Find out what it’s like working in one of the most important student staff roles here at ARU Students’ Union first hand from our lovely student front desk staff.
We asked student staff members Emily Long and Ana-Maria Pitis some questions about what it’s like to work as a Welcome Representative on the Welcome Desk. Here they share with us their thoughts, and answer our questions for you.
What does a Welcome Representative shift look like?
‘Beginning the morning we check the student kitchen, making sure the student space is tidy. Main tasks throughout the day include responding to emails and phone calls as well as booking in advice appointments, answering queries in person and working the till. We work to support those in the office also, aiding in a wide variety of tasks.’
‘Once logged into your computer you can have a look at the emails from the night before and try to solve them; could be room bookings, TOTUM card deliveries, students asking for advice appointments, printing etc. I usually like to take look at the advice service calendar to see if we are expecting any students to arrive in the morning so I am prepared when they arrive. During this time, you’ll have students popping in with enquiries, wanting to join societies, purchase trips, book advice appointments, schedule rooms for activities; as well as answering external and internal calls. It sounds a little hectic, but it’s really not. Anyone can handle all these situations at the same time.
Whether you are working an afternoon or all day at the end of the day, you’ll close up the tills, put the money away and take the takings of the day into the back office. You’ll do a final kitchen check making sure everything is in working condition.’
What’s the best thing about working as a Welcome Representative?
‘We are the first people that anyone will encounter if they come to the Students’ Union. Since starting work at the Welcome Desk I have involved myself in so much more than I thought capable; I meet so many people on a daily basis it has expanded my list of friendships tenfold! I also get to meet new and old societies, engage with Course Reps, and work with an absolutely fantastic team.’
‘This job allows you to be flexible and fit your working hours around your studies, always putting your degree first. Working at the Welcome Desk, you’ll be the face of the SU when students come into our space. This is an amazing opportunity, no day is the same which allows you to learn how to deal with different situations and people. You’ll be part of an amazing, supportive team that will help you along the way.’
What have you learned from this role?
‘Anyone in this job role learns some amazing skills such as team work and communication. We all have the opportunity to meet with all staff to discuss their work responsibilities should we wish to experience different opportunities open to us as student staff. You get to learn the workings behind many of the projects such as the effort that societies, course reps, staff and the officers put in behind the scenes. Not only is this a job opportunity that you can write down on your CV, you get to see first-hand the more personal impact the SU has on students.’
‘Through this role you’ll be gaining and developing many skills such as administration, professionalism, team work, verbal and written communication skills, organisational and multitasking, data entry, supportive skills and attention to detail. The Students’ Union is very involved with helping you develop your career. You’ll have regular meeting with your line manager to discuss career paths, possible opportunities for you to develop your skills, such as First Aid and Fire Marshal training, to further your career into the right direction. Whether or not this role is related to your chosen course, the skills and experiences you have in the SU will be applicable to any position you might wish to pursue in the future!’
Last words of wisdom?
‘The office staff are amazing, everyone brings something new to the team and the dynamic environment makes it known that everyone is welcome. Staff are always willing to get involved and support you as student staff!’
‘From my experience this role has been the one I’ve enjoyed most. The SU is always trying develop itself further, meeting with every students' needs. There is always something new and exciting happening; you’ll never get bored!’