Student tech job in high demand

Weeks before the final deadline, the Student Technology Collaborative has already received an unprecedented number of applications for the role of Student Tech.

The Collaborative has previously considered an average of 50 candidates per year, but about 80 students have submitted applications since Oct. 20, and almost two weeks remain until the Nov. 28 deadline. Adam Bray ’08, assistant manager of the student technology collaborative, said he expects the stream of applications to continue until the process closes. Bray and fellow assistant manager Laura Tomas ’10 said they advertised the student tech positions the same way as in previous years, and do not know why the job’s popularity has skyrocketed this fall.

“This is the most applications we’ve ever received by far,” Bray said. “The percentage offered [a position] might drastically vary this year.”

Bray said he is unsure how many students will be admitted to the program, but it is likely that ITS will take between 35 and 40, as in past years. Tomas said that in that case, the program will be more competitive than it has been before, though Bray added that there is a chance that they will take more techs than usual.

The collaborative normally admits a high percentage, Bray added, because most applicants to the program are qualified. The application process involves an online questionnaire, a technical examination and an interview. Bray said he would accept someone friendly over someone “who thinks they know everything” for the job. Students with technical problems are often in dire need, and it is important the student techs have the communication skills to calm them down, he said.

“Our biggest priority is customer service,” Tomas said. “We don’t expect all the students to know every problem that they see.”

Tomas said that student techs come from a diversity of majors, and do not necessarily have prior computer science experience.

As in past years, the collaborative put up recruitment posters around campus and held information sessions to go over job expectations and potential technical exam questions. Tomas said attendance at the information sessions was about the same as it has been in previous years.

Because technical problems tend to spike before finals, Bray said ITS is considering introducing a rolling process to admit a handful of students. People who submit their information on Nov. 28 will still get full consideration, he added.

Over 75 percent of student techs keep the job until graduation, and seven student techs interviewed said they enjoy their work at ITS.

“I’m totally in love with this job,” Maria Altyeva ’13 wrote in an e-mail to the Yale Precision Marching Band panlist encouraging students to apply.

She said some of the attractive aspects of the job were its starting pay of $13 an hour, flexible hours and the fact that techs can still do homework when the office is not busy.

The eight weeks of training for new student techs will begin in January.

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