Carey Cumper

Central Services Administrator

Housing • Dining • Hospitality | 858-246-0395 | dsjobscontact@ucsd.edu

I am responsible for the recruiting, hiring, and orientation of student employees for placement in one of our 19 campus locations, including Residential Dining, Specialty Dining, Markets, Catering and two food trucks.

Q: What role do student workers play within your department? A: Dining Services is a fast paced, customer service oriented environment where we rely on student employees to perform everything from greeting customers, preparing and serving food and beverage at various stations, bussing, stocking, dishwashing and operating all kitchen equipment. Students provide critical roles in higher level positions as well. Student leads help guide shifts and train fellow students. Student Managers assist with the scheduling, training, and communication in units as well. Student Managers may assist with in a leadership role with as many as 135 students in some locations.

Q: What can students gain from working in your department? A: Students gain a number of life skills, social rewards and income related benefits from working with Dining Services. Everyday students work with each other; which provides the opportunity to make lifelong friends. This social benefit is especially rewarding for any new freshmen looking to extend their social network. Practical life skills are obvious benefits. Students will become more disciplined with time management, communication with an employer, awareness of appropriate work ethic and attire, and other intangible skills only learned through employment. Students also benefit from learning about food preparation and safety, and cleaning skills. Dining Services also provides competitive wages, opportunities for promotions and meals with every shift. These benefits alone help students financially through college with healthy eating habits and long-term debt reduction if finances are managed well.

Q: When hiring, what kind of experience or skills and qualifications are you looking for? A: Dining Services seeks enthusiastic employees with the desire to provide quality customer service to fellow students. We hire students of every background and work experience level. We provide training to every new hire, so we look to hire those individuals that have intangibles that cannot be taught: a great smile, a bright attitude, and enthusiasm to succeed.

Q: Do you have advice for a student just starting to gain work experience? A: Gaining work experience requires time and effort. Be flexible, ask lots of questions, and be aware of your work / life balance. As a student your first full time job is academics, so be aware of what you can and cannot commit yourself to. Dining Services’ has thrived due to our amazing student employees. We are committed to maintaining a work environment that includes student employees for all of the amazing benefits we gain from students and provide to students. There is no more unique time in life than college and we get to share that with our employees.

This article originally appeared in the April 2016 Issue of the Triton Worker. 

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