We know student work terms involve hard work and new challenges. To make them more rewarding and engaging, Lyra Trstenjak was appointed as the first student champion. Here is what she had to say about her role and experience so far
Lyra’s uOttawa background
I have worked many years at the University and in different teams within Information Technology. Currently, I am working with two great teams that are part of the Solutions, Process, Experience, Transformation, and Strategy (STEPS) Team: Application Support and Knowledge (ASK,) and Quality Assurance (QA) team.
What is the role of the Student Champion?
The primary responsibility is to help with the communications between managers and students working in their teams, promoting student interactions among each other, and help in promoting other opportunities within Information Technology. In fall 2020, I was approached to take this role and worked closely with the Student Engagement Coordinator, Amélie Leroux, focusing on the engagement of our student-workers. This role lined up nicely with the fact that the ASK team was to manage the Work Study student hiring process within our IT Solutions department..
What have you learned about working with students that you didn’t know before?
Learning about the student onboarding process has been an eye opener. A lot of steps are done manually and some, such as student account communication, are almost non-existent. The communication of account information is something that will hopefully be addressed in the Modernization Project. In the meantime, Amélie and I will be working with our HR team in Information Technology to find a workaround.
What have been some of your achievements in this role that you are most proud of?
We have started streamlining the onboarding process for new students by standardizing an onboarding presentation to complement what is provided in our teams. Students are introduced to standard tools, programs available to help with student integration, and logistics such as calendar etiquette and pay schedules.
What would you say to others about involving students in their operations?
Being part of the transformation to provide a better experience for the students working in Information Technology has been a rewarding experience. Each student brings their own experiences and skills to our team, making Information Technology stronger and more diverse.