On the Job with Darius Darling
Which step do you find most taxing in your conference planning checklist?
I find that getting information from clients is the most difficult part. Most clients seem to love holding details to themselves to be the “knower of all” until something doesn’t go as they imagined; then it becomes the facility’s biggest issue at hand. We have built multiple checkpoints into our checklist, but somehow there is always some information left off from clients.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned working in the profession?
I knew what the union did for me when I was a student here at Indiana Tech, but I never knew the impact that I could have on our current students. I have learned that the union is the home for students for many reasons. In one day, I help many students who have a variety of situations taking place. I realize that it is important to be welcoming from start to finish, because some of the students you never expected to latch on to you and your department tend to be the ones who spend the most time in your office for career, academic, or life advice. Working in the union has afforded many opportunities to understand students’ hopes, dreams, and goals. This has given me a sense of purpose in life, which is to be a destiny helper, assisting students in accomplishing their goals through support and correction.
Describe a memorable day on the job.
Every year we host a campus-wide event, Spring Bling Fling. This is an opportunity for our campus community to come together at the end of the year and “let their hair down” one last time before finals week and graduation. This event usually consists of inflatables, tons of food, music, and other attractions. One year, our students decided that I should get in a dunk tank for this event. I was not a fan, but I thought to myself, “Hey, it’s for the students! How bad could it be?” (That was the young professional in me talking.) This year, I believe our students did their best marketing for this event because the line to dunk me wrapped around itself twice! This was a very long and wet day for me! But, this was better than the day I split my pants on the mechanical bull.
What is one project or innovation you’re proud to have helped implement?
Being that Indiana Tech is not a liberal arts institution, our institutional interaction with the fine and performing arts is unique. I am proud to have been the inaugural programmer for the Explore Performance Performing Arts Series. This series has been a success for our campus and the Fort Wayne community at large. In the three years of the program’s existence, we have held events ranging from a one-woman show and acoustic guitarist to a 12-character production and a full-band gospel production. Our Lunch Box Music Series is the one thing I am most proud of, as it has been a huge success for us. The Lunch Box Music Series serves as an event that faculty, staff, students, and our community members can come to and enjoy relaxing music while taking time out of their day to enjoy their lunch.