Meet DMC Veteran Giovanna M

Giovanna is a junior double-majoring in Writing Seminars and Film. She is currently in her fourth year of work at the Digital Media Center (DMC).


Giovanna is a junior double-majoring in Writing Seminars and Film & Media Studies. She is currently in her third year of work at the Digital Media Center (DMC).

Claudia G.: How did you get involved in student employment?

Giovanna M.: I started working at the DMC my freshman Fall. I went to the Student Job Fair which was was how I found out about the position. I’ve been working there since!

C.G.: Are you on work study?

G.M.: I am on work study, but you don’t need it to work at the DMC.

C.G.: What was your first job at the DMC?

G.M.: I’ve had the same job throughout the years, but the way the DMC works is you get slightly promoted as you go on based on the skills you develop. You start out you work at the front desk so that you can learn the ropes, but you get pay increments if you improve in certain skills that could potentially help patrons. They have different areas of focus. I came in knowing a lot about photography and video, but you have to complete special projects to prove those skills. The more advanced you get in those skills the more you get paid.

C.G.: Do you have to take tests along the way to earn those pay raises?

G.M.: You don’t do tests! The DMC has pro-staffers that are heads of each area, so if you have an area that you think you can go to the next level in, you just show them a project that demonstrates you know those skills.

C.G.: Do you feel like student employment has helped you in terms of your career?

G.M.: I think so! This job really helps me a lot for internships that I’ve done. The past summer I was working at the ACLU as a multi-media intern and since I do a lot of video editing for special projects for the DMC it really helped. This semester I’ve actually transitioned into doing just special projects because it works better with my schedule. We have a lot of videos that we make for patrons when they’re learning new equipment, so I help with that. Now that’s a specific skill that I put on my resume.

C.G.: What’s the most beneficial thing you’ve gotten out of student employment?

G.M.: I think working at the DMC specifically is nice because it is both a job and a community. The point of the job is to help you advance certain skills on your own, because they encourage you to level up in those skills. While you’re working at the front desk helping patrons come in and check out equipment, you’re also learning about the equipment and getting concrete skills. They’ll encourage you to learn Photoshop or InDesign or how to use the audio studio and they’re all skills that are beneficial.

Meet Isadora S. from Evergreen Museum and BIT Training

With two jobs, how does she manage her time?

Isadora S. is a junior majoring in International Studies and Sociology with a minor in Women, Gender, and Sexuality.

Claudia G.: What is your job on campus? 

Isadora S.: I’m a BIT [Bystander Intervention Training] trainer which is mandatory gender violence training for incoming freshmen and other groups. I lead these sessions through CHEW which is the Center for Health Education and Wellness. They’re two to two-and-a-half hour sessions where we go over consent and other tools for being a bystander. I’m also a student docent at Evergreen Museum and Gallery which is a Hopkins-owned museum on Loyola University’s campus. It’s an old mansion that one of the founders of the B&O Railroad owned. Now it has all these really amazing art collections! There’s a Picasso, a Degas; it’s so cool!

C.G.: That’s awesome! How long have you worked there?

I.S.: I was actually just hired there this year, so I’m still learning. I’ll be giving tours soon which are an hour to an hour and a half. There are over 48 rooms in the house, it’s huge mansion!

C.G.: How have your jobs on campus helped you shape your college experience? 

I.S.: My jobs on campus aren’t very tailored around what I hope to do after college, but they have been a great way to express my personal interests. BIT training is very in line with by beliefs as a person, so it has made working a great extension of the things I’m passionate about.

C.G.: What’s your favorite part of being a student employee?

I.S.: Very materialistically: money! But I love being able to teach students really applicable information that is going to help them through college and campus life. I also love the museum and how it’s become a part of my weekly routine. Every Sunday I take the bus to Loyola and it’s so beautiful! I love being surrounded by beautiful artwork.

C.G.: Has working on campus helped you balance your school work, or does it make it more difficult since you’re so busy? 

I.S.: Having a busy schedule has really helped my time management skills. I do better with my classes because I’m more focused on making it work. For me, I work six hours on Sundays, so I know I won’t be able to do much else. I’ve learned to adapt to this, though, and generally have gotten really good at sticking to my schedule.

C.G.: What’s been the hardest part of working on campus? 

I.S.: Freshman year I had a really early morning shift at the Rec Center! I had to be there at 7:00AM, and I am not a morning person. Thankfully BIT training is later in the day, so I’ve shifted to a job that works better for me!

C.G.: How did you find your jobs?

I.S.: I got my jobs through a few different outlets. Firstly, I used the Student Employment Services job portal. I got my BIT training job through CHEW, and I got my Evergreen Museum job at the Student Employment Services Job Fair. I met with the woman who does hiring for the museum here on campus and I never thought I’d end up being a docent! But I love it and I’m so glad it worked out that way.

Meet Lily M. from Chemical Engineering Today

Has your TA ever made you ice cream?

Lily M. is a Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering junior who is currently in her second year of being the Teaching Assistant for Chemical Engineering Today. This course is a required course for all freshman Chem BE majors, as it explores career paths after Chem BE and invites guest lecturers to provide students with advice and guidance. Find out what Lily had to say about her job as a TA:

Claudia G.: What was the coolest thing you’ve done on the job? 

Lily M.: I make liquid nitrogen ice cream for the students on the first day. It’s always great once it works.

C.G.: Has it ever not worked? 

L.M.: The first year I did it it didn’t. It was really embarrassing, but I made up for it the next week! And this year it worked perfectly and everyone loves it.

C.G.: That sounds so fun! What flavor ice cream do you make?

L.M.: Just vanilla, but we give them a bunch of toppings to choose from!

C.G.: What’s the hardest part about being a TA? 

L.M.: The hardest part is working with and organizing all the professionals to come in. Sometimes they won’t respond to me because they know I’m a student, so they unfortunately think it’s okay to just ignore me.

C.G.: Are you responsible for scheduling every single speaker that comes in throughout the semester? 

L.M.: Yes! My job is very responsibility-heavy, and the professor actually relies on me to have all the classes planned.

C.G.: How are the classes structured? Are they led by the professor? 

L.M.: Since there’s a guest speaker every single week, the professor introduces them and then they share their insight on the field. The speaker does the whole class.

C.G.: What is the hardest part about balancing work and school? 

L.M.: Honestly it hasn’t been that hard once I finished scheduling all the speakers. The most difficult part of my job was really concentrated towards the end of the summer and beginning of the semester. It’s hard to make sure everyone that’s scheduled actually comes in and I’m constantly communicating with them during the year.

C.G.:  Would you recommend being a student employee to other students? 

L.M.: Yes! I think it’s wonderful because I’ve gotten really close with the professor that I work for. That has led me to having recommendations from her. It also helps me with my leadership skills because sometimes I have to run the classes. It also looks great on a resume, and I get paid!

Meet Lifeguard Julia P.

Writing Seminars major with a passion for swimming.

Julia P. is a junior majoring in Writing Seminars and double minoring in Marketing & Communications and Museums & Society. She is currently a lifeguard at the recreation center. Here’s what she has to say about her job:

Claudia G.: What training did you have to go through to get this job? 

Julia P.: Prior to getting to campus, I was lifeguard, AED, and CPR certified through a Red Cross program by my house. On campus, lifeguards are required to attend 3 in-services where we practice skills and discuss protocol.

CG: What does a normal day on the job look like for you?

JP: I get to work 15 minutes early to set up the pool. I normally work morning shifts so I open the days I work. Every 30 minutes throughout my 2 hour shift the lifeguards switch. Whoever isn’t sitting on the chair can do homework. Then after the last patron leaves, I clean up and close up.

CG: Have you ever had to actually save someone?

JP: Nope. However, our manager Morgan always says it is not if but it’s when something will happen. That is why we have the 3 required in-services, in order to make sure we are ready whenever something happens.

CG: How do you balance work and school?

JP: Luckily, I have one hour each shift I work to do some homework. I think it is the only job on campus where you can get paid and do homework.

CG: What’s your favorite part about both working on campus and your job specifically?

JP: I like working on campus because it introduced me to a whole different side of the administration and campus. I like my job because I get to interact with patrons who love to swim just like me.

CG: What advice do you have for new student employees?

Getting a job on campus through Student Employment Services is a great opportunity to expand you resume and skill set. Make sure you don’t take the opportunity lightly. If you work hard, it will pay off.

Meet Kela M. From the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering!

How does working on campus shape your time as a student?

Guest post by Alexandra Bessette. 


This week I chatted with Kela M, the office assistant for the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering! This pioneering research facility incorporates diverse disciplines to “discover, disseminate and apply new knowledge critical to understanding and mitigating the impact of the natural, built and social environments on human health.”

Johns Hopkins Environmental Health and Engineering,



Alex B.: How did you get started working in the office of Environmental Health and Engineering?

Kela M.: I applied for the position through the Job Search portal on the JHU Student Employment Services website. I was then asked to interview and got an email an hour after the initial interview offering me the position!


AB: What are your job responsibilities?

KM: I assist in the daily organization and filing of all projects and department data to ensure that the Senior Academic Coordinator (aka: my boss) has accurate records. I also perform administrative duties, such as communicating with the public telephonically, sending informative emails to the student body, and helping plan and facilitate department wide social events.


AB: What skills have you gained from this position?

KM: I’ve gained some obvious skills, like learning how to e-file, becoming comfortable with spreadsheets and spreadsheet data, and communicating with people both on the phone and in person, as well as some unexpected skills, like the best way to put tablecloths on a table so they look fancier, how to create 300 nametags in under an hour, and how to make copies in the most efficient way, including stapling and loading fancy paper.


AB: How does your experience in this position relate back to your academic interests and future goals?

KM: My experiences in this position have actually been great because when I first got the job, I had no idea what I wanted to do post-graduation, but I also was not giving it a lot of thought. Now, since I am immersed in a very motivated atmosphere every time I walk into the department, I have started thinking more seriously about my plans for graduate school, and even realize how much I enjoy working on a college campus around students. I’m not sure where this is going to take me yet, but at least I’m thinking more seriously than I was before!


AB: How has working shaped your Hopkins experience?

KM: Working has benefitted me so much since I have been at Hopkins, because not only have my hours given me a structure for doing homework, both when I have time at work, and before and after my shift, but I have also been able to afford most of my own expenses since I have been at school, such as textbooks, groceries, dinners with my friends, and just the general cost of living.


AB: How do you think your experience in this position will help you after you leave Hopkins?

KM: After I leave Hopkins, I am happy that I will be able to say that I have experience doing clerical and office work, and will have multiple points of contact, both from faculty and staff, for professional and personal references in the future.


AB: Do you have any advice for job-seeking students or younger student employees?

KM: My best advice would probably be to take advantage of any opportunity that your student employment offers you, such as networking with faculty, staff, and students, working extra summer or winter hours, or having opportunities to study and do homework, because the more you make yourself comfortable in your position, the happier you will be about having that position, and the better your experience will be!

Meet Dana S. from Campus Safety and Security

If you’ve ever called Lost & Found, you may know her already!

Dana is a senior majoring in Sociology with a minor in Marketing and Communications. She currently works at the Lost and Found Office within Campus Safety and Security. In the Spring of 2017, she was nominated for Student Employee of the Year. We chatted about balancing work and school and how she feels about her job on campus.

Claudia G.: How long have you been in this position? 

Dana S.: I started my position in the summer after my freshman year so I have been working with Campus Safety and Security for about two and a half years now. I was looking for a summer job on campus and I came across the position on Hopkins Student Employment Services online job search database.

CG: What does a normal day look like for you?

Dana S.: Most days I help manage the lost and found system by logging in recovered items into our database, contacting their owners if possible, recording returned items, and generally organizing our collection. I also answer calls from students and employees of Hopkins inquiring about lost items.

(Side note: It’s true! I’ve called about a lost sweater and she answered!)

CG: How do you balance work and school? 

Dana S.: I am lucky enough to have a position that allows me time to do schoolwork. However, when the office is busy I have to make sure that I allot time outside the office where I will concentrate completely on schoolwork.

CG: What’s your favorite part about working on campus?  

Dana S.: I have really enjoyed the people I work with in my office. Everyone is so friendly and they genuinely want to hear about my life. I have made both friends and mentors in my time at the Campus Safety and Security. Everyone in the office has a great sense of humor and they always know how to brighten my day. It has been a great way to make money, develop skills, form relationships, and be a part of something on campus. Taking on this job has been one of the best decisions I made in my time at Hopkins.

CG: What advice do you have for new student employees?

Dana S.: I would tell new student employees to make sure that they do not try to take as many hours as they can to make as much money as possible without considering the time they need for schoolwork. Sometimes I have taken on too much and needed to scale back my hours and there is nothing wrong with that. JHU student employers are extremely understanding and you should not be afraid to approach them with concerns.

Meet Karl J. from the Retrovirus Lab at JHMI

Hopkins students have the opportunity to help out with all kinds of groundbreaking research! I chatted with Karl J., a research assistant in the Retrovirus Lab, a research group that works out of the department of Molecular and Comparative Pathobiology at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

Emily H.: How did you get started working on this research?

Karl J.: During the fall of my sophomore year, I simply sent out a number of emails to different faculty at Hopkins doing research in immunology asking if they had room for an undergraduate research assistant, most of whom were at the medical campus. Fortunately I was referred to Dr. Pate, my current PI (principal investigator, aka the person leading the research), by one of the individuals I emailed. We quickly set up a meeting to talk about my interests and background after which she agreed to take me on!

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