Northwestern students looking to make a quick buck can now connect with Evanston residents for short-term employment thanks to last week's launch of JobCat.
The website allows Evanston residents to post work they need done, ranging from baby-sitting to dog-walking. Students can create profiles to promote their skills for hiring.
The project is spearheaded by SESP sophomore David Harris, who serves as the JobCat’s project manager.
“It showcases student innovation and demonstrates students’ desire to further connect to Evanston,” said Harris, adding that the program can mutually help cash-needing students and time-crunched community members.
Harris, who serves as ASG Vice President of Services, said the idea began last fall during brainstorming talks with Northwestern Student Holdings, an entrepreneurship group that works to fix existing problems on campus. The project eventually moved to ASG Services as a tool for students.
Ethan Romba, JobCat’s site developer and ASG Vice President of Technology, has worked closely with Harris to get JobCat up and running. In the past weeks, he has worked to code the website and fix bugs before its launch.
“It was all about taking David’s ideas and implementing them," the Romba, a McCormick junior, said. “Hopefully students will begin to think about the services they can provide and find it easy to use.”
Talks with ASG and Evanston residents helps Harris and Romba tweak the site to be as user-friendly as possible. Students can log in with their NetID and password, and Evanston residents can create an account with their email address.
Harris reached out to Northwestern professors and local outlets, including the Downtown Evanston and Mayor Tisdahl, and said he was excited by the initial positive responses.
“It’s really encouraging to see how excited people get about this,” he said. “I’ve heard ‘This is great, I’d totally use this and know 20 people who would also.’”
Harris said he hopes JobCat can further improve the relationship between the Evanston and the student body, but also help students make some extra spending money.
“It’s no secret college students are strapped for cash,” he said. “Here’s the solution.”