On the Job with Phillip Booker
What is the biggest lesson you've learned working in the profession?
The biggest lesson I’ve learned in the profession is to simply trust the process. Trust that you are where you are because you are the strongest candidate and that leadership is intentional in how they are developing you. Trust that you will be supported when you make suggestions in ways that can improve the facility. You also have to trust that leadership’s vision of the facility and the university. I’ve had to work on understanding that I don’t need to have all of the answers, but I do need to always be proactive in finding solutions.
When working with events, what factor is most likely to make or break its success?
We must be able to adapt to several different types of situations. Whether it be last minute event changes or a fire suppression system on the fritz, there is never one day like another in operations, and it’s important to adapt.
What is one project or innovation you're proud to have helped implement?
Our power plan. Upon the completion of the Hill Student Center, we realized that we hadn’t taken into account the placement of outlets that students and other visitors would be using throughout the day. After researching several different options and approved vendors, we were able to add nearly 40 outlets to high-traffic locations around the facility and three charge stations to our dining seating area and performance lounge. Together with a company named ChargeTech, we have purchased both small and large portable battery packs that our students are free to check out throughout the day. We are using Blackboard to create the interface for our student staff to check in/out these items from our information desk.
Describe a memorable day on the job.
If I had to decide, I would say my most memorable moment was taking our first picture in our new facility. It was more than just a picture to me; it was symbolic of my personal journey, beginning as an information desk attendant and then building manager to now the operations manager of a brand new facility. Taking the picture above the UAB logo for me was reassuring that I made the right choice moving to Alabama, choosing UAB, and working in student affairs.