2014 Winter Internship
For three weeks during winter session, 2014, twenty-two undergraduate FSA student employees worked full-time to develop a presentation that would communicate, from their perspective, the FSA student employee experience. These students came from a variety of FSA services, including the Seawolves MarketPlace, Campus Dining, Provost’s Liaison, and Student Staffing Resources. Supporting the students were four professional staff members and one graduate student. The student interns were divided into six groups, each charged with developing a training session for student employees. Three broad topics “Focus on Yourself”, “Focus on Co-Workers”, and “Focus on Customers” were presented to the interns for further development. Within each general category were two sub-categories, as follows:
Focus on Yourself
- Knowing your own goals for your job = reduced stress
- Understanding that your daily workplace experience = experience on your resume
Focus on Co-Workers
- “Owning your shift” = respecting your co-workers
- Teaching and learning from each other = appreciating our diversity
Focus on Customers
- Customer care = awareness and promotion of health and safety
- Customer communication = “listening” + “speaking” + “understanding”
During the first week students began researching topics, developing outcomes and creating relevant icebreakers, team building games and supporting materials. Week two focused on developing the presentation in a way that would be easily understood and interesting, as well as communicating the “why” for items being presented. Videos, brochures and surveys were created during this time. Week three included putting the finishing touches on the presentations, and practice, practice, practice. Spring opening weekend was the culmination of the winter internship, when two, three hour training sessions were presented to returning students. In total, 133 FSA student employees attended one of the two sessions, more than 1/3 of all FSA student staff.
FSA Training Evaluation
January 25 and 26, 2014
N = 114
The questions below were responded to using a five point scale.
(5 = Strongly Agree, 4 = Mostly Agree, 3 = Somewhat Agree, 2 = Mostly Disagree, 1 = Strongly Disagree)
Eighty-five percent of those who attended completed a survey based on their experience. Overall student impressions were positive. More than 85% stated this session enhanced their knowledge of FSA and was a valuable experience. Seventy-four percent of respondents said they were provided with information they were not aware of prior to attendance, and 96% said they would apply the information learned to their everyday life. Student employees who attended the training pointed out that one of the things they liked most about the training was that it was presented by fellow students. They also enjoyed the interactive games and activities. Areas for improvement included reducing the time commitment, offering food, and making it even more interactive. Some ideas for future sessions were communicating with professional staff, promotion opportunities and leadership. Additional sessions will be offered throughout the semester for employees who were not able to attend.
Recommended outcomes of the winter internship include:
- Requiring that all FSA student managers become Suffolk County Food Safety certified;
- Promoting the number of Campus Dining employees who are food safety certified by developing a visual that can be worn on the uniform and communicating through carefully placed register signs;
- Educating the public on matters such as food borne illness myths, food safety, super foods and dietary options through pamphlets and posted in all FSA locations;
- Developing student employee recognition program;
- Communicating university large scale events in all FSA operations;
- Implementing student survey related to student employee satisfaction;
- Continuing to develop “Own your Shift” by ensuring all FSA operations have a policy in place that requires students to know what it means and the implications for not adhering to the policy.
- Executing the LEAF philosophy in all FSA locations (Listen, Empathize, Apologize, Fix.)
These outcomes will be followed up on by professional management so they become part of the FSA culture for many years to come.