Carin Wallace

UCSD Bookstore | 858-534-0116

I am the Payroll and Personnel Assistant in the Accounting Department of the UCSD Bookstore. I help interview students, set up interview appointments, handle timekeeping, and payroll for the entire Bookstore. I also post jobs for the various departments within the Bookstore, write job descriptions for the departments, talk to the staff and managers about the hiring needs of the departments, and make schedules. Finally, I talk to students about payroll and events happening in the store to get them more involved in our community.

Q: What role do student workers play within your department? A: The bookstore uses student workers all over the bookstore for a variety of jobs and they are invaluable in every department. The bookstore wouldn’t operate without the student workers. We have over 180 students working during the academic year and they are integral to running the Bookstore business. Plus we have several behind the scenes areas like accounting, receiving, and loss prevention that the general public may not be aware of where student workers assist the staff.

Q: What can students gain from working in your department? A: From working in our department students can gain an understanding of how to balance school, work, and [other] activities. We always want students to put their academic studies first and work second. It can be quite a challenge learning to balance everything that is going on. Students also learn how to put the things they learn in the classroom into action. They learn how to interact with the public, follow directions, work in a team environment, and to be self-motivated so they can work effectively and accurately on their own.

Q: Does your department offer any special opportunities for students? A: The Bookstore just renewed our promotion hierarchy so that we are able to promote more student internal candidates. We are creating more events for the students on campus so we check with the student workers first to see what type of events they would like to see at the bookstore. Students are often given the first chance to try samples from our vendors and read books before they hit the bookshelves.

Q: When hiring, what kind of experience or skills and qualifications are you looking for A: The Bookstore hires students with any level of experience. At the Sales Associate or Cashier level a student could come in with no experience and really learn the job from the inside out. At the Lead, Accounting, Marketing, and Assistant level students may have leadership, supervising, student organization or office experience that translates to these types of jobs.

Q: Do you have advice for a student just starting to gain work experience? A: Look at your schedule realistically when applying for job to make sure you have a work/life balance. Don’t just think about the number of classes you are taking also think about how many hours you need to study and any groups you are involved with that may affect your free time. Remember all work experience is relevant and while you may do something at first that does not relate to your career path directly later in life you will be surprised how far good work habits, paying attention to detail, and showing up to work on time will get you.

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

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