Not all students are interested to work as delivery boys or telecallers or do night shifts in call centres just to earn a few extra bucks while studying in college. They are choosier these days as some look to fill their pockets doing work that they are passionate about and may look up to it in future as a career. These students enter fields of their interest converting their passion into a way of life, whether it is doing photo shoots, work as models, play music, do event management, play music as DJs or even opt to take up teaching.
There are many young photographers and videographers in the city armed with cameras who are doing well with their projects. And they are competent enough to present projects that can be compared to work by trained shutterbugs. These guys are living it up, earning upto Rs 8K a month solely out of their love for the lens.
“I joined a photography club in college two years back and that's where my hobby turned into a profession. There I met people with similar interests and we started sharing our work. Now I'm called for events like engagement ceremony, birthday parties, baptism ceremony and even wedding shoots where I go with my group of friends who are good in certain areas like videography, lighting, editing, designing etc. After all it’s all collective work,” says Anmol Dhiman, freelance photographer and third year journalism student from MCC College.
Style and fashion come under their lens too. Furqan Mirza works as a freelance model while pursuing his degree in geography, tourism and travel management from MCC. He has done a TVC and several print ads for ecommerce biggies like Flipkart and Myntra.
“I used to participate in ramp shows in college and eventually was approached by photographers, mainly for theme-based shoots, which helped me to build contacts. Now I get at least two shoots a month, sometimes it is even two to three assignments a week.” says the 20-year-old who is putting in a lot of effort to grab better projects. According to Furqan, each shoot fetches him Rs 5-6k and he spends it to help himself remain fit and buy accessories to look good.
A few students are into music concerts as well, performing live in city functions and even grabbing some big projects. Some student musicians have come together to form music bands and earn recognition from city colleges that host music events. “I have been performing in the city since the first year of my course. Even though it’s difficult at times to manage college schedules and projects, I never gave up on both, as I totally love what I do,” explains Tabitha, an Indie rock and pop music vocalist, doing special education on autism from NIEPMD, Chennai.
The youngsters don’t miss an opportunity to publicise their work online and through social media. “We play our songs in various parts of the city, only after evaluating the response online. This is to maintain people's interest in the band,” says Enoch Charles, guitarist and vocalist of ALARPE music band, who is also a final year B.com student. According to him, each member of the band earns around Rs 1-2k for each show. They have plans to perform outside Chennai as well.
Some students run a pet shop at home and even work at pet shops part time out of love for animals. Hema from Sri Venkateshwara college of engineering and technology runs a small pet business at home where she adopts pets to make them smart enough to be handed over to an animal lover who asks for it. She has been doing this for two years and feels that adopting a pet is the best way to combat depression and good therapy for elderly people who feel lonely.
Following her passion, Krishna Priya is into content writing. “I love writing and see myself as an author in a few years. Hence I took up content writing and write for certain website designers. This also benefits me as a literature student as the job demands that I have good command over language and vocabulary,” said the Chennai based second year MA literature student from Central University of Tamil Nadu. “Now I can look up to my career with increased confidence and I not only see this as a great way to make money, but it is an awesome resume booster,” she added.
“I’m a kind of person who gets the work done in short time, writing papers or assignments and am often left with lot of time to do nothing. Hence I switched to taking tuition and also teach in tuition centers in the weekends where we are paid on hourly basis. Now I fill my empty hours making money and doing what I love the most” says Janaki, a second year MA Mass communication student from MOP Vaishnav college. The 21-year-old who teaches middle and high school students believes that if she wouldn't have taken up this, she would have wasted her free time playing with her mobile or watching TV.