The more you can do to prepare yourself for life after college, the better. Why not use your job as an opportunity to sharpen important skills, network, or even get a unique look at your field? Here are a few ways you can use a college job as a way to build your career:

  1. Become a dog walker. If you’re going into a field that deals with animals, dogs are a great place to start. Become a dog walker with Rover and gain experience working with live animals. You can watch how they move, behave, even how they respond to a change in food brand or exercise routines (approved by an owner, of course). If you’re going to be a vet, you’ll gain valuable insight into handling dogs and working with their owners.
  1. Provide child care. If you’re going to be working with children, perhaps as a pediatrician or a teacher, you’ll want to gain experience working with kids. Sign up to become a sitter with Sittercity and you’ll get to work with kids of all ages. You can work as much or as little as you like, so you can adjust your hours as classes get more rigorous.
  1. Freelance for practice. Need experience in creating marketing projects, writing articles, or software development? At Upwork you can do freelance work in just about any field and work on your own schedule. You can opt to get paid hourly or by project, so it can be a great way to keep a steady income for yourself.
  1. Get into the action. By becoming a brand ambassador with Street Team Promotions, you can not only go to every cool event, you’ll also get paid to go. If you’re pursuing a field like public relations or event planning it can be an excellent way to make contacts, and there’s opportunity at every new event to broaden your network.
  1. Run your own business online. Create an Etsy shop for your photography or use it to sell the graphic novel you’ve been working on. Learn the art of business by creating and executing a business strategy, working with customers to resolve problems, and running day to day operations.
  1. Get experience where you need it. FlexJobs listings include everything from real estate, economics, graphic design, sports and fitness, politics, and advertising. They have thousands of freelance and part-time opportunities, and the offers have been filtered for scams and schemes. Amp up your business degree with experience in marketing and finance, and make contacts with event planning jobs.

If you still aren’t sure where to find the best work option for you, talk to your school advisor or visit the guidance office. The student union, dining halls, and dorm bulletin boards are all excellent places to find local opportunities, as well.

Jennifer McGregor has wanted to be a doctor since she was little. Now, as a pre-med student, she’s well on her way to achieving that dream. She helped create with a friend as part of a class project. With it, she hopes to provide access to trustworthy health and medical resources. When Jennifer isn’t working on the site, you can usually find her hitting the books in the campus library or spending some downtime with her dog at the local park.