As a part of National Student Employment Week, take a moment to learn more about student employees and their roles in IT.

Every year, the National Student Employment Association designates one week for universities and colleges across the country to recognize student employees. ITS participated in Northeastern’s celebrations by recognizing over 200 student employees across various roles, including: 

  • Academic Technology 
  • Customer Experience 
  • Digital Technology 
  • Network Services 
  • Office of CIO 
  • Project and Service Management 
  • Research Computing 

In addition, the student employees were invited to attend the virtual ITS All-Hands meeting on Wednesday, April 12, where the entire ITS organization thanked and celebrated all student employees.  

Within ITS, student employees perform invaluable services with great enthusiasm, dedication, and initiative throughout the community. Student employment offers Northeastern students an opportunity to learn and apply skills relevant to their career, expand their knowledge, network with professionals, and develop career-readiness.  

Harkins (right) talks about his role during the ITS All-Hands meeting.

Michael Harkins says his experience as an Office Assistant for the Office of CIO has given him a solid foundation to observe a positive work culture. “I have learned what working in an office is like and how to interact with people in a professional way,” says Harkins. “I love the teamwork and communication that goes into every detail of ITS.” 

Student employees enjoy “Breakfast with Leadership” in the ITS office.

Empathy, contribution, and excellence are integral parts of ITS’ core values in order to deliver on the university’s ambitious vision and build a great team. Vasundhara Sharma serves as a Pro Customer Experience Technician at the Help Desk and says resolving technical issues across campus is a rewarding role. “One of the things I enjoy most about working in the IT department is the opportunity to help others,” says Sharma. “I feel that my role is an important contributor to the larger goals of the organization, as we are responsible for ensuring that the university’s technical infrastructure is running smoothly and efficiently.”  

Additionally, Sharma’s role has allowed for professional growth and development, such as enhancing technical communication skills and customer service: “I’ve had the opportunity to work collaboratively with a talented and supportive team, which has helped me develop my teamwork and leadership skills.” 

“The amount of growth I’ve experienced personally, professionally, and educationally has been astounding. I am so lucky to be able to work here and be on the cutting edge of technology in higher education.”

– Ryan Bender, Director of Digital University Solutions

Having student employees has also provided a positive experience for supervisors, as they’re able to watch their students learn through their mentorship. Julie Beal, Hubs Product Owner, says her students’ potential employers are always impressed by the work they conduct as student employees. “Our experience interns acquire real-world experience by working within our product team proposing enhancements and brand-new features, conducting focus groups and synthesizing the results, and participating in user acceptance and smoke testing.” In fact, the entire Resources page on the Hubs was designed by the Experience Intern team! 

Hardik Kiran Shah, an Instructional Assistant, is responsible for ensuring both the hardware and software are functioning effectively in classrooms. With the help of Shah and more than 60 other student Instructional Assistants, the team has managed over 3,200 dispatches across campus this academic school year; their quick response has helped instructors have a seamless experience while teaching in-person or in hybrid format classes. “After resolving the issue and allowing the instructor to resume their class smoothly, the feeling of contentment reflected in their eyes is a peaceful sight,” says Shah. 

Ryan Bender, Director of Digital University Solutions, started in the IT department as a Customer Experience student-employee while obtaining his undergraduate degree and has continued to be a key role in the digital transformation across the university. During his seven-plus years at Northeastern, Bender has been able to write the job description of almost every job position he has held, giving him the flexibility and management to build on his skills. “The amount of growth I’ve experienced personally, professionally, and educationally has been astounding,” says Bender. “I am so lucky to be able to work here and be on the cutting edge of technology in higher education.” 

A few other ITS full-time staff who previously served as student employees include Michael Bruno (Business Analysis), Cheryl Coleman (Enterprise Application Dev), Kellie Kendrick (Oakland IT Services), Mark Latukhin (Customer Services), and Thomas Waldman (Office of Information Security).