Diego Z., a senior Biophysics major, has been working at the Milton S. Eisenhower Library’s Circulation Desk since the beginning of his sophomore year. He started off as a Circulation Desk assistant, and was promoted after three semesters to be a Student Supervisor. Here’s what he had to say about his experience:
Emily H.: As a Student Supervisor, what responsibilities do you have?
Diego Z.: I am tasked with the duties of a circulation desk assistant in addition to administrative duties. These tasks vary from dealing with patron requests (check-in/out and holds), helping patrons with fines and membership dues, facilitating book requests, sending out library notices to patrons, creating online versions of Reserve texts, using the BorrowDirect system to facilitate loans between other university libraries, and answering just about anything else that a patron has a concern about.
EH: How did you find your original position?
DZ: I knew I wanted to work somewhere in the library. I thought it would be a convenient location and a welcoming environment, and I also just wanted to look at books a lot. Once I had adjusted to Hopkins and felt ready to work on top of my academics, I applied for a job at the Circulation Desk.
EH: What kinds of skills have you picked up from this position?
DZ: Working at the MSE Library helped me expand my customer service skills, especially to a different type of clientele than I was used to at my first job working at a Disney World restaurant. It was my first exposure to the 9am to 5pm workplace, which required a different attitude than the 2pm to 12am tourist environment.
Additionally, working while being a full-time student is very difficult, so it’s definitely helped improve my time-management abilities. Also, I’ve spent so much time in the stacks that I’ve become an expert book finder.
EH: Does this position relate to your academic or professional interests, or has it reshaped them in any way?
DZ: I think the beneficial part of this job is that it does not have a direct relation to my future career. I believe that you need to learn a little from a lot of sources to really grasp the meaning of a concept. I aspire to become a surgeon, which has very little to do with the library environment when it comes to technical knowledge, but the things that this job has taught me are evident in my character. Customer service, in general, shows you that by serving other people you have the potential to make things better, as long as you are willing to serve.
A patron may come up to your worried that the one book that will help them finish their thesis isn’t in the library stacks; this is analogous to a client requesting an architect for a new design or a patient awaiting diagnosis from a doctor. All of these situations have the potential for a good outcome, it depends now on the service provided. Your understanding of service wouldn’t be complete if you haven’t served in a variety of places.
EH: What advice would you give to a student who is thinking of applying for a campus job?
DZ: Do it! Not only will it give you a small introduction to what the real world is like, but it will also help you develop as a person, in all aspects of character and attitude.
Think Diego’s job sounds cool? The MSE Library is hiring, so hop on the Job Search Portal to send in an application today!