The Chronicle of Higher Education recently interviewed higher ed administrators and faculty about jobs they held on campus as undergrad students. This naturally made me think back to my sole on-campus job: soliciting donations from alumni and past and present parents. The flyers made the role seem pretty great—short shifts, $12 per hour with bonuses for getting large donations. I made it through an interview and six hour training session, feeling confident that this was going to be an easy way to make some extra cash. Nope.
I lasted a grand total of three shifts, each more miserable than the last. I realized I was simply not cut out for asking strangers for money, even for a worthy cause. However, it took me a few years to come to terms with the fact that that position did serve me well in one way: It was my first experience with cold calling. Today, many are afraid of picking up the phone and calling someone out of the blue for work or personal reasons. I’ve never really had an issue in that area, and I partially attribute that to my early-career exposure. While I plan on never being a fund solicitor again, it’s easy for me to make a random call when my job requires it. And my friends always know who they can count on to place a takeout order.