Student Employee Profile: Alexa Frisch
As if studying, homework and extracurricular activities aren't enough, some students add a campus job to their balancing act.
Many academic departments, offices and services around campus benefit from the work of student employees and in return provide hands-on experience that extends beyond the classroom setting.
In this occasional Lo Que Pasa series, we'll profile student employees to find out how working for the University contributes to their college experience.
This week, meet Alexa Frisch, a junior in the College of Public Health and a student employee at the THINK TANK, which offers academic support services such as tutoring, coaching and workshops.
Name: Alexa Frisch
Hometown: Oak Park, California
Campus Job: desk assistant at the THINK TANK
Major/Year: public health junior
What do you do as a desk assistant at the THINK TANK?
I sign everyone in and out. I tell the computer system what class each person is in and why they are at the THINK TANK. I manage how many people go to one tutor; we have a tutor-to-student ratio so that neither the tutors or students are overwhelmed and get upset. I also sign people in for our learning specialists and for one-on-one appointments. And I answer the phone if anyone calls in or has any questions about the THINK TANK. The THINK TANK has a lot of services, so I help people navigate which is which.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I like seeing all of the students and meeting all of the tutors. Also, getting to learn about all of the services. I utilize them more now because I know what they are. When I was in Spanish freshman year I would go for Spanish tutoring, but I didn't really know there was anything else. But now I go for writing help almost twice a week.
What skills have you gained that will help you in your future career?
Communication and leadership skills. I've also learned a lot of computer skills. I've learned phone etiquette, and how to organize a bunch of different titles by being a liaison between the student, the tutor, the tutor coordinator, my personal boss, and even my fellow desk assistant, if I have one. Specifically, communication will help me in public health if I want to work with a bunch of different populations and sub-populations because there might be a lot of communication between the people that I'd be helping, like the locals and other public health workers. And, if I work with policies or with the government, or if I advise people, I'll have to be able to communicate different medical and government jargon to different people.
I currently have an internship where I'm helping write this book with a doctor about debunking nutrition myths and promoting Amla, an Indian gooseberry, and I need amazing communication skills because I'm basically taking nutrition jargon and breaking it down for the book's audience – for example, what metabolism is and how it works in your body.
How does your work at the THINK TANK impact other students?
The THINK TANK helps other students because it's a tutoring center, so it creates a more confident student body when they go to take tests, or if it's their first year of college and they need to learn how to study. Personally, because I work there I talk about it more. For example, I told my friend about our learning specialists because she had study skill issues. Learning specialists talk to you about your goals and how to conquer them. Not just in school ... it's also employment related. So, because she had these study skill problems, she talked to them about strengthening those skills, which has helped her.
How has your work at the THINK TANK contributed to your college experience?
I've met a lot of people through it, and it gives me something to do, which brings more to my day. And it is fun meeting everyone. I'm keeping the job next year and I've already done it for two semesters.
What is your favorite memory about working at the THINK TANK?
I don't really have a particular favorite memory. But I know a lot of students' names now so sometimes I freak people out by knowing their names because they come in every day – which is kind of funny. I've made friends through it.