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Column shows outsourcing is easy, cheap

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I had a great time at Indigo on Thursday night. The music was good. The beer was cheap. And somewhere halfway around the world, someone else was doing my work for me.

Boy, did it feel good.

Last week, if you missed it, I began my quest to outsource my column to India. I contacted five companies. Two didn't get back to me. One wanted me to post on a message board, which I didn't want to do. And one was really expensive. So I went with contentwriter.in.

Akanksha, my contact with the company, originally wrote to me to ask for more information about who the target audience was. I told her about Penn State and suggested some possible topics: "drinking, college football (especially football coach Joe Paterno) and sex/dating."

Akanksha, however, had already come up with her own topic: "Are You Making The Most Of College Life?"

Well, it didn't have as much pizzazz as my proposed topics, but I decided it would do. I submitted my payment, a grand total of $28 on PayPal, and a woman named Snigdha started writing.

At 10 a.m. the next morning, I found a shiny new column waiting for me in my inbox. After I fixed one typo and changed some punctuation to fit with our paper's guidelines, it was ready to print.

Akanksha wrote that this is her company's first time writing for a U.S. newspaper column. Check it out for yourself, but I think the writing is easily on par with what most Americans can do.

Based on my experience, it looks like outsourcing high-quality writing is both inexpensive and easy. Heads up, American journalists: Maybe our jobs aren't as outsourcing-proof as we thought.

***

"Those were the best days of my life"... As I sit back remembering my life in college, nostalgia hits hard and takes me back to those days of back-breaking book reviews, endless assignment deadlines, aggravating lectures on the Fall of the Roman Empire and the cafeteria food that I loved to hate!

After attending a convent school for girls, entering into college seemed like coming of age to me, a way of breaking free from my previously sheltered life.

It was during my college years in India that I truly got the opportunity to discover myself and realize my passion for music, self-expression and career growth.

Besides those classes we all took for straight A's, there were some other courses which we could opt for. One such course I took up was "Ancient History of the World." Our professor had a great passion for the subject and everything she said had a lasting impact on each of us.

Another student program that I attended was the NSS (National Service Scheme), which aimed at sensitizing students towards social issues and motivating them to work toward a common cause.

As I got further involved in my college programs and while deciding what career to pursue, things started falling into place for me. I can never forget that one summer when I gave up a long lazy vacation at grandma's to attend an archaeological dig that my college participated in each year. This year, our group traveled to a remote village in Rajasthan, India. The site belonged to 3000 B.C. and during the course of our stay there, I got to dig up ancient pottery, bones and some other interesting artifacts. At the end of the program, I ended up taking more courses in Archaeology and Museum Studies in my senior year. I knew where I wanted to be career wise!

I even pursued my passion for music & participated in numerous Inter-College music competitions. These gave me a healthy break from routine classes.

Colleges today have so much to offer that it is in your best interest to soak up all you can and prepare yourself to face the unimaginable competition that is waiting to devour you the moment you move out of the protective canopy of college life. As I look back on my years in college, I realize and appreciate just how much I gained from everything that college life had to offer.

Snigdha is a freelance writer at www.contentwriter.in. A graduate from Delhi University, she currently works at an art museum.

Ryan Pfister is a senior majoring in information sciences and technology and economics and is the Collegian's Monday columnist. His e-mail address is ryan@psu.edu.

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