Every so often, we’ll profile one of the amazing Phonathon students working in UMBC’s call center. This month, we talked with student caller Emily, an economics major from Baltimore, Maryland.
Why did you choose UMBC, and what do you like best now that you’re here? I chose UMBC for a number of reasons: it was affordable, it was local, and it came highly recommended by both of my alumni parents. In my time at UMBC, I have enjoyed many classes and student orgs. But I would have to say that what I like best is the ease with which I found like-minded friends. UMBC has a great diversity in its population, and I was really able to “find my people,” so to speak.
What activities do you enjoy outside of class? I’m a commuter so I don’t spend a ton of time on campus, but when I am here I hang out at the Women’s Center quite a bit. They provide a really comfortable space, and I’m always learning something there. Additionally, I started my own org called People United, and have done a lot of cool things with that, including hosting really interesting discussions and running a voter registration drive. In my personal time, I really enjoy playing video games and hanging out with my super cute dog.
What do you like best about being a student caller? I really like the feeling that I have helped someone get through school a little easier. Last semester, I raised enough money to cover tuition, books and a meal plan for one student. That’s such a great feeling. Really, I think education is an essential human right, and knowing I contributed to someone’s access to the awesome education we provide here at UMBC is just great. Besides that, I really like to hear where alumni end up after UMBC. It has given me a lot of perspective about the wide range of possibilities after graduation. Also, I think my social skills and self-confidence have really improved. Before this job, I really struggled with timidity. Now, I think I could strike up a conversation with basically anyone.
What are your plans after graduation? I am actually in training to run a university call center myself. The company UMBC works with to manage our call center has graciously given me an opportunity to train with my call center manager in an apprenticeship. It’s giving me a lot of exposure to the “behind-the-scenes” of a call center. When I finish the apprenticeship, I will have an opportunity to apply with this company for a full time position somewhere in the U.S.A. I have really enjoyed my time in Phonathon, and am so excited to continue in this line of work. Beyond that, I plan to continue my education in either economic anthropology or social work — but I’m still figuring that part out.