Meet Ella Hsu
Major: Bachelors, Food Science and Global Development
Campus employment: Student Hiring Assistant and Sale Associate, The Cornell Store
Career Readiness Competencies gained:
Students work at campus jobs and internships ranging from office support to peer counselor to intramural referee -- many of which are hosted within Student & Campus Life. In the interview below, learn more about Ella Hsu, who has served as a Sales Associate, and is currently a Student Hiring Assistant, at the Cornell Store.
While working on campus at a student job, I have learned many skills:
- I have learned people skills. In my role, I have met a lot of students, alumni, families, and guests to campus and I communicate with them all. So many different types of people come into the Cornell Store, and you learn how to interact with them all. I am also learning how to conduct effective interviews. For example, it’s important to make people feel comfortable in the interview so that I can pick out their qualities without a superficial interaction.
- I have bettered my coordination and time management skills. I am learning how to coordinate all the pieces of the puzzle and navigate moving parts. I am reading job applications, interviewing, identifying placement, and orienting new hires. I also share my role with a colleague which requires coordinating logistics in real-time.
- I am a liaison between student employees and management. I've developed great, supportive relationships with both groups which gives me the foundational trust necessary to do my job. Having to interact with both has been interesting and worthwhile because in the future, I will be doing a lot of interacting with different levels. Here, I get to act as a liaison and advocate.
Can you describe some of your responsibilities?
When the store is hiring, people send in their applications and it’s my job, along with my co-Student Hiring Assistant, to read the applications, learn their availability and who they are. We conduct their interviews and ask them about themselves, including about their time management abilities and availability. We don’t weigh past experience that much since for so many this is likely a first job. It is totally okay to be new to working if you’re willing to learn and do the job. It’s fulfilling to give people this opportunity.
As Student Hiring Assistant, I am able to offer my interviewees positions and shifts based on what department managers have communicated their needs to be, what hours they need filled each day, for example. Sometimes, we find someone who is great for a department that isn’t hiring, so sometimes we make a case for them to the manager.
In my role, I do sometimes help orient new employees to logistics and procedures. And I do identify special trainings they might need based on what department they are assigned to be in.
I am a liaison between student employees and managers. Sometimes students feel more comfortable talking to me, and then I can bring up the topic with the manager. I am there to help sort out issues. I have more time to develop relationships with management and students, so that helps me be comfortable in my liaising role.
What’s one thing that has surprised you the most about your job?
I have gotten really close with students and management. I’ve made great friendships and my boss is so supportive and makes us feel great if something happens, if a mistake is made.
What advice do you have for students interested in an on-campus job?
Go for it! It can’t hurt. Look around at all the jobs there are on campus. There are so many things you can do depending on your interests. It’s also a good way to make money. You can’t go wrong.