Posts Tagged ‘students’

From a Student’s Perspective

Posted on: July 28th, 2014 by Michael Lepage No Comments

Author: Jena Lewis, Student, University of Lethbridge (Melissa Wiebe, Conference and Event Services,  University of Lethbridge)

From an outside student perspective, everything at a university seems to run like a well-oiled machine. It is only once you get behind the scenes that you can see how much time and effort (and occasionally panic) it takes to ensure that every event runs smoothly, and every hotel guest leaves happy.

One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned is that not all panic and stress is bad, but rather it can help create quick “on-your-feet” skills. Not only are these skills useful when empathizing with customers over lost keys or when they can’t find a specific classroom, but they also come in handy when giving a presentation in class, or when you are being peppered with questions.

Another skill I have been learning, albeit slowly, is time-management. This is crucial when planning any kind of event, especially when multiple university departments are involved. Time-management is a necessity when it comes to blocking off study time for finals, or finishing that crucial term paper while still maintaining a social life, and juggling other course work and commitments.

Ultimately the most important skill I’ve acquired is effective communication. One of the best pieces of advice I’ve received that helps work through problems in my work and my life is to always repeat a question back to the person asking it. This not only allows you time to think of a quick response, but also shows the customer that you understand exactly what it is that they are asking about.

All-in-all the experiences I have had while working for the Conference & Event Services department have helped me develop skills necessary for school, as well as other skills that will translate to life after school. The high-stress daily activity of this field may come as a surprise to those new to the field, but eventually most students (or other new staff) adapt to the work-pace and are able to deftly accomplish complicated tasks, both at work and beyond.

Jena Lewis, Student, University of Lethbridge

Melissa Wiebe, Conference and Event Services, University of Lethbridge
Email: melissa.wiebe@uleth.ca
Telephone: (403) 329-2650

Why Do We Do This Crazy Business?!

Posted on: June 17th, 2013 by Michael Lepage No Comments

Author: Debbie Harding, Conference Sales and Services Manager, University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus

As we’re well into our conference and accommodation season in mid June (already!), we have most likely experienced a whole array of things as a result of our “busy” season!

Personally, it’s all been really fantastic thus far, knock on wood!  We’ve had the privilege of having some extraordinary groups stay with us and are expecting lots more in the coming weeks.  However, this does not come without its challenges and pressures; meeting and exceeding the needs and expectations of our clients and balancing the resources of the large network of people we work with on campus.  It’s our job to make sure everyone is happy! Right? Right!  And through the hard work, patience, and sometimes pulling your hair out, it all seems to work out!

Why do we do it?  What is the main motivation that drives us to work so hard to make everything work out to the best of our ability?  I’m sure there are long psychological lists that can answer this question.  And without question, we are professionals and want the best for our clients and guests. But for me, I try not to lose sight of my motivation, which in the end, is for our students.

This becomes very clear during convocation.  This year we had four of our very own Guest Service Agents walk up to the podium to receive evidence of their hard work and dedication.  What a wonderful moment!  Students come from all over the country and world to study and live at UBC’s Okanagan campus.  They work hard to be able to afford to come to University. I like to believe that what we do in the summer with conference and accommodation hopefully makes it a little easier for students to live on campus and experience this brief, unique, and exciting time of their lives.

Maybe we’re not changing the world and sometimes we feel like we are running in circles, but I can guarantee that if we can help students in any way to experience living on campus, we’ve certainly succeeded in helping to change their lives.

Debbie Harding, Conference Sales and Services Manager, University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus
Email: debra.harding@ubc.ca
Telephone: 250-807-9358

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