Ah, the great hunt begins. It’s that time of year when college students flock back to the home nest and set out to procure flexible, short-term employment.

There will be a rush on nanny, lifeguard, and retail jobs as students seek to get their bank accounts back up in the black and parents push their young to not simply stew on the couch all summer.

There are the typical places where students go to look for work. But there are also some options that you and your college kids might not have thought of.

Check out the ideas below for some
out-of-the-box opportunities.

Virtual Assistant

With remote work more available than ever, your student could be the perfect candidate to come alongside business owners and creatives to help with email, calendaring, and other tasks. Companies like Indeed, SimplyHired, and others help connect virtual assistants with jobs.

Social Media Manager

If your student is good with social media and has an eye for design and content, handling social media for a handful of clients could be a great summer side hustle.

Brand Ambassador

Your student is already spending some serious summer hours trolling their social media. Why not make it profitable? Many brands are looking for social media ambassadors to showcase their products on social media account. And it doesn’t take a huge amount of followers to qualify. Additionally, there are brands who are also looking for ambassadors to do product demos, to interface with customers, and to provide feedback on products, apart from social media. Companies like Zip Recruiter1 are a good place to start looking for ambassador positions.

Customer Service Representative

With some basic phone and people skills, your student could find a position as a virtual customer service rep. They would help answer questions and take concerns for businesses.


There are companies who are looking for individuals with good listening skills and typing ability. Clients send in audio and video files that require transcription and a transcriptionist listens to those files and transposes that content into readable text, with an emphasis on correct grammar and syntax. Check out Rev.com for an example of companies who do this type of work and employee transcriptionists.


Your college student has been hard at work through the year learning all things scholastic. What if they take that knowledge and use it toward their summer work? Plenty of parents of younger kids are looking for help to shore up their children’s educational challenges during the summer break. By advertising on your neighborhood FaceBook page or through church and social circles, your college student can offer tutoring, either in-person or via Zoom. And tutoring can bring in a nice per hour rate. Indeed.com reports that college-aged tutors earn an average of almost $25 per hour. 2

Guiding your college-age student to explore other options for their summer jobs could lead to virtual work they can take back to school with them. And it’s always a great opportunity for your student to work in areas in which their degree plans would apply, a smart move to help build their resume. While a summer break can be a great thing, it’s also a time to supplement what they’re doing during the school year. Be strategic and innovative when it comes to employment opportunities for your student. They’ll thank you for it!

Julie Lyles Carr is a best-selling author, podcaster, and entrepreneur living in Austin, Texas, with her husband Mike Carr. They have eight kids, two unfriendly cats, and an antique dachshund.

1 https://www.ziprecruiter.com/Jobs/Brand-Ambassador/
2 https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/finding-a-job/best-jobs-for-college-students