Academic Computing & Media Services (ACMS) employs more than 30 students as Help Desk/ResNet Technicians who help students, faculty, and staff troubleshoot a wide range of computing, networking, and account issues. Maria Andrade is in her first year as a Help Desk/ResNet Technician.
A Computer Engineering major from Sixth College, Maria applied to become a technician because she was looking for a campus job that allowed her to work in a very technical field. Not having a lot of experience diagnosing and fixing computer issues did not put her at a disadvantage when applying for the position. She received extensive training after being hired. “[The Help Desk has] tons and tons of tutorials and step-by-step instructions [for technician training] and everything’s at your disposal,” Maria said. “If there’s something I don’t know they’re able to teach it to me and better my skills.”
Maria’s favorite part of being a technician is working at the front desk in Applied Physics & Mathematics 1313, which takes students, faculty, and staff who walk in with computing issues. She frequently helps her fellow students with the campus Wifi network and computing accounts. “I like [the] front desk because you’re able to interact with the user and it’s less explaining or trying to navigate without being able to see what the user sees,” Maria explained. “Once you fix the problem it’s nice to see their face light up and the sense of relief and I definitely love that satisfaction.”
Being a Help Desk technician means that Maria has learned awesome tricks that she can share with other students. One of her favorites is the “lost and found” folder on computers in ACMS-managed computer labs. “A user’s computer crashed at Geisel and she lost her file. She hadn’t saved it recently so she was in panic mode,” Maria related. “We have a lost and found folder in all the computers so when a computer crashes you go into the lost and found folder [on that computer] and there’ll be a folder with your name and anything that was recovered during the crash…. She was able to recover the majority of her work and only a few paragraphs versus pages were missing.”
To other students considering becoming a Help Desk/ResNet technician, Maria encourages them to apply. “It’s definitely a challenging process, but once you make it through the training’s amazing and the work is amazing.It’s very rewarding. A few calls will be different so something exciting happens every day.” When you work at the Help Desk, “you gain a lot of knowledge, you meet awesome people, [and] the environment’s great.”
The next time you have a computing issue, visit the Help Desk where Maria and her fellow technicians will assist you. Keep up the great work Maria!
The Student Scoop features UC San Diego students and explores how technology provided by Academic Computing & Media Services intersects with their lives on campus. Keep checking back for more interviews to find out what students really think about technology at UC San Diego inside and outside of the classroom!