26 February 2010

Teaching: Life as a Student Worker

Hello! I believe this will be my first installment in the Teaching Series. I think that teaching as well as learning is important, so by teaching you something I know you are learning! (Now I just need to have you teach me something!)

Having been an employee of my University for nigh on two years now, in different capacities, I feel like I have a pretty good handle of some of the things that every University position requires. I think these tips will apply to people at other schools in other states as well, so don't click away just yet!

These tips are most applicable to campus jobs, but excluding food service - that's a whole different ball game! So perhaps a Ticket Office worker, a job in the Geology Department office, or a part of the Office Staff at the Campus Health Center.

All these jobs will certainly have their own specific tasks, for example, the Health Center employee won't sell tickets to the Orchestra, nor will the Geology Department fax a patient's records to a Doctor's office, and the Box Office help won't be photocopying the GEO 112 midterm either. But they all share some responsibilities, merely because they share a location, the college campus. So without further ado, I present:

Simple Tasks for the University Employee!

1. Be a Campus Resource. As a student and an employee, you should have a good working knowledge of the campus. Where is Admissions? How about the Student Union? Or maybe just the nearest bathroom! Being able to direct fellow students and even potential students and their families around the campus is a useful and courteous trick. This can take some time, since many students only venture into the buildings in which they have classes, but spend some time walking around with a map, and you'll do fine.

2. Be a City Resource. This applies to the city, too. For many students, they live in and go to college in their home town. But for others, such as myself, college isn't just a new experience, its a new place altogether. Though it may be hard at first to situate yourself with a new city, try and get acquainted with nearby neighborhoods and commercial areas. It's great to be able to recommend a good restaurant and give clear directions to it!

3. Be a positive representative. Now this is more of an attitude than an action or task, but I think this is also important. When you are an employee, you have a responsibility to highlight the best aspects of the campus (in my opinion). Use your position to give visitors or community members a positive memory of the campus. Because maybe they don't really like the way that the dorms are managed, but if you tell them how awesome your first year in the dorms were, maybe they will reconsider!

4. Accommodate! Sometimes it might seem easy to take it out on the hapless freshman who just asked where they can find the Bursar's Office. Instead of giving them the stink eye while throwing a map over your counter, remain courteous and polite and say "No problem! Let me get the map and I can show you right where that is." and when they are satisfied, tell them "Have a great day!" Especially in situations where the person is upset or angry, you can defuse the situation by staying calm and doing your best to resolve the issue. Give them the benefit of the doubt, because they could have had a bad day, too.

I think that sums it up, but these are definitely some ideas that I have used and abused in order to have happy customers! And in case you are wondering, I'm the office staff at the health center. It's a wonderful job!

Any other tips or tricks to being a great employee? This is like free job security!

No comments:

Post a Comment