Student Spotlight – Elizabeth

Q: What is your background like? Personal/Professional? Major?

A: I’m from Cincinnati, Anderson Township. If you know where Coney Island is, that area. I started out as a Speech Pathology Major during my first-year and then decided that it was not for me. I switched over to Family Science my sophomore year and am pursuing my Bachelor’s of Science and Family Science and getting a certification as a Family Life Educator.

Q: So you want to do stuff with that when you graduate?

A: I have secured a position with Booster-Thon. They do elementary school fundraisers, glow runs, 5Ks. You go into the schools and the kids get their friends and family members to pledge a certain amount of money for however far they can run. Then, for about a week or so, we go in and do small group stuff with the kids, leadership and character development types of things. After that week is up, they have the event. You wrap that school up and go on to the next one.

Q: How did you get into the food service? Prior experience?

A: Yes. In high school—my first job when I turned 15 and a half or 16—I started off as a hostess at a restaurant called ButterBees. I worked there for a while and then worked as a waitress at iHop. My older brother went to Miami and was a student manager here. So when I came here, I knew I had to get a job to put myself through school. On campus seemed the easiest at the time since I didn’t have a car. So I just walked over to MapleStreet and applied. They knew my brother so they hired me right away!

Q: What is your actual role? What do you do on a daily basis?

A: As a student manager, my role is more of being a leader out on the front lines and dictating tasks in the actual concepts: making sure that everything’s running smoothly, training new employees, that kind of thing.

Q: How would you describe your relationship with the other student employees?

A: I have a good relationship with the other employees. My fellow student managers are all good friends of mine. There’s a lot of us, around fifteen I believe, and several are good friends of mine. They are predominantly people that I became friends with as a student employee and now we’re working together as student managers. There’s also some employees there that are not student managers that are student employees that I’m good friends with, which is interesting when you introduce that relationship where you’re leading your peers. As a student manager, it’s kind of odd when you’re friends with someone but you have to kind of have authority over them. Navigating that relationship of how do I keep this professional as their manager when I know them outside of work as a friend.

Q: How have you found a balance with that?

A: Just trying to keep our relationship at work professional. When I was a student employee and I had several friends who were student managers, I understood that if something happened at work that day where they said, “hey, Liz, can you do this or you should be doing that or can you do this differently,” that it was meant and done professionally. I made an effort to not take that personally because I recognize that it’s work and its not personal. So I try to keep those separate.

Q: Favorite thing about working for MU Dining?

A: All the people I get to interact with! Like I said, I met some of my best friends working as a student employee and as a student manager. The relationships that I’ve made with my managers as well have been really positive for me growing as a leader and as a professional and getting a taste of what the real world is going to be like. It’s been good to learn what it is like to have a boss and how to navigate those relationships and develop a relationship between you and your managers.

Q: Any advice for applying/working for MU Dining?

A: Definitely apply because, let’s be honest, we’re all in college and we’re all broke. Even if your parents pay your tuition, you still want to have money to go out or get your nails done or whatever it may be. So yeah, definitely apply. It looks really good on a resume, especially if you work you way up to becoming a student manager. That word ‘manager’ definitely catches an employers eye. In a lot of my job interviews, I was asked about by my experiences as a manager. Getting that leadership and teamwork experience and communication was very beneficial. It really sets you up with a lot of skills that are transferable to any position in any field.

Q: What are some of your hobbies? Interests?

A: Hobbies. It’s funny because I don’t even really think I have any anymore because all I do is study, go to class, and go to work. I guess the regular things like hanging out with my friends on the weekends, going uptown, and having wine nights in my apartment with my girlfriends are my hobbies. In high school, I danced for 15 years, was in cheer-leading, and sang in the choir. I was into the performing kind of thing. But I haven’t had time for that since I have been in college. It’s mostly just hanging out with friends, taking walks, listening to music, watching Netflix.

Q: Favorite dish to prepare? Eat?

A: In general, my favorite dish to prepare and favorite dish to eat are probably the same, just because you’re going to make the things that you like to eat. But I really like to make and eat green-bean casserole. That is what I make during the holidays whenever we have a big family get-together. Other casseroles like tuna-noodle casserole, too. It’s like tuna-fish, noodles, and cream of mushroom soup. Just those home-cooked carbohydrates.

Q: Favorite TV show?

A: Oh, good question. I hate to say it, but my favorite TV show is probably The Bachelor. I’m not going to lie: it’s just so juicy, and the drama is entertaining. You have to recognize that the show is not realistic, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not interesting to watch. And you know they play-up a majority of the drama. Producers coerce contestants into saying certain things just to get the drama going, but it’s still interesting to watch.

Q: Cat or dog?

A: I like animals in general, but I didn’t have pets growing up because my parents thought I wasn’t going to be responsible in taking care of one. But I like cats because I feel they’re easiest to take care of. If I had to go get an animal right now, I would get a cat before I would get a dog because I feel like cats are pretty self-sufficient once you set them up with their litter box. Dogs are really cute too, but I have had a couple of experiences with friends and their dogs and … well, you know, they let the dog run out in the yard and sleep in their bed and lick their face; I don’t think that’s for me. I’m kind of a germaphobe so that aspect of having a dog is not appealing. Cats seem to be more clean, especially if it’s an indoor cat.

Q: Sweet or salty?

A: Oh, salty. Potato chips are my weakness. Growing up my parents were, and still are, health nuts: so we didn’t have a lot of junk food in the house. So whenever I get a chance to go out and get chips, I’m excited. At school we had a snack bar in the cafeteria. If you were still hungry after lunch, you could go to the snack bar and I would always go for the chips.

Q: What is one thing that every Miami student should have on their Miami Bucket List?

A: I think, in general, just experience as much as you can. It’s something that I’m faced with now, the feeling of, “oh my gosh I’m graduating in two weeks and there are so many things that I thought I would do that I never did!” I would recommend doing things that you can only do while you’re here. Whether that’s going to Hueston Woods or things that are specific to this area. Going uptown is a must on the bucket list. You don’t have to drink to go uptown either. Everyone should experience the whole uptown scene at least once: just go dancing with your girlfriends if nothing else. Pfeffer Park is also highly recommended. Basically, anything that’s in Oxford that you might not have another chance to do after graduation.  

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