Job listing site offers odd jobs

Pat Bowden Reporter

Students scrambling for cash or interested in forming connections in the Brookings community have found their dream site for finding odd jobs at, a growing website based out of Sioux Falls, S.D. helping to connect students to local job listings from community members.

The basis of the website, which was created by an SDSU-alum programming group out of Sioux Falls DesigNation, acts as a Craigslist-like listing system that allows community members to post odd jobs for students to do and earn quick cash. Zak Fick, the founder of the website, is pushing for its’ establishment in the Brookings area. 

“The overall benefit [of this website] is the money, that bacon. You can make it work around your class schedule … When I was doing my undergrad, I was about as busy as you can get … and I was still able to make money on the side. I loved the idea before I wanted to open it up to college students anywhere to use,” Fick said.

While some students have jobs in town, others face situations similar to Fick’s and would benefit from a system that could connect them to some level of income. 

“I would definitely [use the website] if I couldn’t find a job … It would be very useful for students,” said freshman wildlife and fisheries sciences major Jordan Kuhle. Kuhle said there are most likely students who aren’t able to work in the area because “it’s harder for students to find time” and to search for available jobs.

As students earn money from community members who listed jobs, they can also build relationships outside of campus. 

“The other benefit is getting out in the community and interacting with them. You can also pick a volunteer position on the website and get out there and build a short resume because people can rate and review you based on reference points,” Fick said. “It’s a great site that promotes the connections between students and their college communities.”

But although the site presents the possibility of students benefiting from it, the site has concerns about the safety of users. Job listings are posted similarly to Craigslist, which leads to safety concerns similar to that of Craigslist. Job listings are left to the caution of the students who take them or not. But on the brighter side, has not had any safety concerns or problems to this point.

“I’m a big Craigslist user and I’ve never had any big [safety] concerns with it, as long as you know who the people are. And since it’s South Dakota, there isn’t very much of that bad stuff going on,” Kuhle said. “There definitely would have to be some regulations for safety concerns if it moves to a larger market, but for smaller schools … [students] would definitely benefit.”

To the benefit of the website, there is a filter system that does not allow personnel without a school email address to register for jobs, and the certification for the person listing the job is left to that of the students, according to Fick.

“It’s served us really well because people are really pleased with it,” Fick said. “We encourage everyone to do their own diligence. If there’s anything questionable, drop us a note. We encourage good practice and so far people have followed that and we haven’t had a problem.”

While Fick continues to pitch the website to more and more universities, SDSU has maintained relatively low traffic because not many students are aware of the site’s existence. Contrastingly, other colleges in the state, such as the University of South Dakota, have had their faculty embrace Help University with open arms and promoted it to their students to use.

“The idea is accepted nationwide. We have schools as far as Honolulu that have partnered with us,” Fick said.

Aside from polishing a new version of the website set to launch at the beginning of 2016, Fick has been spending funds on the development of a mobile app, which he believes would vastly improve the usage and accessibility of the website. 

“As smooth and nice as it [the website] is, I have that perfectionist mentality and we’re going to fix more things and it should be quite smooth. We’re excited for it and it should make it more user friendly for the posters and the students,” Fick explained. “I want students to be able to sit in class and get a notification that a new job has been posted [via the app.]”