Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Books and t-shirts and passports....oh my

When I was in college, the bookstore was brimming with textbooks. There was no "online shopping" or "e-books" back in those days. I have so many fond memories of perusing the aisles of books and getting the texts that would be used during the quarter. I also would buy some piece of swag, whether it be a new t-shirt or a key chain with my sorority letters. While times have changed and bookstores are not exactly like they were when I was in college, they still are a place where students come to shop for supplies, families come to get a piece of swag and faculty-authored books are displayed to highlight the contributions our campus has made across a variety of fields. During the "In My Shoes" day at the Bay Tree Bookstore a got to work across a variety of units. Below are some lessons I gleaned that apply to all units within the BAS division.

Quality customer service is critical for a successful bookstore operation

A single spot - multiple needs: We live in a fast-changing world and student needs are continually evolving.  Our units within BAS must keep abreast of the multiple and evolving needs of our university community. During my time at the bookstore students did everything from purchasing scantron sheets for tests to applying for passports for study abroad to getting their campus id cards made. While varied, each of these needs was critical to the student experience.

Sharon is usually on the other end of the camera taking our ID photos
Students as team members: The bookstore employs many students in a variety of capacities. As I met them and learned about what they did, I heard about the many accomplishments of our bookstore student worker alums. As they have entered graduate school and the workforce, they apply the lessons learned from their time working at the bookstore. We employ students across many BAS units, and I hope we will continue to expand such opportunities across the division.

Student workers gain many applicable skills during their bookstore tenures

The power of team: When you enter the bookstore, there is a small area on the right that is transformed throughout the year to highlight the most critical product needs. The day I was at the bookstore, we were changing the space from dorm supplies to Fiat Slug gear. By looking at the amount of work to be done, you would think it would have taken hours. However, as my grandmother would always say, "many hands make light work". We turned the space around in no time. The amount of work to be done across our BAS units can seem overwhelming. However, when everyone rolls up their sleeves and works together, regardless of their role, we can accomplish anything.

Clearing out dorm goods

The newly stocked Fiat Slug gear
Celebrating our own: One of my favorite aspects of the bookstore is the fact that they display works done by our own faculty. Our faculty not only share their knowledge in the classroom and in the lab, but they also are thought leaders in their fields. They publish works on a countless array of topics, and I love that we display their books at Bay Tree. I hope we will continue to find ways that the BAS division can highlight and celebrate the accomplishments of our faculty, students, staff, and alums.

I am grateful to everyone who made my Bay Tree "In My Shoes" experience such a rich one. Whether it was the team members who order text books, those who work the Customer Service area and check out lanes, those who work in the accounting department, those who process identification cards, or those who put out the inventory, everyone showed the same desire to support the UCSC mission.

A slug I am,

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