Student life as: Nanny, babysitter

Emily Harris

For Tisch freshman Molly O’Brien, nannying is an ideal job. With a huge market in New York City and a pay that is often higher than a retail job, O’Brien knew she wanted to continue nannying at NYU after doing so in high school.

“I was a babysitter/personal assistant for a family who owned a few businesses in Kentucky, and really enjoyed it,” O’Brien said. “I made more money than any of my friends with regular jobs and realized how much potential I had to be a nanny in New York.”

O’Brien began applying for nanny jobs using websites like and had a phone interview with a family in New York City while she still lived in Kentucky. When she first moved to college, O’Brien even missed a few days of school to meet the family.

O’Brien works through the afternoon and into the evening on three weekdays, as well as full days on weekends.

“I get a list of everything I need to do, and in what order and at what times,” O’Brien said. “It can include going to pick up items and drop off clothing to be sold or returned, or grocery shopping. Once all the activities are done and finally the crazy day is finished, I give the kids baths, set out clothes for the next day and help with dinner and bedtime routine.”

Unlike other typical college jobs, nannying can have unconventional hours. O’Brien admitted that it is not always easy, but the reward is completely worth it.

“Though there is so much stress and so little free time, I keep telling myself I couldn’t be making the amount of money I do and have the environment of work I do if it was retail,” O’Brien said.

CAS freshman Marissa Ablack also nannies. Ablack used the Wasserman Center for Career Development to find the family she nannies for.

“People looking for nannies will post wanted ads on there, so I browsed a couple of options and submitted my résumé to a few different families,” Ablack said. “Within a day, I heard back from a family that was interested.”

Much like O’Brien, Ablack has a tight schedule of mandatory items to complete for the day, even at 5:30 a.m.

“I nanny five times a week in the mornings and two afternoons,” Ablack said. “Typically I’ll wake up around 5:30 a.m., take the subway to their home and come in as their parents leave for their jobs at around 6:30 a.m.”

Though there are extensive time commitments and responsibilities involved in being a nanny, Ablack said the time spent getting to know a family creates a strong relationship.

“Nannying, though, has always been the most fun of the jobs I’ve held, simply because you really develop a relationship with the family you nanny for,” Ablack said.

A version of this article appeared in the Nov. 17 print edition. Email Emily at [email protected].