Your Key to the Future, An Interview with BCDC Office Assistant Amy Strada

Originally published February 4, 2014

Amy Strada, currently a Senior at Bates College, has been working as an office assistant at the BCDC since the beginning of last semester, and says that so far “it’s been such a great time.” Although she has just started her job this past school year, she actually applied for the job two years ago when she was a sophomore, “and it was a pretty tough interview,” Strada adds. The application process included applying online via the SEO on-campus jobs page on the Bates website, as well as an interview. “I sat around with all of the BCDC counselors who all asked me various questions about my resume and past internships, what I wanted to do abroad, what suggestions I had regarding JobCat — all across the board,” says Amy, “Apparently it went well, because I got the job!” However, Amy was abroad in Denmark for the entirety of her junior year, which meant she had to defer starting, but once she was back on campus, the BCDC welcomed her with open arms.

Amy applied for her position as an office assistant at the BCDC in particular because she loved the atmosphere of the BCDC. “I felt the people who worked there were incredibly kind, and I thought the idea of working in the office that helps students find jobs would help me in the long run. Turns out I was right!” As an office assistant, Amy’s job is to be available to anyone and everyone who needs help. For the most part, her duties involve answering the phone, scheduling appointments for students, posting jobs to JobCat, and fielding questions about the BCDC. “I also am available to help work on various projects, from data collection on graduated classes to putting together information on internship and job search tools provided by Bates,” she adds.

When asked what Amy’s favorite part of her job is, she replied that “As a senior, I’m always on the hunt for something to apply to — as many resumes I can get in circulation, the better. Part of my job at the BCDC is posting jobs to JobCat, and I get to see them before they’re made visible to the rest of the student body.” Being an Office Assistant has exposed Amy to a lot of different experiences that will all be useful in the future. “For one, the importance of networking can never be overstated, and the connection between Batesies and alumni is one that gets stronger each year,” says Strada. “For another, I’ve learned invaluable things about drafting resumes and cover letters, interviewing, applications — you name it. I’ve made a lot of great connections with my coworkers both personally and professionally, and having a good balance is key.”

DSC_0275Perhaps the most important thing about herself that Amy has learned from her time at the BCDC is her ability to multitask. “When it rains in the BCDC office, it pours — I’ve had two people on the phone trying to make appointments while another student in the office was trying to make an appointment. It gets complicated and can be overwhelming, but I’ve started to look at it like a puzzle, taking one step at a time until things get done,” says Strada. Amy believes she has become more eloquent, more organized, and more detail-oriented since working at the BCDC, “and these thing can only help me in my day-to-day interactions and assignments as well as help me face whatever may come ahead.”

Amy also relayed to me that the most surprising part of working at the BCDC is that “very few Batesies know what we do. I’ve seen so many seniors walk in this year wondering whether they could schedule their first appointments. It’s a place that makes people think about their future, which is understandably terrifying, but it’s also a place that helps students figure out what that future might look like.” So, Batesies, make an appointment and head on over to the Bates Career Development Center, I hear the office assistant is quite good at her job.