On the Job with Shawn Allred

What are you most looking forward in this academic year? 

This past spring semester, we opened a new venue on campus: the Barnes Student Center. It is a barn, renovated for food service and evening programming for students. After a full semester with it being open, and with our orientation events in there all summer, it will be a much different environment this fall. I’m excited to see what the space will become. 

Shawn AllredWhat is the biggest lesson you’ve learned working in the profession?

I’ve been a student affairs professional now for about five years. I’ve learned many different lessons along the way, but to me, the biggest is how to train/teach college students. When I first started, I thought it was enough just to train them how to do their jobs. But I’ve learned it’s more than just showing them the “how” of the job, but the “why.” The “why” is so important, as it helps create buy-in and understanding for the students. Once a student understands why we do a thing, it’s much easier for them to remember how we do it.  

Describe a memorable day on the job.

There have been several memorable days in my short time here. But one that stands out the most was in my first week. Our homecoming is something to behold—seeing the homecoming floats, the events that week, and the concert that Friday night. I had not been a part of a concert of that size on a college campus before, and seeing the student body embrace it fully was truly amazing. It was a true example of teamwork, and I was excited to be a part of it.  

What is one project or innovation you’re proud to have helped implement?

A project we are still in the midst of is reorganizing student employment. We are creating different teams of students with varying jobs to make the tasks of managing the Hendrix Center more efficient. With building managers, special event technicians, and conversion associates, the work is more clearly outlined and divided while allowing cross help among the departments. 

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