Reflections from WorkLife Office Students

Date: March 25, 2024

Student Assistants and Student Interns share reflections of their experiences this past year with the WorkLife Office.

Alyssa Westphall

I am incredibly grateful for the time I have spent working with the Work-Life Office. I have enjoyed learning valuable professional skills, including hosting webinar series, attending professional events, finding and updating resources, and coordinating an all-encompassing event called Take Your Child To Work Day for my communities’ families. These have furthered my professional aspirations of serving my community while integrating a work-life balance. I am excited to carry these values into my career as I graduate this spring with a bachelor’s degree in human resources. I appreciate all this fantastic team has given me, including a professional network, a supportive community, and a lovely internship experience. 


Ayshe Can

As I reflect on this past year at the WLO, the first feeling I get is gratitude. Words cannot express how much I’ve enjoyed interning at the WLO. The entire team has been amazing in so many ways, and they have exemplified what a great coworker should behave like. The grace, communication, respect, and hard work from every employee and intern at the WLO makes it an incredible place to work. My favorite part of interning here is interacting with the faculty and staff here at MSU during networking events and presentations. My communication skills have improved immensely since the fall, and I now feel less nervous about public speaking. I have also loved getting to know the other interns; they are all so sweet and fun to be around! I have enjoyed improving my skills on Excel as well, which I have data tracking to thank for that. Every time I come into the WLO and interact with the team, I always feel great afterwards and that’s because of the hard work we put into it. I will miss the WLO and everyone dearly, but I’m looking forward to enjoying these next couple of weeks together.

 

Emerson Stehlik

I have been with the WLO since June of 2022 as a Student Clerical Assistant. I have learned so many new things, as well as met many new people. I have learned new communication skills within the team, as well as with others. I am involved a lot with tasks like data entry as well as a new task, social media. I enjoy posting on the WLO Facebook for upcoming events and important dates! I am so thankful to be a part of this team, and I’m looking forward to what is to come with the WLO!

 

Katrina Turner

The Worklife Office has taught me many things in the past year, especially the value of teamwork and collaboration. So many times throughout the year, as an office we have banded together to get things done in short timeframes, with limited staff, or even in ideal conditions. The most rewarding part of this internship was the times when we sat together as a group, watching the culmination of our efforts come together. I enjoyed reflecting on all of the work we did adding up to an event, presentation, or forum that the community we serve can enjoy. Bringing people together to show them they are not alone in either their struggles or their successes. Another lesson I am taking away from my time at the Worklife Office is the importance of providing resources to the community. So often, we were able to connect someone with a resource that would greatly benefit or improve their situation. Having the ability to provide someone with something that they’ve needed, but just did not know the university had available was a uniquely rewarding experience. Similar to connecting clients with resources, connecting clients, particularly those they have many commonalities with but wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet otherwise was something that I valued. I was able to witness in real-time the benefits of community building, and bridging the gaps for our clients. The Worklife Office has helped me develop my skills in a variety of ways, and I am so grateful for my time spent interning with them.

 

Mishthi Kapoor

As I approach the conclusion of my academic year at the WorkLife Office, I find myself reflecting on the multifaceted experiences and profound growth this opportunity has afforded me. Throughout my time here, I’ve engaged in a myriad of tasks, from assisting with office administration to collaborating in projects that fostered employee well-being. These hands-on experiences have not only enhanced my practical skills but have also deepened my understanding of the importance of work-life balance in a professional setting. One particularly enriching endeavor was my involvement in organizing the “International Networking Lunch,” where I had the privilege of meeting individuals from diverse backgrounds, fostering meaningful connections, and gaining insights into cross-cultural communication. As an international student and employee myself, this event held special significance, reinforcing the value of embracing diversity and fostering inclusivity in the workplace. Moreover, collaborating with a supportive and dedicated team has not only bolstered my professional growth but has also instilled in me a sense of belonging and camaraderie. Beyond the realm of tasks and projects, this job has been a journey of self-discovery, pushing me to step out of my comfort zone, embrace new challenges, and cultivate resilience. I am profoundly grateful for the mentorship and guidance provided by the WorkLife Office team, and I am confident that the skills and insights gained will serve as a solid foundation for my future endeavors. I’m very grateful for this transformative experience, where I’ve not only grown professionally but have also forged meaningful connections and memories.

 

Sita Belleville

I learned for myself that I need to work on feeling comfortable talking with more experienced coworkers. I do well in engaging with others when I’m assigned a task together or a situation occurs. By observing the office workers, I found they did well in creating a small community that allowed them to express their concerns and worries about their lives. They were also more than willing to help each other out and it made me realize that this was a functional working environment that I would aspire to repeat in my life. I’ve heard of so much miscommunication and misunderstandings arising because of an unestablished communication base, but I’ve found how helpful it is to have a group chat that everyone is involved in so that information is spread effectively. In terms of skills, I found my rhythm as I began to understand how WorkLife Office SharePoint worked. My first assignment had me look over survey result information for backup dependent care and summarize the main points of data that occurred in a condensed form. Similar to when I was handling the one-pagers for the Women’s Networking Association recordings. After taking notes on the presentations, I would compile the most relevant information. I honed my ability to pick information that would be useful in thinking of other’s needs for the material.  In general, though, the videos I had to watch made me think more about the work environment; such as how menopause affects women’s careers, soul care practices, services for Individualized Education Programs for families with those with learning disabilities, and how to manage difficult conversations. For many of the One-Pagers I worked with, I created digital infographics for the core concepts which were new to me. With the work I did on Reach Tracking, I had to get contact info/affiliation/names, and email and this opened the use of the MSU Directory which had useful information on all the staff.  When using Excel, I had made bar charts before, but I found new features of being able to customize the sizing of fonts and reorganize the lineup. Qualtrics was new for me, and I had never done a survey before, so learning how to format a questionnaire was useful. Overall, I have found this internship to be educational and correlated well with the fundamentals of the HDFS curriculum regarding finding resources for families. I’ve truly enjoyed seeing the impact that this office has on the MSU community, and I hope my actions have had a similar positive impact.