The side hustle: How UTA students were able to earn extra money during the pandemic

Cynthia St. John, professor of practice in the Management Department, said she noticed more of her students doing things on the side within the past year. After losing their jobs, many students have been looking for new ways to make money, she said.

While some are freelancing or working with different organizations, St. John said she has also seen an increased interest in starting a business among the students she talks to.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 22 million U.S. jobs have been lost since the pandemic began, causing many to lose their primary source of income.

Having multiple sources of income is something public health senior Tracy Sherden emphasizes in her life. Sherden lost her job last year but was able to stay afloat through her other ventures.

Her main side hustle is running a false eyelash business that she started a year ago when the pandemic first hit. Sherden takes lash orders through the business’s Instagram.

What surprised her the most about her lash business was the consistency and discipline needed for it to be successful. The business is only as strong as you are, Sherden said.

Jordan Patterson, marketing and management junior, said he delivered food for DoorDash throughout the pandemic, making around 17-20 dollars an hour.

It’s been easier for him to find work with DoorDash because everyone is having their food delivered now, he said.

It’s a good side job because you can limit your exposure to COVID-19 while making money, and it’s something you can do after work or on the weekend, Patterson said.

In addition to occasionally delivering for DoorDash, working and being a student, Patterson has a car detailing business.

After researching, making flyers in his notes app and investing in good equipment, Patterson got his first customer last month, he said. More information on his business can be found on his Instagram.

Nursing junior Reagan Chaney started her custom phone case business last November because she was still laid off and needed extra income, she said.

Chaney said she needed a loan to start her business, which was initially nerve-wracking for her, and she worried she would struggle to pay it off.

However, she ended up paying it off within a couple of months, and since then her Instagram has reached people in places like North Carolina and Washington.

Chaney said she’s grateful that her business allows her to spend more time with her family. She likes being able to make income from her bedroom and having flexible hours.

Her advice for those looking to start their own small business is to go for it. She said that although she was cautious at first, at the end of the day, she can’t say she didn’t try.


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