Getting The Job Done
Published: Monday, January 27, 2014
Updated: Monday, January 27, 2014 09:01
Life as a Boston College student often entails more than balancing challenging classwork and a fulfilling social life. For many, just balancing those two is enough to make them want to cut back a little. But hundreds of students each year add another element to the mix: an on-campus job. Whether they’re working just to earn some extra spending money or to fulfill a work-study grant, these students manage to set aside about 10 hours per week to fill a variety of roles. From the dining halls to the labs, four student give an inside look at what it’s like to work on campus.
Although she’s only been working at Hillside since the beginning of this semester, Renee Bichette, A&S ’17, is already getting the hang of things at the ever-popular dining location and helping to make sure that even rush hour isn’t too stressful.
Heights: How long have you been an employee here at Hillside?
Bichette: Two weeks. I just started working here this semester.
Heights: How did you hear about this job and eventually get it?
Bichette: One of my [fencing] teammates works at Hillside, and I was really looking for an on-campus job for my work-study. She said she worked here for lunch and the beginning of dinner and was like, “It’s really not that bad.” I emailed the manager and he was like, “Yeah, we need people!” I didn’t want to work at the dining halls—there are so many people there! Hillside’s smaller so you really don’t have to deal with the rush and stuff.
Heights: What are your tasks here?
Bichette: I pretty much do anything they need me to do. I’m usually behind the sandwich line and then sometimes I work at the coffee bar.
Heights: What would you say, so far, is one of the most difficult things about adjusting to the job?
Bichette: The coffee bar is actually really hard to do! I worked at Dunkin’ Donuts over the summer, but it was basic lattes, cappuccinos, coffee, but here they have all these different drinks that I’ve never even heard of. Having to know the combination of drinks—and when you have 20 cups stacked up and you have to make all these drinks all at once, it’s really hard to manage. I’m like, “Oh no, there’s so many things I have to do!”
Heights: Is there anything particularly interesting about the job?
Bichette: I really like the people I work with because they’re all student employees. They’re not all my age, like some of them are grad students, but we all get along really well and it makes the job a lot more fun. I really like working here. There’s something else about Hillside that I really like, but I don’t know exactly what that is.
After a stint at BC’s cable TV services for the last few years, Katlyn Prentice, A&S ’14, has been putting her eventual film degree and experiences in the department’s undergraduate research program to work as a teaching assistant and mentor for this year’s Filmmaking 1 course.
Heights: How long have you been a TA?
Prentice: Officially, this year, but I also did an undergraduate research fellowship in the film department last year, so I kind of had TA responsibilities within that as well.
Heights: What are your tasks as a TA?
Prentice: We manage the equipment here, so if students need to check out equipment for their projects we check that out for them and make sure that they return that with proper wear and tear and with nothing missing. We also help students out with editing advice or filming advice. I’ll come to the end of classes and help the professor if necessary—basically anything the students need, we take care of so the professors don’t have to. A lot of these professors work at other universities and aren’t on campus much.
Heights: How did you find out about this job, and why did you pick it?
Prentice: The TAs are more or less selected to become a TA. Also having done the undergraduate research fellowship last year, I was really involved within the department itself. With that association and doing well in film classes, I became a TA.
Heights: What was this fellowship about? Was it more research- or project-based?
Prentice: It was with Professor Michalczyk, and basically I helped him work on his documentaries and do various film department tasks. I was camera operator on his most recent documentary and went into Boston to film some things.
Heights: What would you say is one of the most challenging things about your job?
Prentice: Usually trying to keep the students on track with getting their equipment in. Sometimes they’ll have it out for days and you’ll have to say, “Guys, you need to bring it in because a lot of other people need that.” You also get situations where they have an assignment due tomorrow and it’s the night before, and they say, “Hey, can you meet me at the film room to get some equipment?” But we have set hours for them to come in, so that’s probably the most challenging.
Heights: What’s something you find especially interesting about the job that you might not find in another on campus?
Prentice: I think it’s cool because you’re involved with their projects and you see what they’re working on, how they’re doing it. You can give them advice and sort of be a mentor for students that need help, because it can be really complicated.