Students like to earn while they study. Hear it from some of them about popular freelance options.

Anush Venkataraman

Age: 22

Intitution: Master’s in computer science, Bharathidasan University, Tiruchi

Freelance profession: Web and graphic designing

Earning: Rs. 1,500-3,000 per assignment

Anush Venkataraman, 22-year-old student of Bharathidasan University, started freelancing in 2010 when a friend of his paid for a design he made. “I realised then that I could freelance and put my skills to best use!” Anush set up a small firm called Thez Infocorp through which he undertook assignments. “I make about Rs. 1,500-3,000 per assignment and there is no tension of balancing my studies and freelance work as I mostly work late night.”

Although he is a graduate of engineering in computer science, Anush chose to pursue web and graphic designing over a regular white-collar job. “Designing is fun and it is great to eke a living out of what we like rather than forcing ourselves to like what we do.”

Vishnu Varatharajan

Age: 20

Institution: Bachelor’s in engineering, SSN College of Engineering, Chennai

Freelance profession: Writing

Earning: Rs. 1,000 per assignment

This third-year engineering student from SSN College freelances in a field totally different from his stream of education. “I am a freelance writer and have been contributing to a leading Tamil Magazine.” Quiz him about the contrast in interests, he says, “Writing has always been my passion and so I chose freelancing. I struggled to balance the two initially, later things fell in place.” Vishnu is an IAS aspirant.

Shama Kumari Gulecha

Age: 19

Institution: Bachelor’s in journalism, MOP Vaishnav College for Women, Chennai

Freelance profession: Event management

Earning: Rs. 1,00,00 – 2,00,000 per assignment

Shama is a young entrepreneur who has established her own event management company called E3 events in partnership with a friend. “I used to coordinate corporate, marketing, promotional and management events for various companies like Dell, Samsung, Cartoon Network and Pogo. As I gained more contacts, orders for such events poured in. So, my friend and I decided to float a company,” says the young entrepreneur. “After graduation, this will definitely be my focus,” she says.

Moogambigai R.

Age: 24

Institution: Master’s in anthropology, Guru Nanak College, Chennai

Freelance profession: Photography

Earning: Rs. 500 – 1,000 per assignment

During her undergraduate days when Moogambigai pursued electronic media, she took to photography and started freelancing for the website mysixer.com. “After freelancing for mysixer.com for more than a year, I got the opportunity to be a freelance photographer with a leading Tamil magazine. As my college extended its support, I was easily able to manage studies and freelancing.” Photography is my second love, film-making is the first, says Moogambigai.

Priyal Singhvi

Age: 19

Freelance profession: Stall management and promotion

Institution: Bachelor’s in journalism, MOP Vaishnav College for Women, Chennai

Earning: Rs. 1,500-2,000 per assignment

Priyal works as a stall management assistant for fairs at Chennai Trade Centre. “My work pattern is not taxing as most fairs happen during weekends. Also, there is lot of flexibility in my job that leaves me ample time for studies and other work.” She hopes to branch out into event management for her postgraduation.

Aakash Maddi, Anzal Ansari, Saptarshi Prakash

Age: 21, 22 and 23

Institution: Master’s in engineering, IIT Madras, Chennai

Freelance profession: Web and graphic designing

Earning: Rs. 1,500-10,000 per assignment

The trio from IIT Madras do web and graphic designing. Maddi says, “If you are good at something, never do it for free. Unlike other jobs, designing cannot be completed in a fixed time. Ideation might take 2-3 days. Once I get a hang of what is required, the actual working part is sometimes done within 3-4 hours.” “Designing is fun. I might probably pursue a degree in it in future,” says Prakash.

Vishranth Suresh, Haricharan Padmanabhan

Age: 20 and 21

Institution: Masters in engineering, IIT Madras, Chennai

Freelance profession: Tuition classes

Earning: Rs. 5,000 – Rs. 6,000 per month

Anyone who imparts knowledge is a teacher. Vishranth and Haricharan have been doing just that.

These engineering students of IITM have been tutoring IIT- JEE aspirants. The duo teaches kids belonging to classes 6-8 in mathematics and physics, respectively. “Tuition classes are just a part-time option and definitely not on the cards for a full-time profession,” says Haricharan.