Izzy Davis, lead student building manager with NC State Student Centers, recently presented at the Association of College Unions International Conference held February 26 – March 2, 2023, in Boston, MA. Her presentation, titled “Development through Student Employment” chronicled her experience with Student Centers and how other student centers can provide meaningful roles that foster growth and responsibility for their student employees.
“I started as an information assistant four years ago and have held several roles with increasing responsibility,” explained Davis, a fourth-year student studying public health. “Some of the key reasons I chose to stay with Student Centers my entire college career were the sense of community I felt and the opportunity to take on more responsibility.”
Davis was fortunate to have supervisors who not only provided those opportunities but also created environments that encouraged self-sufficiency.
“There are so many resources for learning and doing our jobs,” she added. “We learn how to manage conflict, communicate with peers and even conduct interviews. These are all skills I will need when I enter the workforce.”
Davis also values the sense of community that is cultivated within the NC State Student Centers. “I started here during the pandemic, so this has been my social circle. I love that we have students from a variety of backgrounds, so we create opportunities for students to share their culture and feel supported by their peers,” she explained.
Davis got the idea to do the presentation after attending the ACUI Region 3 conference in Atlanta in the fall. She found that many of the conversations directed at undergraduate students were focused on finding a path to a career in Student Affairs, rather than acknowledging that most student employees go on to pursue careers in other fields.
“I felt it was important to have discussions around what transferable skills and personal/professional development students can gain from on-campus employment no matter what career path they choose,” she said.
During her presentation, she pulled from her personal experience and departmental values and learning outcomes to educate the audience and even led a discussion among students and staff from across the country.
“Izzy wanted to encourage other student employees to take advantage of the opportunities that on-campus employment can offer while challenging Student Affairs practitioners to create high-impact practices through student employment,” said Erica Epps, associate director for NC State Student Centers. “She took it upon herself to submit a proposal to the conference planning team and they accepted her proposal! Izzy led an engaging educational session and represented NC State Student Centers and NC State University with pride.“