About a month ago, I interviewed Ian Seerung, a sophomore, for this column. While he described working long hours as a full-time student, I was reminded of my own experience of working during high school.
To save money for college, I took on extra shifts and worked through holidays at a French bakery near my house. Like Seerung, working while going to school full-time was a challenge to say the least. However, the experience proved to be one of the most formative of my life.
In addition to learning how to semi-correctly pronounce the names of a wide variety of French pastries, I developed a sense of respect for those who work in the service industry. Like most people who have spent time behind a counter, I can assure you that never in my life will I be rude to someone who is helping me.
When the time came for me to start college, I tearfully bid farewell to pastries and macaroons but not to work — I knew that I would have to find a job at Tufts. So, in the first week of school, I interviewed and was hired as an office assistant by the Experimental College.
As a first-year, working at the ExCollege helped to ease my transition into life at Tufts. The consistency of the job served as a grounding force during a time of change. I came to truly enjoy going to work, mostly because of how warm my supervisors were, but also because it gave me the opportunity to learn about one of Tufts’ most special academic departments.
I did not intend to share my personal story through How Tufts Works. In fact, when I started writing the column, I did not envision myself including any students’ stories. Instead, I embarked upon this project with the goal of exclusively focusing on full-time Tufts employees. However, throughout the course of the semester, I have had the privilege of talking with and writing about multiple students and a wide array of staff members who work at Tufts, including Idah Duche, a beloved dining services attendant at Hodgdon Food-on-the-Run.
At the end of the day, I am glad to have included student voices in this column, as students are integral parts of the workforce here. Additionally, hearing from them exposed me to the interconnectedness of Tufts’ working community. It was heartwarming to witness students and staff members alike express their mutual appreciation, passion and pride for Tufts.
I find it inspiring that we all work together every day to make Tufts run smoothly. So, looking toward the future, even when campus discord reaches a cacophony, I will remember that there are people — visible and not — that work tirelessly to make Tufts work.
I am thankful for all the people who dedicate themselves to working for this school, and for all of those who have made this column a reality.
I believe that Tufts can work pretty well — together.