New Year's Resolution

Ali Bar

On the eve of the New Year we look back at 2010, and despite the economic woes, overall it was a good year in many respects. My family members held on to their jobs, I did well in school, I have good friends and I think everyone learned to be more frugal.  We can only hope 2011 will usher in a more solid foundation to build upon. I’ve begun to think about how I only have two more semesters left in school and will soon enter the real world no longer protected by my collegiate bubble. Economic worries that others have faced will soon become very real to me, especially as I begin searching for a job. That's why I can't stress enough that I really want 2011 to turn for the better. I've already started looking for summer internships in architecture. I'm hopeful I’ll get one, but the sad truth is most don't pay. And that really isn't an option for me. I need a paid summer internship and finding one will be my top goal for the first part of 2011. I may be somewhat limited in this search because if I find a job outside Miami, it’ll have to be in a city where I can afford to pay for room and board. By this time next year, I’ll be out of school and will need to make finding a full-time job my main priority. So my New Year's resolution is to find a job and, of course, to be frugal and not overextend my resources. When I land a job, I also hope to begin saving some money. I really have no savings cushion at this point because I spent last summer studying in South America, not working. So this winter break I’m networking and getting my portfolio ready to send out to architectural firms. Any and all leads are appreciated.

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Happy New Year! May your wallets and hearts be filled in the coming year.

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Agent Anything

Ali Bar

If you’re a student living in New York City, you may have seen an advertisement for something called Agent Anything. The premise is that people in the city come up with missions for college students to accomplish for pay. I was certainly somewhat skeptical of the Agent Anything website, because I can see ways in which it could be abused.  However, a friend of mine accepted a mission to help move some boxes. I went with him as a safety precaution. I'm really strong and can scare people away (sarcasm -- in case you didn't get it). But it turned out to be a good experience. The guy offering the job was nice and friendly. On top of the $40 he offered for the job, he gave us a $20 tip. At first we refused but he insisted. A few days later my friend accepted another mission, moving boxes once again, for $60. This time he got a $10 tip.

Of course, not all the missions are as fruitful and some are definitely strange. One rather weird one is reading a bedtime story every night to a man whose only other requirement is that once he falls asleep, the reader locks up and leaves. You can ask questions about the missions before accepting them. Someone asked the bedtime story man, “Is this serious?" The answer was a sincere yes.

I'm still a little wary, but most of the people we’ve been in contact with so far just seem to want to help students out. It’s nice that these jobs are only offered to students. To sign up for Agent Anything, you must use your college e-mail address. To get paid, PayPal sends an e-mail that you link to an account. Once you finish a mission, you go to the Agent Anything site and mark a mission as accomplished. The person who requested the mission also must mark it as accomplished. Then you get paid. :) I think I might start a profile and maybe do some missions.

If anyone has had any experiences with Agent Anything worth mentioning, let me know (good or bad). Click the image below to check it out.

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Financial Crisis Hitting Where It Hurts

Amanda Bar

The financial crisis has been a danger for most American citizens this past year, but it never really touched me personally until recently.  The city in which I work is currently scraping the bottom of the idea barrel in order to recoup several millions of dollars worth of lost budget funds, and some of their current solutions have been to outsource many city jobs to a private firm.  Approximately 200 jobs in over a dozen different departments throughout the city are at risk.

Negotiations are currently underway to save these jobs, but the terms come at the expense of other (and previously unaffected) city jobs.  My income specifically would decrease by 4%, and I would be required to contribute an additional $100 a month in health insurance.  Worst of all, upon retirement my pension would be completely lost and I would no longer be covered by my health insurance plan. 

It’s a sensitive issue, and many of my co-workers are stuck between and rock & a hard place in deciding on how to vote; we’re essentially being asked to take a hit for the momentary good of our fellow city employees, as even this new plan would only insure their jobs for a six to eighteen-month period before they are again put up for “review”.

No matter how the vote turns out the situation is dire for many, and serves to make me aware that this financial crisis is closer to home than I’d like to think.

Posted by Amanda Conwell on | | Comments (1)

 
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