Student Stories

Will Bucci

Will Bucci

Class of: 2019

Department / Office: Dining Services, Moulton Union

Position: Student Manager

How long have you held this job?

Since my first day at Bowdoin! 

Describe a typical day at work.  

Student managing shifts start off with a bang! Workers go into the dining hall and make sure that all of the stations are set up for the meal. During service, we wipe down counter tops, ensure that food stays stocked, and keep our customers happy. The night ends with clean-up and lots of hugs and love!  

What skills have you gained or improved upon from this job?

I've learned a lot about how to safely prepare, handle, and store food. I have really enjoyed learning about the different ways to prep fruits and vegetables, in particular. Each one has its own trick! Also, working in dining has helped me learn how to operate as an efficient and smooth team member! 

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Moulton is a family! Every single time I walk through the door to the dining hall I feel the warm and fuzzies because it feels like I am HOME! I am so grateful for the wonderful, amazing, and caring team at Moulton! I LOVE YOU, MOULTON! ❤ 

How are these skills applicable to future work opportunities or you personally? 

Teamwork is SO IMPORTANT to any job! Working at Moulton has definitely driven this home for me and helped me to hone my teamwork skills. Also, everybody has to eat, so knowing how to prepare food is a huge bonus!

How did you find out about this job? (JobX, word of mouth, job fair, faculty referral, etc.)

I was initially placed in dining through the First Year Job Placement Program.

Will Bucci

What advice would you give to another student who is considering working on campus?  

Working on campus is a great way to temporarily set aside your academic work and engage in a fun job! It is a productive break from studying that can help you learn important real-world tips and tricks (like how to make homemade natural peanut butter!). Also, Bowdoin has such an amazing community, you will definitely find a family at your new job!

Jessica Friedman

Jessica Friedman

Class of: 2020

Department / Office: Office of Sustainability

Position: Campus Outreach Eco-Rep

Jessica and Polar Bear

How long have you held this job?

I've held this job since the beginning of this academic year, though I was a College House Eco-Rep the previous year, so this will be my second year working for the Office of Sustainability.

Describe a typical day at work.  

A typical day at work for the Office of Sustainability either means attending our hour-long weekly meetings or working on individual tasks throughout the week. Our meetings usually consist of brainstorming, planning, and getting updates on all things green at Bowdoin for the week. We usually leave these meetings with a few tasks for the week. Tabling in Smith Union for a variety of events (like the October Energy Challenge) is also a big part of this job. And, of course, our work always includes helping our respective dorms get the things they need for green living and sending out weekly eco-emails.

What skills have you gained or improved upon from this job? (For example: time management, computer skills, etc.)

This job has definitely improved my creativity and ability to work in groups. We are constantly working to come up with new ways to not only improve Bowdoin's sustainability but also ways to engage with the larger student body on issues related to sustainability. Beyond working in groups, I've gained a lot of experience doing outreach to people beyond the Office of Sustainability. I've become much more comfortable engaging with people as they pass by our tables in Smith Union or working to find ways to get people involved and excited about sustainability-oriented programs and initiatives. I've also gained a lot of experience writing entertaining emails!

How are these skills applicable to future work opportunities or you personally? 

These skills are applicable to future work opportunities because creativity and the ability to solve problems are important skills to have in any job in any field. The eco-rep job really encourages and relies upon group work and has pushed me to work on collaboration, which is an integral part of many jobs and parts of life in general. Personally, it's improved my interpersonal skills—not only with talking to random people or passersby, but also with finding the best way to reach people and get them involved.  

Sustainable Bowdoin Ice Cream

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I really enjoy working with my boss, Bethany Taylor. She makes the work so much fun and entertaining, and she is truly an amazing resource on campus. It also feels great to be actively committing myself to a cause that I really care about and working to make an impact on Bowdoin's campus. This job also requires a lot of creativity and teamwork, so it's so fun to work with other intelligent and creative Bowdoin students towards a common goal.

How did you find out about this job? (JobX, word of mouth, job fair, faculty referral, etc.)

I heard about it through friends and an email sent out to all college house members (last year).

What advice would you give to another student who is considering working on campus?  

I would advise them to find something they are truly passionate about! I know that's not always easy, but it definitely makes the work more enjoyable and less of chore.

Betty Louis

Betty Louis

Class of: 2020

Department / Office: Safety & Security

Position: Shuttle Dispatcher

How long have you held this job?

Fall 2017

Describe a typical day at work.  

I work from 10pm-2am on Sundays and Tuesdays and I work from 6pm-10pm on Saturday. I come into work, log into the Shuttle Dispatching website and wait for people to call for a shuttle. Once they call, I put their request into the computer and then I ask one of the van drivers to pick them up over the radio. When the night is not too busy, I'll use the time to do some homework. 

What skills have you gained or improved upon from this job? (For example: time management, computer skills, etc.)

I've gained better interpersonal skills as I've learned to be patient with people who call without really knowing where they want to go or having a full conversation with the people around them before acknowledging me on the phone. I've also gotten better at asking for clarification when I don't know where a stop is. The staff in security are always willing to help. 

How are these skills applicable to future work opportunities or you personally?

Working for the shuttle has definitely helped me to gain patience when I myself am waiting for the shuttle. Because I work behind the scenes, I can see how many rides pile up at a time and how the drivers really are doing the best they can to get everywhere quickly.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I enjoy getting to know security better because I work in their office and I like the fact that I can get work done, especially on Sundays and Tuesdays. 

How did you find out about this job? (JobX, word of mouth, job fair, faculty referral, etc.)

I found the job and applied through the Student Employment website! 

What advice would you give to another student who is considering working on campus?

I would advise them to choose hours that work well with their class schedule and to always prioritize academics over working. I know that's harder for some students to do, but I think it's so important for students to advocate for themselves and to remember that the number one goal in being at Bowdoin is to get a good education. A paycheck here or there is a bonus!

Cecilia de Havenon

Cecilia de Havenon

Class of: 2021

Department / Office: Coastal Studies Center

Position: Assistant Caretaker

Cecilia de Havenon

How long have you held this job?

June 2019

Describe a typical day at work.  

I work directly with the full time caretaker at the Coastal Studies Center in Harpswell. We arrive at 7:00 a.m. and first do a walkthrough of the marine lab and the waterfront to make sure everything is working correctly. We do a variety of jobs, such as trail management and upkeep, coastline trash removal, brush clearing and the eradication of an invasive plant species (Burberry) in the woods alongside the trail. We take a small break at 9:00 and then again at 11:30 for lunch. On rainy days we find jobs to do inside. Right now we are re-doing a bathroom in the farmhouse, replacing the floor and installing a new toilet. Painting can also be included in daily tasks. Furthermore we manage the water filter and pump systems in the marine lab to keep them running and clean.  We mow the lawns about once a week and do general housekeeping and small repairs in the buildings on the grounds. Occasionally I go out on the motor boats helping set crab traps and aid in the lab. We leave at 3:30 p.m. for the drive home.

What skills have you gained or improved upon from this job?

I have learned a lot of basic life skills working at the center such as how to work alongside others and how to go about solving a problem are the two biggest ones. Really anything can happen at the Coastal Studies Center so you must be prepared to deal with issues that arise quickly and efficiently. I have also learned a lot about working outdoors and some basic carpentry skills, which has been incredible. I have become more confident in my abilities and have learned to trust my instincts.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I love being able to work outdoors in the nature during the beautiful Maine summer. We also don't do the same tasks every day and keep things interesting which has been incredible and allows be to learn all different skills and trades which I have found highly rewarding.

How are these skills applicable to future work opportunities or you personally? 

The job itself is highly rewarding in that I've learned a lot about myself and my abilities. In the future I think the problem solving skills I have acquired will come in handy. I have also learned to take advantage of my time at work and strive to get projects done on time or even early. Communication with others out at the center is essential which will be useful for future jobs when collaborating with coworkers or keeping in touch with a boss. We also interact with visitors to the center and act professionally at all times since we are representing Bowdoin College. These people skills are imperative to have at work and in life in general.

How did you find out about this job?

JobX

Cecilia de Havenon

What advice would you give to another student who is considering working on campus?  

Do it! It's really amazing to see what goes on behind the scenes on campus and meet people who keep things running at our school. We take some things for granted while we're students and everyone who works for Bowdoin has an essential job. It's incredible to feel as though you're a part of the community of workers on campus and I couldn't recommend it enough. You'll learn a lot about yourself and the school that we all love so much.

Aziza Janmohamed

Aziza Janmohamed

Class of: 2019

Department / Office: Theater & Dance

Position: Senior House Office Manager

Aziza Janmohamed

How long have you held this job?

Since 2017.

Describe a typical day at work.  

When the Department has a show, I usually arrive at the theater fifteen minutes or so before the ushers arrive so I can get everything sorted. Once the ushers arrive, I help them sign in and then provide them with the necessary training (showing them the exits, how to seat people, where to stand to collect tickets/programs, etc.) and for the rest of the performance, I serve as the main method of communication between the performers and the ushers/audience.

Once the house opens, I let the ushers know and we begin letting people into the theater. If there is a full house, I will also assist with moving around seating audiences. One of my favorite parts of the job is being able to watch the performances each night. Once the show is over, I help usher audiences out of the theater and I work with the ushers to ensure that everyone finds their way out of the theater and that all of the programs and chairs are back in place.

What skills have you gained or improved upon from this job? (For example: time management, computer skills, etc.)

This job has both taught me the importance of, and has allowed me to improve on, my communication skills. The work I do as House Manager provides me with the opportunity to interact with a variety of different people, both from the Bowdoin community and outside of it, which I truly enjoy.

How are these skills applicable to future work opportunities or you personally? 

I think that communication skills are important to have, regardless of the department you are a part of or the job sector you are interested in. In that sense, I think all of the skills I have received from this job are skills which are applicable not only to my work in the theater, but also to my everyday life and my future career prospects.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Getting to see the shows and work with everyone in the Department!

How did you find out about this job? (JobX, word of mouth, job fair, faculty referral, etc.)

Word of mouth and JobX.

What advice would you give to another student who is considering working on campus?  

Even if you’re nervous about it, just give it a try!

Lauren Elliott working

Lauren Elliott

Class of: 2020

Department / Office: Children's Center

Position: Classroom Support Staff

Lauren Elliott

How long have you held this job?

I've been working here since the Spring of my first year. 

Describe a typical day at work.  

I work several different shifts during the week, so my day looks different depending on when I'm working in the Pre-school Room. Typically I help the children get comfortable and fall asleep during nap time, and prepare snack. I also help get them dressed for going outside and sometimes help supervise outdoor play. In the afternoons I set up the classroom with activities like chopping fruit, drawing, and other hands-on projects. I tidy up; wash dishes, laundry, and making sure the room is inviting for the children to play, learn and have fun. As the job title suggests, I'm there to support the teachers with whatever they need. Regardless of what time I'm working, I get to interact with all the amazing kiddos who go there!

What skills have you gained or improved upon from this job?

I have definitely learned a lot about lesson planning, and educational philosophy. I've been exposed to a lot about education through play, the center's philosophy, and how that pans out in the classroom, outdoors, and the ways in which you interact with the children. It's also been helpful to be in an environment with many educators that I can learn from.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

The thing I love most about working at the Children's center has been watching the kids grow both physically and intellectually. It's always amazing to see how much they've matured after returning from winter or summer break. I find a lot of joy in getting to know each of the children!

How are these skills applicable to future work opportunities or you personally? 

I always had a feeling that I would want to go into education, but working at the Children's Center as really reassured me that working with kids is something I love! I would also say that working at the center has been beneficial for me personally in providing a space I feel connected to and comfortable within at Bowdoin. 

How did you find out about this job?

I did the First Year Job Placement the summer before coming to Bowdoin and got matched with the Children's Center! I am super lucky. 

What advice would you give to another student who is considering working on campus? 

I would encourage all Bowdoin students to work on campus for at least one semester while they're here.  It is such an amazing opportunity to meet people, discover new parts of campus, and add to your overall college experience.  Working at the Children's Center is one of my favorite things about being a Bowdoin Student. 

Ben York

Ben York

Class of: 2019

Department / Office: Bowdoin College Library

Position: Working with the Interlibrary Loan

Ben in the library

How long have you held this job?

Since Fall 2015

Describe a typical day at work.  

There is no typical day at Interlibrary LoanSometimes I come in and process requests from patrons, sometimes I retrieve books from the stacks to send to other libraries, and sometimes I train other students, and most often I work on the background processes that keep the department running smoothly.

What skills have you gained or improved upon from this job?
 
The skill that I’ve applied most outside of my job has been the ability to do library-based research: to find items and resources from the library and from other libraries. I’ve also learned how to send professional emails, and now feel quite comfortable with them.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I love the people that I work with, and I love the workflow of the library and how things fit together. 

How are these skills applicable to future work opportunities or you personally? 

I now get homework done must faster! I’ve become a very efficient worker!

How did you find out about this job?

I was originally recommended for a job at the library from someone at SAO, and when the library took me on, they thought that Interlibrary Loan would be the best fit. 

What advice would you give to another student who is considering working on campus?  

The staff of Bowdoin College are some of the nicest, most dedicated, and most hardworking people I’ve ever met. They’re great people to get to know.

Steven Upton

Steven Upton

Class of: 2020

Department / Office: Residental Life

Position: Head Proctor

Steven Upton

How long have you held this job?

1 year (3 years overall)

Describe a typical day at work.  

I have served in a number of different roles on ResLife and I have to say that there is no "typical day" on staff. Furthermore, there is no "right way" to be successful in ResLife as each member has their own unique approaches to the job. Head staff members have similar responsibilities to my previous position, however, we assume more leadership roles shaping the staff community and culture. Responsibilities include leading weekly meetings, offering social and educational programming for your residents, addressing trends and issues in your building and Duty Nights/being the Head on Call to name a few.

What skills have you gained or improved upon from this job?

I’ve become a better and more empathetic listener. I’ve also learned how to build a community and lead others. Reslife has also taught me to recognize when I need to ask for help.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I love being part of a unique and diverse community of campus leaders who really care about each other and making Bowdoin a better place. Also obviously getting to know my residents and helping them navigate their first-year at Bowdoin.

How are these skills applicable to future work opportunities or you personally? 

These "soft skills" will be useful in almost all future work opportunities and I am really thankful for the experience being on ResLife has afforded me.

How did you find out about this job?

My proctor and my first year dean.

What advice would you give to another student who is considering working on campus?  

Definitely take a job on campus!!! But be thoughtful about what job you choose, how many hours you are actually available to work and what you hope to gain from it. It is really rewarding to get to know campus staff on a more personal level through working with them.

Ian Stewart

Ian Stewart Ian Stewart

Class of: 2020

Department / Office: Theater and Dance

Position: Theater Technician

Ian Stewart

How long have you held this job?

Since my first semester at Bowdoin.

Describe a typical day at work.  

Work ranges from focusing lights to constructing sets to painting. On a typical day, I work with a couple other students and a boss on preparing for the next upcoming event or show. Students also have the opportunity to work shows and events outside the normal workweek. In addition to staffing student activities events in the theater, I have worked in many roles, including stage manager of department shows. This work often involves attending rehearsals and being involved with the production process from start to finish - a very fun and rewarding experience.

What skills have you gained or improved upon from this job?

I have learned many practical and technical skills at this job. I’ve gained carpentry and electrician skills, learned how to properly coil cables, and am now certified to operate a Genie lift. I am constantly learning new technical and applicable skills each day I’m at work, despite being in my third year as an employee. 

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Working with bosses who are eager to teach make the job both a fun and productive environment.  This job is one of the highlights of my week.  A good example of one of the highlights is the annual Easter egg hunt in the theater.

How are these skills applicable to future work opportunities or you personally? 

As a stage manager I’ve been heavily involved in logistics and management of production crews made up of both students and professionals, which has helped me learn to work well with teams. The carpentry and electrician skills are also widely applicable in life.

How did you find out about this job? (JobX, word of mouth, job fair, faculty referral, etc.)

My pre-major advisor in the Theater Department recommended this job to me at our first meeting during First Year orientation.

Ian Stewart

What advice would you give to another student who is considering working on campus?

Working on campus is a great way to meet new people with similar interests and learn new technical skills that may not be taught in a typical class environment. 
Aliya Jessa

Aliya Jessa

Class of: 2019

Department / Office: Café

Position: Student Worker and Manager

Aliya Jessa

How long have you held this job?

Since the second semester of my freshman year.  

Describe a typical day at work.  

I have to come in early to open, between 7:30 and 8:00 a.m., where I’ll start to brew the coffee and count the money that’s in the register. Usually it’s pretty slow until around 10:00, when there’s a huge student rush, and then it’s pretty steady throughout my shift. When I have to close, it’s a lot of cleaning up and counting the register again before heading out.

What skills have you gained or improved upon from this job?

Definitely thinking quickly and on your feet, having to improvise when there’s a crazy rush helped me develop that skill. Also, being more willing to start up conversations with strangers helps with communications skills like networking.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

The people and forming relationships with them. I worked other jobs on campus and that just wasn’t something that was important in those positions. I love working in the Café because there’s never a dull moment. I’m also lucky to have made really awesome friends through work and I don’t know if I could have done that in any other job on-campus.

How are these skills applicable to future work opportunities or you personally? 

Having strong people skills is super important for basically any career and working in the Café definitely helped me develop those. Also, being able to strike up a conversation helps with networking, which is key to making connections for future job opportunities.

How did you find out about this job? (JobX, word of mouth, job fair, faculty referral, etc.)

I was looking for a job and found this one through JobX!

What advice would you give to another student who is considering working on campus?  

Try working at the Cafe! It’s a great time; you’ll never get tired of it and you’ll meet the best people!

Coleman Brockmeier

Coleman Brockmeier

Class of: 2021

Department / Office: Bowdoin Outing Club

Position: Logistics Coordinator

Coleman Brockmeier

How long have you held this job?

Three months.

Describe a typical day at work.  

I work in the gear room checking inventory, reorganizing, cleaning, and repairing gear. I also spend time planning my approach to the summer and rethinking the orientation trip process in the fall.

What skills have you gained or improved upon from this job?

This job is really self-driven. I have to create a plan I can follow for the entire summer so that by the end of August when all the first-years arrive, everything goes smoothly. So my long-term planning and time management skills have improved, not to mention the "hard skills" I've continued to develop through gear repair.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I love being able to improve a space I spend a lot of time in and care a lot about in the BOC. I also want to make the BOC more open to everyone on campus, and I've been able to do small things in the gear room to do so.

How are these skills applicable to future work opportunities or you personally? 

I've been given an enormous amount of responsibility in this job. Future employers can see that I am able to drive a project to completion while also being detail oriented. Being my own boss shows maturity and a can-do mentality.

How did you find out about this job?

The Bowdoin Outing Club sends out an email to all members listing available jobs.

What advice would you give to another student who is considering working on campus?  

Don't be afraid to apply for everything you're interested in!

Lucia Gagliardone

Lucia Gagliardone

Class of: 2020

Department / Office: Music Library

Position: Library Assistant

Lucia Gagliardone

How long have you held this job?

I have worked as a music library assistant for approximately two years.

Describe a typical day at work.  

Working at Gibson, I greet and help library patrons, answer questions and help them find scores and other materials. The music library has a variety of items to check out which is cool, so people come in looking for anything from a score of music to a contemporary book about a music-related subject to CD's and DVD's about musicians. I also shelve these materials when they come in.

What skills have you gained or improved upon from this job? (For example: time management, computer skills, etc.)

I think customer service skills and the ability to engage with all types of library users is an important skill in virtually any job, especially because I want to work with people in my future.

How are these skills applicable to future work opportunities or you personally?

I think customer service skills and the ability to engage with all types of library users is an important skill in virtually any job, especially because I want to work with people in my future.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I enjoy talking to people! I learn something every time someone checks out a piece of music or a book.

How did you find out about this job? (JobX, word of mouth, job fair, faculty referral, etc.)

I was told by a friend that there was an opening, so I emailed the music librarian and asked!

What advice would you give to another student who is considering working on campus?

Working on campus is an excellent way to help financially sustain your semester while also having the flexibility to navigate your school work and be in a dialogue with your boss regarding your work responsibilities and your school responsibilities. My advice would be to go for it! Also make sure you save yourself a day or two to not work; I find that working long shifts is much more satisfying and good for my health than working many short shifts through the week.

Beatrice Cabrera

Beatrice Cabrera

Class of: 2020

Department / Office: Media Commons

Position: Assistant

Beatrice Cabrera

How long have you held this job?

I have worked in the Media Commons since my first year. I am going on three years!

Describe a typical day at work.

A typical day involves talking to students and professors about films for classes, finding DVDs for class viewing, greeting patrons, and helping troubleshoot techie stuff.

What skills have you gained or improved upon from this job?

I have discovered some amazing resources we have available to us as Bowdoin students such as all Adobe applications, Kanopy, Wall Street Journal and others. I have learned to be resourceful and be a smiling face in the dark basement of the library.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Being able to continue to legacy of the Bowdoin hello! Just a quick smile or a 'Good Morning,' really brightens people's mood.

How are these skills applicable to future work opportunities or you personally?

I have learned skills in how to be organized and personable. Most importantly, at the Media Commons there is an emphasis on accountability if you misshelve something that makes someone else life harder, so do it right the first time.

How did you find out about this job? 

I first discovered the Media Commons through the First Year Job Placement.

What advice would you give to another student who is considering working on campus?

Do it, it's a great way to be involved on the campus and you learn about the inner workings of the community we are all a part of at Bowdoin.

Elly Veloria

Elly Veloria

Class of: 2020

Department / Office: Career Exploration Development (CXD)

Position: Peer Advisor

Elly Veloria

How long have you held this job?

I started working at CXD last fall, but I started my position as a Peer Advisor this year in September! 

Describe a typical day at work.  

I show up either in the CXD office or in Smith Union, set up my table, and put on my name tag. Throughout my shift, students show up to ask questions or get a résumé/cover letter review. This Thursday is special though - we're throwing a Halloween celebration called "Don't Get Spooked by Your Future!" Come hang out in the CXD, learn about our resources, and enjoy some treats. Every day at CXD is different - I go from recording video voiceovers to tabling in Smith to meeting with my coworkers to plan our future events. 

What skills have you gained or improved upon from this job?

This job has really supported my writing and rhetoric skills, as well as my ability to work with people, create a welcoming environment, and facilitate skill development for my peers. 

How are these skills applicable to future work opportunities or you personally?

I study Anthropology and Africana Studies, so writing is a very important skill that I hope to use in my post-grad journey! Through my work, I've identified that working with people is important to me, and that I like planning and executing events. As I explore potential job routes, I'm grateful that I've had this experience as a Peer Advisor. 

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I'm lucky to work with a great group of people at CXD, and to receive support and professional development on the job! I really enjoy working with people, and it feels great to support students. 

How did you find out about this job? (JobX, word of mouth, job fair, faculty referral, etc.)

I found out about this job when I was abroad. Since I wanted to continue working at CXD, I heard about the development of this new position, and applied on JobX. 

What advice would you give to another student who is considering working on campus?

Working on campus offers you so much: the chance to familiarize yourself with departments and resources around campus, the opportunity to meet new people, a sense of independence, and skill development. I've worked on campus all four years, and all the jobs I've had contribute to my current job search as a senior.