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Working at the SU: A day in the life
Oftentimes, students think being an executive or faculty representative is synonymous with getting involved with the Students’ Union, but it turns out there are tons of other ways to be a part of the team. And technically you’re already on the team, as we, post-secondary students, are the reason for the union’s existence! As mentioned, you don’t have to represent your faculty or have the know how to deal with big budgets and intimidating politicians. Maybe you like working in the background or coordinating events. You might even be a super-fast typer or into community development. Every academic year, the SU employs a team of part-time student staff who help deliver the programs, services, and events you know, use, and love that undoubtedly enhance and enrich your time at this institution. So what are some of the positions, you ask? Allow my several co-workers to give you the inside scoop…
Jillian, Program and Event Assistant (PEA)
What do you do as a PEA?
I get to work with the coolest people, like the person writing this article ;), but more importantly I help implement events like Frostbite, the Undergrad Research Symposium, Pet Therapy and so much more! From conception to clean up, expect to see a PEA!
What do you like about your position and do you have any advice for future PEAs?
I like the flexibility and how it is on campus. Being a PEA allows you to interact and engage with the student body and it can be a lot of fun even when times get stressful. My advice to anyone who’s applying for a job with the SU is: TIME MANAGEMENT.
If you had to sum up your experience using only 3 emojis what would they be?
Rodrigo, Research Assistant
What do you research?
On the whole, I research issues and topics relevant to students like Residence issues and Financial Aid.
And what do you do with what you find?
Research is vital to student advocacy, allowing for effective policies.
Any tips for future researchers?
If you’re a pro at gathering data from different sources and a good writer you should consider applying. It’s one of the quieter and relaxed roles with the SU, yet stimulating, rewarding, and challenging at the same time.
If you had to sum up your experience using a graph, what would it look like?
Pavit, Volunteer Services
What is your role with Volunteer Services?
I am the Students for Literacy Program Coordinator and I track the progress of the tutors, their learners, and their lessons while addressing any questions/ concerns, providing feedback. I also help prepare volunteer appreciation events and an annual book sale.
If someone wanted to apply for a position with VS, what advice would you give them?
Be willing to flexible and open to your program (its duties), your co-workers, and the volunteers you take on.
You’ve been with the SU for a few years now. If you had to sum up your experience in 3 words, what would they be?
Hmmm… that’s hard! I would say REWARDING (SFL does amazing work for many people and it’s great to see how we help people grow), COMMUNITY (I have had the pleasure of meeting and working with an incredible group of people, particular in VS/ SFL), and PASSION (an organization and its people who strive to make the university a better place for students).
Blue-hooded Hooligan*, Student Meeting Assistant
* (Alias For A Staff Member Who Would Like To Remain Anonymous)
What do you do?
I sit at a large round table and stare blankly and awkwardly at all the executives and elected officials and record with mics and a keyboard whatever comes out of their mouths.
So you take minutes?
What do you enjoy most about taking minutes for SLC?
I like being in the loop about everything that affects me and my fellow student friends at the U of C and obviously knowing about all the juicy gossip important policies that impact my education. In a way, you also get to know the individuals who serve and represent you. Honestly, they’re a really cool bunch.
Any tips for someone who wants to be a meeting assistant?
If you like editing and formatting documents, got a good poker face, an exceptional listener, and patient, you’ll do well in this role. Oh and if you can type more than 50words/minute, you best be filling out that job application right now.
Evidently, the SU offers diverse opportunities that cater to many different skillsets. If you want to make a difference, awesome friends, and be challenged in a fun, fast-paced, and supportive environment, I implore you to take the plunge! #adworthy. Job postings are up until Apr. 1, so get applying!
5th year Arts student, Dianne Honorio, is tranquil as a forest, but on fire within. As swift as a coursing river, with the force of a great typhoon, and mysterious as the dark side of the moon.