INSIDE OUR ECONOMY: Littany of jobs fill the void until school starts

According to one old joke, philosophy major David Rice should be an expert at saying, “Would you like fries with that?”
The stereotype is not altogether wrong. Rice earned his master’s degree in December from the University of Mississippi.
He’ll enter the University of Arkansas’ doctoral program in August, but meanwhile he’s worked as a clerk, a sandwich maker and a house painter.
A couple of weeks ago he started a full-time job with the USDA Soil Sedimentation Lab that uses his undergraduate background in biology. It was a tough row to hoe before that. He worked just a few weeks after graduation at the Ole Miss Bookstore before layoffs hit the staff.
“I was without a job for three weeks, so I was taking any odd jobs painting houses or whatever I could get on the side,” he said.
The softspoken Rice even considered telephone collections but knew he couldn’t badger people eight hours a day, so he worked at a deli until the Sed Lab job opened.
“This will last until the end of July,” he said in his modest office. “That’s when my fellowship starts at Arkansas.”


Errol Castens/NEMS Daily Journal

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