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Ryerson student creates startup providing unemployed students with jobs

by Jonathan Bradley

LocalStudent allows students to choose flexible work options and help fellow members of their community

a man stares straight at the camera smiling
The founder of LocalStudent, Alex Ryzer (Alex Ryzer)

Alex Ryzer, a fifth-year business management student at Ryerson University, has launched LocalStudent, a startup aiming to help people with small jobs around the house while employing students who are out of work. 

Ryzer said he started LocalStudent because current student jobs are menial, and they have not changed much in the last few decades. Instead of doing typical student jobs, Ryzer decided to do work such as lawn mowing, window cleaning, and dog walking. 

“I realized that this style of work provided a way better opportunity for me as a student, as opposed to traditional student jobs,” he said. “And customers started asking me if I had friends who could do other services for them, and that’s when a lightbulb went off.” 

He said he believed he could solve these problems by creating a platform from which customers could hire students. He launched LocalStudent in May 2019. 

LocalStudent operates in 23 cities across Canada, and it employs about 12,300 students. The startup has plans to launch in the U.S. this summer. 

LocalStudent is an online platform that connects customers with students in their neighbourhood who perform services for them. COVID-19 has meant this startup has been focused on services that can be performed outdoors, ensuring people are able to physically distance. These services include snow removal, leaf cleanup, and lawn mowing. 

It takes customers two minutes to receive a quote on their website. A student can be hired with a few additional clicks for a convenient, on-demand service, with no contract or commitment required. 

Once a customer schedules a service, it will go on the job board for students to see. Students can scroll through the list of jobs and accept the ones they want to do. 

Arman Kassam, a first-year business management student at Ryerson, started working for LocalStudent in April. A friend who is now on the management team recommended he work for this startup. 

“As a student going into my first year of undergraduate studies, I was looking for a job where I could make more than the average amount to prepare myself financially,” said Kassam. “Working for LocalStudent was the best fit for that because I could choose how many jobs I wanted to take as well as which jobs I wanted to take.” 

Kassam said this startup is a great place to work, and he recommends other students consider applying. 

Automation will have a major impact on the Canadian economy in the future, so LocalStudent is taking action now. This startup is preparing to expand to more skilled services in the future, such as tutoring, graphic design, and web development. 

Ryzer said LocalStudent needs to exist because student jobs do not meet student needs anymore. 

“Between the inflexible hours, the micromanagement, and bad pay, students are getting a bad deal with traditional student jobs,” he said. “Student jobs need to be brought into the 21st century, and we’ve decided to be the ones who will do it.”

This article may have been created with the use of AI software such as Google Docs, Grammarly, and/or Otter.ai for transcription.

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