Thank a student staff member today!

April 10, 2024

Do you work with student staff? If so, when was the last time you gave them a shoutout for work well done? It’s National Student Employment Week, a time to recognize student employees' valuable contributions to our colleges and universities. Observed annually during the second week in April, this celebration isn’t just about thanking students for their hard work, but also about raising awareness of the important skills and experience they gain through these positions, which can benefit them academically and professionally in the long run. Across One IT, we appreciate our students all year long and recognize their important role at UC Berkeley in helping support the technical services we provide to the campus. Take a moment now to thank our student employees

Meet Our Student Team Members

I sat down with a few of the students who help our departments run smoothly. We talked about their majors, job responsibilities, their proudest moments or what their most passionate about, and what they’ve learned being part of a larger team.

Chaerin L. | Student Helpdesk Supervisor | Student Affairs IT 

Chaerin L., Student Helpdesk Supervisor at UC Berkeley

  • Major: Computer Science and Data Science

  • Job responsibilities: I coach a team of 10-13 Student Helpdesk Consultants (STCs) to ensure that they are providing the best service to students all over campus. 

  • Work accomplishment you’re most proud or passionate about: I worked with my supervisor, Clark Bilorusky, to develop the training module for new Student Help Desk supervisors. That project was really fun and empowering. Clark and I broke down my experience during my first semester as a supervisor. I was a first-time supervisor and doubted myself a lot. Developing the training module for the other supervisors helped me analyze my mistakes and think about the advice that I could pass on to other supervisors. I’m happy to know that I helped new supervisors not have to go through the same thing.

  • Things you’ve learned as a student employee:  This position is really special because they treat you like a regular employee, while not disregarding the fact that you are also a student. The people in the Student Affairs IT (SAIT) department value your opinion and support you inside and outside of work, including through the academic stress you experience as a student. Building these great relationships with my co-workers and supervisor was invaluable to me, especially because it’s a very diverse workplace. I’m an international student, so my ideals would sometimes be different from other peoples’ ideals. My work as a student employee helped me not just learn to share and express my perspective but also helped me open up and be flexible to other peoples’ perspectives. 

  • What makes the work meaningful: Seeing how the work creates change. It could be small changes, like an edited sentence in documentation, or larger changes, like training modules that impact other students. It’s very exciting to see the outcomes of your positions and choices. Even if those outcomes are unsatisfactory or disappointing, they ultimately make you strive for better, because those outcomes are very tangible. You’re actually touching other people's lives, so that’s one thing we have to be mindful of. 
  • Why it's valuable to have students on our IT teams: Having a student’s perspective is important because those are the people we serve and support. If we’re ultimately trying to help those students, then we must always include them in our decision-making and modeling processes. It’s also very important to get the staff's perspective because you want someone with a little more knowledge and experience to give their insight on things. I’ve had a lot of help from my supervisor that way. He’s helped me broaden my perspective and consider the various parties involved in our decision-making
  • How this experience has shaped your future plans and aspirations: It shaped me as an employee because I learned a lot of workplace values, that I didn’t know about before I jumped into this job - including understanding different perspectives, respect and what that looks like between an employee and supervisor, and inclusivity (just to name a few). It shaped my values as an employee and continues to shape them now that I’ve become a supervisor. It also shaped me as a student and as a person. My team and supervisor have given me so much wonderful advice, and I’m thankful we’ve built such meaningful connections.

Laksh B. | Quality Assurance Assistant | Campus Applications & Data 

Laksh B., student intern on the QA Team at UC Berkeley

  • Major: Computer Science

  • Job responsibilities: I manage a lot of the automation framework - which involves a lot of coding, coming up with automation, and testing environments for Cal Central. I’ve also written a lot of scripts to speed up our process. 

  • Work accomplishment you’re most proud or passionate about: Probably the scripts. Earlier when I joined it used to take us almost a full day to get a test cycle through our team, which involved a lot of manual testing. Over time we were able to fix a lot of those automated tests using the framework we have. On top of that, I wrote a script to speed that up. So now we get to do our testing module by module, which has sped up the process - instead of taking a full day, now we can do it in half a day. 

  • Things you’ve learned as a student employee:  Coming up with new ways to solve problems. With the scripts, we were determined to speed the process up. We didn’t want to sit and test everything manually for Cal Central. It’s a big application and there’s a lot of things to test. Thinking about how we could speed that process up was fun, and something that I built on. 

  • What makes the work meaningful: If you’re going to Berkeley, you’re going to use Cal Central. Working on a product that professors, students, and everyone uses - I think that’s the meaningful part of the job. 
  • Why it's valuable to have students on our IT teams: It gives students the chance to explore the career area and grow their professional development skills, and it gives Berkeley the chance to get the student perspective. So there are positives on both sides. 
  • How this experience has shaped your future plans and aspirations:  I was always interested in Computer Science, and I think it helped me grow those skills more. I still like the Computer Science area and I will continue working in this field, in some way or form. 

Megan S. | Communications Assistant | Berkeley IT

Megan S., Communications Assistant for Berkeley IT

  • Major: Media Studies; minor in Creative Writing

  • Job responsibilities: Communicating Berkeley IT events and information to colleagues via social media (Slack, Twitter & Linkedin). Take photos, write articles, and assist with One IT and Berkeley IT events when necessary. 

  • Work accomplishment you’re most proud or passionate about:Probably the most recent project I’ve worked on - an article for the Student to Staff Series, an interview with Finley Golightly from Berkeley D-Lab. This was an intimidating project because I’ve never really interviewed anyone for an article before. But under the mentorship of my supervisor, Jeané Blunt, it was a great learning process. It allowed me to step outside of my comfort zone and get into the groove of writing and communication

  • Things you’ve learned as a student employee: I’ve learned the importance of time management, especially as a student worker. It’s something you have to be diligent about because you have to plan your schedule ahead of time, and not do things impromptu or at 1the last minute. 

  • What makes the work meaningful: It’s meaningful to me because it helps me stay on top of the latest tech news, especially regarding ethics and morality with technology and the new developments with AI. It means a lot to be in a space where I have the resources to learn more about it. As someone who wants to go into a technology field, it’s helpful to learn how these developments will affect my generation and the generations that follow. 
  • Why it's valuable to have students on our IT teams: It’s an invaluable opportunity for students because we get to work with full-time employees and build on-the-job professional development skills. Having a job while being a student is different than just having a job during break. You learn about the art and importance of balancing school and work. Having students in the workplace is also beneficial for full-time employees because it offers them a way to teach students while also getting the student's perspective. So it’s like a trade-off of skillsets and mindsets, and each generation can learn from each other.
  • How this experience has shaped your future plans and aspirations: My previous work experience was in marketing and I always thought marketing was what I wanted to do. When I took this communications job, I thought it would be similar to marketing. There are similarities, but there are also major differences. I learned that marketing is more about the external, while communications is more about the internal. This position has shown me how businesses need both to operate and how they work with each other. So it’s given me a bit more guidance of what I want to do in the future and in what field. 

Karen A. | Security Operations Assistant | Information Security Office

Karen A., Helpdesk Analyst for ISO at UC Berkeley

  • Major:  Data Science with an emphasis in Mathematics. 

  • Job responsibilities:  Communicates with users regarding UC Berkeley devices, and ensures that we’re maintaining the security (and cybersecurity) of the university. 

  • Work accomplishment you’re most proud or passionate about: Learning and understanding the latest technologies and implications of our vulnerabilities here on campus, and how important it is to ensure the safety of our users. After hearing about the hack a couple of years ago, I wanted to be proactive and make sure my community, here on campus, was safe. Being involved in that is very rewarding to me. 

  • Things you’ve learned as a student employee: I learned what a great team looks like, which is inclusive and open to new ideas where everyone feels heard and seen. I was always invited to the meetings, asked for my input, and included on projects. That made me feel included on the team and it taught me what a great team looks like - before even entering the industry. 

  • What makes the work meaningful: The profound impact our work has on the safety and security of our digital community. The ability to protect my fellow students and ensure their personal information remains secure resonates deeply with me. It's more than a responsibility; it's a calling to contribute to a safer digital environment where education and personal growth aren't overshadowed by threats and vulnerabilities. It's about building a legacy of resilience and awareness within our digital landscape, ensuring that we can all navigate it with confidence and security.
  • Why it's valuable to have students on our IT teams: A significant portion of our device users consists of both faculty and staff, but a large number are students as well. As students ourselves, we naturally bring a unique and highly relevant perspective to the table. This insider view allows us to identify and address issues that may not be immediately apparent to those outside our demographic. Additionally, including students on IT teams provides a vital opportunity for us to explore the IT industry, an area many of us are keenly interested in. This hands-on experience is not only beneficial for our professional growth but also ensures that the IT services provided are closely aligned with the actual needs and challenges of the student body. It’s a symbiotic relationship where students can apply and expand their technical skills in a real-world context, while the IT department benefits from insights that can only come from those who are immersed in the student experience every day.  
  • How this experience has shaped your future plans and aspirations: My work experience at the Security Operations Center, Berkeley has significantly shaped my perspective on cybersecurity. Immersed in an environment frequently targeted due to its prestige, I've gained a unique understanding of the complexities involved in protecting educational institutions. This exposure has broadened my view of cybersecurity's critical role within education.