Student Employees- From Fresh Faces to Department

Student Employees:
From Fresh Faces to Department
Mark Zocher
Student Technology Services Manager
University of San Diego
August 13, 2013
A Little about USD
• Private Catholic university
in San Diego, CA –
founded 1949
• 8,000+ undergrad/grad
and law students
• ~1,500 faculty/staff
• Focus on business/arts
• Top 10 “beautiful
campuses” in USA
• #1 for participation in
Study Abroad
Our ITS Help Desk
• Employs 20-45 student employees
• Responsible for student support via phone,
web, and in person
• Tradition of “White Glove” style of support
STSM (Full time
Lead: Customer
Cust Experience
Lead: Marketing
Marketing Team
Lead: Technical
Senior Student
HD Manager
(Full Time Staff)
Admin Team
Lead: Training
Training Team
Phone Analysts
Survey of 200+ IT Alumni
• Alumni from public, private, and community colleges
• Included alumni in careers as IT, education, public health,
banking, engineering, hospitality, marketing, and law
• Worked in areas similar those of my students
Computer Repair (Software)
Phone-based Technical Support
Computer Repair (Hardware)
Computer Lab Supervision
Managing Employees
First: Some Clarification
• “Department Experts”?
Really Mark?
• Schools picking smarter and
smarter students each yr
• All “Digital Natives”
• Need for internships and real
life experience
• How many times have
managers of graduating
seniors thought, “Will we
ever have another Jim or
Big Differences Between Managing
Students & Staff
• Millenial generation
• A group of “Eager Beginners”
• Guaranteed Turnover – can try
different things
• ~3 year shelf life
Image: Ken Blanchard, Situational Leadership
Why You Want Student Employees
• Affordability*
(remember to factor in training)
• Participate in the
education of students
• Fresh ideas
• Relates to customers
• Guaranteed Turnover –
can try different things
Why Student Employees Want You
• Competitive job market =
need for experience
• 83% said the skills they
learned as a student employee
helped them get a full time job
• Mentorship – 74% of those
with mentors said their
mentorship contributed to
them getting a full time job
Make sure it meets
your dept needs
Don’t limit recruiting
to certain majors
Group interviews,
multiple chances to
prove themselves
Focus on customer
service skills
Onboarding / Day 1
Make sure the culture
and goals of the
department are clear
Don’t gloss over policies
thinking they know
them already
Involve others from IT “It takes a village”
Onboarding Training: What I Did
• BBQ/Scavenger Hunt: meet
new coworkers and ITS
• Name Game (45 min)
• FISH! Customer Service
• How training works
• Policies/Procedures
• Icebreakers: team juggle
(multitasking) and telephone
• Intro to Networking (w/
• Tech Rotations
Torero ready Setups
Windows Support
Mac OS X Support
Mobile devices/Gaming
• MORE rotations
Obstacle Course
Residence Hall Etiquette sketches
Tech Tools
Art of Tempura
• One Red Paperclip
Ongoing Training/EDP
Make sure everyone
has a base knowledge
If possible, encourage
cross training with
other areas
Decide: Structured
assignments (EDP) or
semi-directed learning
Help people play to
their strengths!
• Meet 2x / semester
• Clear expectations,
no surprises
• Include feedback
from leads and
• Have leads run
Evaluations - Rubric
Keep It Memorable
Ask yourself:
What would I or my
staff appreciate as
• What are the positive
things about work I
share with my
family/friends at the end
of the day?
Keep It Memorable
Shadowing New Techs
• Save you the trouble of
retraining every year –
have them do it!
• Great use for your leads
• Encourage cross training,
require prospective leads
clock shadowing hours
Alumni Power
Find ways to keep your alumni connected
(LinkedIn, Facebook Group, etc)
• Share job
listings & news
– encourage
others to do the
Where Do You Get Started?
• Identify tasks or projects
• Don’t ask “What work can a
student do?” – instead ask
“What work needs to be
• Keep from limiting you (or
your student’s) imagination
• Keep from losing knowledge
when students graduate –
make documentation and
shadowing a part of the
culture (or at least the job
Remember What Skills Alumni
Student/Financial Application Management
Other (Please Specify)
Chat/Email-based Technical Support
Phone-based Technical Support
Computer Repairs (Hardware)
Computer Repairs (Software)
Leading or developing training courses
Managing Employees
Project Management
When alumni were polled about what skills they *wished*
they had received as student employees, the answers were
predominately soft skills
Thank you!
Resources and copy of slides
(to be posted later today):
Reading Material:
• Made To Stick
• The Power of Habit