Work It: Wellness Center

Junior Rishi Sanyal working the front desk in the Buchanan Kiewit Wellness Center.

Photo by Larissa Davis.

The Buchanan Kiewit Wellness Center has one student manager and about 25 student desk workers supervised by Director of Wellness and Recreation Erin Buenzli. Student workers see to it that students, faculty, staff and alumni feel welcome in the wellness center and are provided the equipment they need for their health and physical recreation.

The student desk workers are responsible for greeting guests, making sure they swipe their ID card, giving out basketballs and towels, setting up volleyball and pickle ball nets, answering the phone for any general questions and cleanup. All desk workers must be CPR and first aid Certified.

The desk workers switch between shifts, so they work about six hours a week and can dedicate the rest of their time to their studies. One perk of the job is being able to do homework as long as the required responsibilities are completed.

Clarke applied for the position because she knew students who worked at the desk last year. She enjoys greeting people as they come in. In addition to working at the wellness center, Clarke is a leader for Lawrentians Enhancing Diversity in the Sciences (LEDS) and is the Copresident of Women Underrepresented in the General Sciences (WUGS). You can usually find Clark working the Wellness Center desk Monday evening, Wednesday afternoons and Friday and Saturday nights. Between shifts, she sometimes has to finish up tasks such as doing laundry and grabbing clean towels.

When asked what her favorite part of her job is, Clarke responded, “I get to meet interesting people, including alumni. One found a picture of me working and e-mailed it me. I thought it was cool, so I sent the picture to my parents.”

She finds that the wellness center is busy, especially during the winter. She believes that time management and being on top of things is important to avoid the anxiety of not being able to fulfill the duties of the position.

Clarke wants to go into the science field, specifically medicine, and being a desk worker has helped her develop interpersonal skills. She recommends this job to anybody because it is relaxed and fun.

Senior Bjorn Hauge works Monday nights and early mornings on Tuesday and Thursday. Outside of the job he is an Economics tutor. He went to the Wellness Center often during his freshman year, and the greeter at the time encouraged him to apply. One responsibility he has is to clean the weight room and cardio room, which includes wiping down equipment. His least favorite task is picking up hair and dead skin that accumulates on the crevices of the treadmills.

“It’s a little annoying and takes a couple minutes, but it is satisfying to have a clean treadmill,” added Hauge.

He enjoys the job overall because it is his first time learning customer service and personal skills. He would recommend the job to someone else because of the flexible schedule. He has become used to waking up at 5:30 a.m., working his shift and having the rest of the day to do other things. It is not an intimidatingly long time, and the work is worth it.

Senior Jason Lau is the Wellness Center Student Manager. Lau has been working in the Wellness Center for four years. He is part of the Lawrence University Cycling Team, which meets four days a week. As the supervisor, Lau also works at the desk, takes calls from student workers, leads team meetings, maintains a rewards program and trains new workers one-on-one.

This is a promotional position he had to apply for.  When he was a Freshman, he was the only person who applied. At the time he did not know how to use the Lawrence University Webmail system, so he used his Gmail account to e-mail Erin asking her for the job. For a long time she did not respond and he could not figure out why. One day they were both in a triathlon and she came up to him and told him it is impolite to not e-mail someone back when they ask for an interview. He explained what happened, and that is how he got the job.

His favorite part of the job is that he gets to know people in the community, which exposes him to ranges of opinions. He works from afternoons and evenings on Sundays which is not much, but he values his free time a bit more.

He likes the relationships he has built with the people who visit and his supervisor and having more responsibilities by committing to the job consistently for so long. He would recommend this job to everyone because it is important to build these relationships over time.