Student Employee Profile: Lindsey Otto
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 outside the classroom setting.
In this occasional Lo Que Pasa series, we profile student employees to find out how working for the University contributes to their college experience.
This week, meet Lindsey Otto, a senior majoring in communication with a minor in French. Otto, from Fairfax Station, Virginia, is a digital content assistant at Thrive Center, a unit of Student Success and Retention Innovation dedicated to the success of all undergraduates.
The center's programs include Arizona Assurance, which provides financial and support services to low-income students in Arizona, First Cats, for first-generation college students, and the New Start Summer Program, which gives students a head start on key prerequisites and a feel for the campus before the school year begins.
Why did you want to work as Thrive Center's digital content assistant?
I have done a lot of social media work in the past with my internships, so it is something that has always interested me – marketing and things like that. I was looking for a job on campus and I really like it (here) because I can get experience that will help me in my career. I want to go into marketing. Also, I can learn about the resources that we have on campus and get engaged. It has become a big community here, so it has been really fun.
What do you do in that role?
There are three of us and my job mainly is to focus on social media. I helped them redesign their whole social media strategy. Most days I will just be working on scheduling Twitter posts, Instagram, Facebook and things like that. I also work on staying engaged with our audience and informing them of events, workshops or information about the programs that we have here. Other than that, I help out with designing flyers for workshops and events. I can have a bunch of different responsibilities depending on the day, which is exciting. But mainly, I was hired to do social media.
Of all your responsibilities in this position, which ones are your favorite and why?
Running the Twitter account is probably the most fun because I use it to announce the events, workshops and things that we are doing, but I also use it to inform our audience of all of our programs and educate them on things that they may not know. Usually, people don't really know about the Thrive Center when I tell people that I work here. I think it is really important to educate our audience that there are so many resources available to them that they don't even know about.
How does your work impact others at the University?
We are here to help students and give them the resources that they need to succeed and thrive. My work just brings awareness to that mostly. It brings those students in and allows them to get the help, assistance or whatever they need.
Is there a favorite memory you have from your time at Thrive Center?
I haven't been here for too long but probably the Fall Harvest that we had. It is this big Thanksgiving meal that we host for any students on campus and whoever wants to attend. A bunch of people bring in food and it is a big potluck. We always have a big turnout, so many students came, and this place was full of people just eating, talking and getting to know each other. That was the coolest thing to see, the whole community come together like that.
How has this job impacted your college experience?
I would say being here, even though I am a senior and I am leaving soon, it is so much easier to see the sense of community that is at the UA. I am able to see the value of connecting to others and connecting to that community here. There are so many people here that just want to help you, see you succeed, and thrive. That is the goal of it all and it has just been really valuable for my overall college experience to see that if you are looking for it, people will help you, be there for you, and want you to succeed.
What have you learned as a communication student that has helped you in this position?
I would say a lot. A lot of my classes are about not only a variety of different communication aspects – interpersonal communication, social media, public relations and stuff like that. So, all the classes that I have taken have applied to this job and helped me perform my responsibilities more effectively. My major has helped me understand how to communicate with others and the most effective ways to do so.
What are your career plans after college?
I am looking into doing marketing and communications for a book publishing company. I am very excited about that.
What skills have you gained from this position that you will use in your future career?
I guess just that sense of community and the ability to cultivate a community through connecting with people. Through my work, I have seen that there is so much value to that and how important it is. I think that is something that I am easily going to carry with me into my career and into my life as well.
Devyn Edelstein, a senior majoring in broadcast journalism and e-society, is a student employee in the Office of University Communications.
If you know a student employee with an interesting campus job, let us know by sending an email to email@example.com.