Timothy Chambers applied for the #JetFutureBusinessLeadersScholarship and he was selected as a finalist. Read Timothy's information and essay below. To vote for Timothy, click here.
Senior at Southern New Hampshire University
Major - Photography
What Do You Enjoy About Your Studies?
I have enjoyed learning to think beyond my world, i.e. what I already know. Even in my non-major courses, I saw the impact that leaders can have on the culture- impact for good or for bad. It takes a lot more to do good than it does to do bad. I see the marks of people who influence others are people who are aware, believe in the power of good, the rewards of living selflessly far outweigh the returns of living for self. The ROI of investing in others is huge! I have learned this both in my history classes and in contemporary courses. This is shaping my vision for what I want to do with the gifts I have.
What hobbies/organizations/jobs are you included in?
I enjoy art, of course, and also construction (working with my hands), helping neighbors- especially the elderly- in whatever way they'll have me. I also am a volunteer ambassador for the Usher Syndrome Coalition to help patients and families that are dealing with deaf-blindness.
Timothy's Essay. The gig economy is growing in the United States with more and more people relying on independent work for income. What role do you see the gig economy playing in the future of the American economy?
Your daughter’s school play is next Thursday at 2pm. Can you make it? If you are part of the gig economy, chances are good you won’t miss it. I am excited about the rapidly growing gig economy in America. The number of self-employed individuals grew by almost 20% between 2005 and 2015 in America. The share of the U.S. workforce in the gig economy rose from 10.1 percent in 2005 to 15.8 percent in 2015 (1). Forbes suggests that more than a third of U.S. workers (57 million) are part of the gig economy (2). The gig economy is thriving as America adjusts to a technology-driven economy. Having grown up in a self-employed household, I experienced firsthand the benefits of the freelance lifestyle. Autonomy was an esteemed value. Whereas many of my friends’ parents had traditional employment with its rigid schedule, my father had the freedom to tailor his schedule around his priorities rather than a company’s, enabling him to be engaged with us kids and school events, sports activities, family getaways, and more. Of course, the gig lifestyle has its challenges. With the greater freedom comes greater responsibility, as the freelancer wears all the hats of running his or her own business. The gig life is not for everyone. But those that do engage tend to be creative, independent, dependable, responsible, adventurous people. The gig economy is opening up opportunities. Companies such as Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, Etsy, Amazon Flex provide opportunities for freelance workers. Large companies such as Amazon and IKEA are incorporating the gig economy into their workflow. IKEA recently purchased TaskRabbit, a company that allows people to hire freelance workers to assemble IKEA’s furniture. On a personal note, I find all this encouraging. I desire to make a difference in people’s lives. I am disabled, making the traditional workforce a difficult fit for me. However, I manage well on my own in a familiar environment and therefore running my own gig means that I can be an independent, productive, contributing citizen. Currently, while attending school, I am working independently to on projects and events to help charitable organizations raise awareness and funding to help those who need assistance as well as to help fund the search for cures. The gig economy fits the American way of ingenuity and freedom. It rewards ingenuity, discovery, independence. It is the freedom to be all you can be. It certainly opens the door for me to use my gifts and skillset to help others. Yes, I am excited- the gig economy enables me to fulfill my dreams.
Endnotes: 1. Lawrence Katz and Alan Krueger, “The Rise and Nature of Alternative Work Arrangements in the US, 1995-2015,” NBER Working Paper No. 22667, September 2016. 2. McCue, T. (2018). 57 Million U.S. Workers Are Part of The Gig Economy. www.forbes.com/sites/tjmccue/2018/08/31/57-million-u-s-workers-are-part-of-the-gig-economy/#2b2d114a7118