With many universities in lockdown and students confined to their halls across the country to curb the spread of Covid-19, the opportunities to earn a few extra quid by working a part-time job are severely limited right now.
Aside from the fact many of them can’t leave their accommodation, jobs in popular student industries such as the hospitality sector are scarce due to the crippling effect of the pandemic.
But some digital-savvy students are raking in thousands without even leaving their rooms – thanks to a new app.
Founded by two recent graduates, UniTaskr hooks businesses up with students eager to earn money to pay off their debts while utilising their skill sets.
Digital-savvy students including Rio Moloney, 23, pictured, are raking in thousands without even leaving their rooms – thanks to a new app
Single mother Megan (pictured) left university twice, once because of mental health issues and secondly after she fell pregnant. She now uses the app to earn extra cash and juggles her cash with studying and looking after her daughter
With a following of 55,000 students across the length and breadth of Britain, an estimated £1.5 million has been earned via the app in the past year.
It became the most downloaded lifestyle app and has proven to be a lifeline for those currently isolating in halls across the UK due to the pandemic, unable to work in their usual part-time jobs to supplement student loans and course fees.
Instead, they are selling freelance services like website building, graphic design and blogging from the safety of their rooms.
Rio Moloney, 23, graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University with a first class degree in marketing. He has earned over £4,000 using the app – and has built up an invaluable portfolio of work to help him get a foot on the ladder in his chosen career.
Originally from London, Rio spent the first couple of years at uni working in an opticians as an assistant.
Rio graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University with a first class degree in marketing. He has earned over £4,000 using the app – and has built up an invaluable portfolio of work to help him get a foot on the ladder in his chosen career
Since signing up to UniTaskr, Rio has completed dozens of jobs including social media managing, marketing-strategy work, designing flyers, data analysis and target audience identification for start-ups and small companies – all from the comfort of his own home.
He told FEMAIL: ‘Having UniTaskr to help me earn a regular income in exactly what I was studying really took the pressure off the financial difficulties of being a student in my last year.
‘Before that it was a case of working part-time and having to fit it around studying, which can be difficult and takes a lot more time for less money, especially when you have to travel to the job.
‘As well as having the power to earn using your skill set, it’s a real confidence booster to know you’re delivering someone what they want and getting feedback telling you they’re happy with your work.
The app allows students struggling for money to sell freelance services like website building, graphic design and blogging from the safety of their rooms. Pictured: a member’s profile on the app
‘It’s meant I can add some of the work to my portfolio and have been able to network within the industry I plan to work in’.
Rio is hoping that, despite the current economic climate, his efforts to find a marketing job in his chosen field will eventually pay off.
‘It’s extremely difficult at the moment to find a job and start a career,’ he said. ‘I’m applying for job after job, but I’m up against people who’ve been made redundant during the pandemic, are looking for a job to pay the bills and have years of experience on their side.
‘I’m hoping the fact I’ve gained experience through UniTaskr will help me find something.’
In the mean-time Rio can benefit from the year-long grace period the app offers and continue to use it to earn now he’s left university.
Single mother Megan left university twice, once because of mental health issues and secondly after she fell pregnant.
In the past year Megan estimates she’s completed between 30 and 50 tasks, generating around £2,500 via UniTaskr and its new venture SHOUT, which enables her to take part in social media campaigns for major global brands
She is now in the final year of a drama, film and television degree at Canterbury Christchurch university, juggling being a mum to 11-month-old Eva with her studies.
In the past year Megan estimates she’s completed between 30 and 50 tasks, generating around £2,500 via UniTaskr and its new venture SHOUT, which enables her to take part in social media campaigns for major global brands.
Her work has included promotional tasks, working on apps and social media.
She told FEMAIL: ‘In the past I’ve looked for part-time jobs but they had to revolve around studies and childcare so it wasn’t something I had much success with.
‘I feel really lucky to have found UniTaskr because it fits around everything else in my life and I can earn money from home in my spare time.
Megan’s work has included promotional tasks, working on apps and social media – and she loves that she can do it from her home (pictured)
‘Many of the tasks will be social media based, usually on Instagram, and I can complete the tasks when my daughter has a nap or has gone to sleep in the evening, so it’s perfect.
‘I was worried when I left uni that I wouldn’t be able to still apply for the work, but I spoke to the founders and they were really understanding.
‘Because they were students and know how challenging things can be, they were happy to talk it through with me and let me carry on, which is very different to how I imagine it might be with a big corporation.
‘I’ve also become part of a network of people sharing WhatsApp conversations so I’ve met new people I wouldn’t normally have linked up with.’
Founders Joseph Black and Oliver Jacobs, both 24, launched the app a year ago, and are now expanding to enable global brands to tap into the student demographic through a new venture called SHOUT, which has the world’s biggest network of student influencers.
Founders Joseph Black (right) and Oliver Jacobs (left), both 24, launched the app a year ago, and are now expanding to enable global brands to tap into the student demographic through a new venture called SHOUT, which has the world’s biggest network of student influencers
Joseph explained: ‘Despite the global pandemic our business is thriving. Many businesses are looking to freelancers to fill the gaps in their workforce and we’re perfectly positioned to help them find the right people for the job.
‘UniTaskr for the most part focuses on online digital tasks, such as blogging, design, social media management and influencer marketing.
‘Due to this we have been perfectly positioned to allow students to continue earning an income safely from the comfort of their homes throughout lockdown and forced campus isolations.
‘Over the past few months, we have seen over 8,000 completed remote tasks through the UniTaskr platform.’
UniTaskr can be accessed via its website and app (www.unitaskr.com) and is available on both Android and IOS app stores.