By Mary Nussbaumer
Welcome to the Job Feature Series, a weekly column highlighting student workers around campus. If you work a little-known job on campus, have horror stories from a difficult shift, or single-handedly keep the school running, contact Mary at firstname.lastname@example.org. Note that this interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Gracia Seeley ’22 is a political science and environmental studies double major. Aside from working at the Innovation Center, she is a part of JStreet U, Planned Parenthood Generation Action Group, and several intramural sports teams. If she is not at work, she is probably working with clay in the pottery studio.
MN: Why did you choose to work at the Innovation Center?
GS: I spent a ton of time at the Innovation Center last year doing independent projects, learning about the laser cutter, and participating in Creative Mondays. When I heard about the job, it seemed like the perfect way to get more involved with a space and a mission that I care so much about.
MN: What does a typical shift look like?
GS: It is super chill. We recently changed the schedule, so shifts are two hours long instead of three, so I get there and do any housekeeping tasks that need to be done – typically cleaning, organizing, or reconfiguring the space – and then I do my homework. I am there to supervise and help out students with anything they may need.
MN: What is the time commitment for this job?
GS: Usually four to five shifts a block and some extra time for various tasks like hanging posters or planning events. It’s not that much time; in fact, I’d probably prefer more hours.
MN: What is your staff like? Are you close as a group?
GS: I really love the staff. We are pretty close even though we don’t work together during our shifts. We all have really different personalities and passions, so whenever we get together for meetings, it’s fun to hear everyone’s ideas.
MN: What is your favorite part of the job?
GS: I love spending time in the space itself. It feels kind of like a home, and I like representing Innovation as a student worker. I really support the mission of Innovation and I am proud to spread it.
MN: What is your least favorite part?
GS: I don’t have many complaints about this job. One of the hard parts is that I don’t always know the answers to questions that students ask me. During my shifts, I let people in to use the laser cutter and sometimes they will be seasoned pros asking super complicated questions about Adobe Illustrator or the mechanics of the laser cutter, and I can’t even pretend that I know the answer.
MN: Is it hard to balance this job with all your involvements?
GS: I always try to make time for the things that I care about the most. Since I really do love this job, I always make it work, even if it means leaving another commitment early or rescheduling things so that I can make it to my shift on time.
MN: Do you have any good stories from this job?
GS: There seems to be an ongoing battle between the staff about who can create the most efficient route around campus for hanging up posters. Seth, our boss, thinks it’s impossible to find a perfect route, but I think we can do it.