Lexus Bivins, a senior in International Studies, found an opportunity to develop her leadership skills in a place she might not have expected: her on-campus student job with Campus Enterprises.
“My most meaningful experience in my role has been helping to supervise a team of peers,” Bivins said. “Before being hired for this position, the idea of managing peers was something that frightened me, however, I am fortunate enough to work with some amazing fellow student employees. I have learned that I am very passionate about creating an effective team that not just works together, but also has fun together.”
Bivins started out working at Talley Market as a first-year student, developing confidence communicating with customers. While still working at the market, she joined the Campus Enterprises Student Employee Ambassadors team. This year, she was promoted to lead student employee ambassador, where she helps supervise nine other employees. Her experience may soon be more common.
Campus Enterprises, the lead division at NC State for retail and hospitality, is undertaking an initiative to create more student leadership positions and other promotional opportunities for student employees who desire to take on more responsibility. For example, Campus Enterprises is currently in the process of transforming the Honors C-Store into a completely student-run unit. Soon there will be no professional staff onsite; only a student manager and lead student cashiers. Other units within Campus Enterprises have had student management positions for quite some time. NC State Student Centers hires building managers who open and close Talley Student Union, manage fellow student employees, write reports and respond to emergency situations. It is a huge responsibility and is a great way to gain a lot of leadership skills. When asked what skills she has learned from her job, Lead Building Manager Nolynn Powell responded: “Working for NC State Student Centers has encouraged me to find my niche through development in my work ethic, management skills, and relationships with my coworkers.”
Campus Enterprises is also rolling out a professional development series to help students feel more prepared for promotional opportunities. Topics will include: managing your peers, task delegation and dealing with conflict. Annaka Sikkink, the student employee development & success specialist for Campus Enterprises, is designing the workshops and knows first-hand just how important these transferable skills can be.
“I got my first full-time job out of college because of my student employment experience,” she reported. “I’m excited we can support our students in learning critical thinking and leadership skills through their on-campus jobs.”
Students interested in building their leadership skills with Campus Enterprises can learn more at the On-Campus Job and Leadership Fair, a partnership between New Student Programs, Campus Enterprises and the Center for Student Leadership, Ethics and Public Service, February 21 in Talley Student Union. Or they can apply for open positions at go.ncsu.edu/ce-jobs.