Is It Good for Students to Have Part-time Jobs?
More and more high school students in Beijing are turning their minds to ways of making money.
They are capitalizing on opportunities such as one group of students who went to the front gate of the Children’s Centre in the East District of Beijing when a film studio was there conducting auditions(1).
The group sold the young hopefuls(2) application forms at five fen a piece after getting the forms from the center for free.
Young entrepreneurs are also capitalizing on high demand commodities not always available away from the big shopping centres(3). Birthday or greeting cards are an example. One department store estimated that 80 per cent of its sales of cards are to students for resale.
Xial Li, a junior high school student at Fengtai District in the southwest region of the capital, spent 40 yuan buying cards from downtown shops just before the last Spring Festival.
She sold them at her school and schools nearby at prices 15 to 20 per cent higher than what she had paid. In a month, she earned 100 yuan, representing a 250 per cent return on her initial investment.
A senior high school student who had been selling cards has now become an amateur wholesale dealer(4). His wholesale price is 8 per cent higher than his purchasing price and 10 per cent lower than the retail price(5). Within two months, the had earned several hundred yuan in profits.
Many students have merged their activities to avoid price wars.(6) For example, in an area with few State-owned shops and far from the city center, student union heads from the schools there have reached an agreement on card prices. The agreement says prices may be higher than at the downtown shops but lower than at the peddlers’ stalls.
Card-selling is just a beginning. Some students turn their eyes to other more profitable ventures.
Take one senior high school sophomore who has developed a flourishing business selling photos of famous people. He even has his own name card that reads: The High School Student Corporation Ltd of Exploitation of New Technology(7).
The student carries a portfolio(8) of the photos around with him in an album to show his young customers. He offers a wide variety of photos, from American movie star Sylvester Stallone in Rambo pose to Taiwan’s famous singer Qi Qin(9).
"These all depend on my high quality camera," he boasts and explains how he clopped the pictures from magazines, photographed them and then developed the prints into various sizes. He has sold hundreds. Another student is mow an amateur salesman for a company and earns a three per cent commission(10) on each sale.
When he had earned 300 yuan through his own efforts, he said, "I feel that I have really become an adult."