Student employees in the Office of Student Life have a new opportunity to receive additional training to apply in future careers, as the Student Employment Experience has doubled its program offerings.
SEE began last year with 15 programs, said Caleb Craft, learning-and-development specialist for Student Life human resources who is in charge of the program. An additional 18 were added this fall. Craft said he expects the rest of the approximately 40 Student Life programs will come on board.
Craft said SEE has three components: the employment role, reflection and coaching through Guided Reflection on Work conversations, and training workshops. The most important of these, Craft said, is the employment role, because students are learning the most through their jobs.
“It’s a way to have students see their employment as more than just a paycheck, but an opportunity to build skills that they can use for life,” he said.
Craft said the GROW conversations were used with permission of the University of Iowa so students could reflect on their learning.
“It’s just a really short conversation that helps students with their supervisor reflect on what they’re learning in the workplace,” Craft said.
He added that all students have the opportunity to attend training workshops through the Office of Student Life once a semester to develop future career skills.
Some of the students who have gone through the program said they enjoyed the training.
“I think there’s always a little bit of a stigma in Dining Services that it’s a job that you’re not going to put on your resume, or it’s not very important, so I think it’s a way for the workers to think about what they’re getting out of it and how their skills can be applied,” said Ryan Crell, a fifth-year in electrical and computer engineering, who works in the Union Market, Espress-OH and Woody’s in managing, hiring and scheduling.
Other students said they had been able to apply their employment experiences to classes.
“I had a conversation with my boss and we did a GROW conversation and talked through some questions about what I’ve learned in the workplace that could apply to my studies and what I learn in my classes that could apply to my job here,” said Nate Harper, a second-year in marketing who works in the Younkin Success Center.
Craft said the rollout hadn’t been easy because Student Life is such a huge department, with almost 4,000 students working in it. But Craft added he loved working with students and employers in SEE.
“Most of (the supervisors) are really on board with working on this initiative and want to be intentional about providing the best employment experience possible for their students,” Craft said. “Our supervisors really are educators, so that’s really cool.”