else. I have been in the entrepreneurial world working for a startup called Omega Notes for a year now. Thankfully we take advantage of the facilities of LaunchBox, which is an incubator for startups at Penn State. What I find really fascinating about other CEO’s I have met in this short time is that they interview people based on different criteria. Some of these include how “cool” you are, how passionate you are, how adaptable you are, among other qualifications.
One of the criteria they look for is how interested you are in working on a fast-pace/inconsistent environment. Rather than looking for GPA or extra curricular activities like big corporations do, startups look for passion and dedication on their candidates. In my experience on Omega Notes, one of the question that the CEO asked me was how easy was for me to take changes? This is something crucial in startups because it is an uncertain atmosphere. Therefore, you have to be able to adapt quickly with a positive mindset.
Secondly, the other important aspects startups’ CEO look for candidates in interviews is your contribution to the team. Established companies recruit for people how have specific skills to cover a certain position. However, in the startup world this is not the case since they have limited options of selecting their personnel. Therefore, in the interview you might be asked how much knowledge you have in a range of areas to see how much work you can do. In Omega Notes, I not only cover IT projects, but also some customer development, market research, competitor analysis, among other areas.
Last but not least, interviewing for a startup is more flexible than for a big corporation. For those who have interviewed with these companies, sometimes it might be a little intimidating at first. But for startups, this is not the case. They are more focused on how you can impact the team rather than how expensive your suit can be. When I interviewed for Omega Notes I came business casual, but my boss was actually wearing a casual/regular clothing.