This week we find out what it’s like to work as an office assistant for Event Planning in the Event and Meeting Services (EMS) office located in room 106 of the University Student Commons.
Meet Phil Cross, a rising senior from Tampa, Florida, double majoring in early childhood education and psychology while being one of the talented EMS office assistants for University Student Commons and Activities (USC&A).
How long have you worked for VCU?
I have worked for VCU for almost a year now. At first, I was hired as an office assistant, but I moved up to student event planner once everyone graduated.
What were your main responsibilities as an office assistant?
I would check email, open the EMS system, make sure that [reservable rooms] are taken care of, serve as a resource and provide customer service for student organizations.
What did a typical day look like for you?
I answered a bunch of questions for student organizations. I tried to make sure that I provided quick responses to let students know that we are here and want to help them have a great event.
Do you find it easy to balance being a student and a student worker?
Yes. I’m an RA, too, so I already have a lot on my plate. I balance everything by keeping my boss in the loop about my schedule. In return, she is really caring and upfront with me. If something is going on in school, I can talk to her about my schedule.
What are some suggestions for people finding it difficult to manage?
Communication is so important. Being a student is a ton of work and is incredibly demanding. If you keep your boss and coworkers in the loop – they will look out for you. Organization is also key. I always write things down three times so I can remember them.
What is one thing you really enjoy about your job?
The people I work with are awesome. Also, this job helped me when I was coming in as a transfer student. I didn’t know about all the resources available to students before I started here. While working here you get to see everything that’s going on. It helps with my RA job as well. I can suggest events for my freshman to go to.
Is there anything that you have now learned that you originally struggled with at the start of your job?
At first learning the EMS system was confusing. You have to really focus on what you’re doing and not mess up. I became much better at it by asking my boss and co-workers questions.
What has been one unexpected perk of working for USC&A?
Getting to know people! You meet so many different people everyday, so it’s easy to become friends. Also, VCU has a lot to offer as far as events go. Not many people know too much about them. I have a front row seat.
What would be one suggestion to a student that is interested in working as an office assistant in the Event and Meeting Services office for USC&A?
Communicate, be happy and be energetic. This job can test you, but, at the end of the day, you will come out on top.