Service Desk prepares its student employees for the workplace

In January 2019, the IT Service Desk launched an innovative Student Career Development Program--a robust training program with four different job levels. Each job level offers a progressive focus on position mastery, internal processes, position leadership training, Student Employee Excellence Development (SEED) program and overall departmental training.

In monthly student employee meetings, participants review their job performance and develop action items for the student and leadership team. Additionally, the program empowers students by teaching self-advocacy, problem-solving skills, professionalism, the ability to conduct themselves in meetings with senior staff members, and time management skills, as well as giving students the opportunity to seek insightful solutions to complicated problems.

Service Desk staff who helped develop and implement the program are Manager Kayle Daley; Operations Lead Jessi Tuomala; Training Specialist Emily Cauthen; and Principal HR Consultant for Student Employment – SEED Partner Rob Richardson. Senior student staff members who participated in developing the program are Paulina Moreno, Reina Guzman, Melanie Enriquez and Kelsey Lawson.

Together, the team identified a need for resources to teach students how to advocate for themselves in the workplace and found opportunities for them to interact with the knowledgeable people with whom they work. ”We designed the program to enable students to become innovative in problem-solving and to assist them in finding solutions for their work, fostering confidence in the work they do,” said Tuomala.

“The professional development opportunities have allowed me to build a more rounded and qualified resume,” Lawson stated. “The program has helped to expand my communication skills and has given me a multifaceted advantage in the workplace.”

Since the program’s implementation, student input has become one of the most important factors in transforming the customer experience and workplace culture. It has also opened the door for collaboration with other departments that are expanding skills and improving processes.