Student Scoop: Maria Andrade

maria-andradeAcademic 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!

Student Scoop: Aeri Iamsirithaworn

Aeri IamsirithawornThe Academic Computing & Media Services (ACMS) Help Desk is primarily staffed by current UC San Diego students. One of the newest Help Desk/ResNet Technicians is Aeri Iamsirithaworn, a second year student who joined the team this summer.

Aeri, a Computer Science major in Muir College, applied to become a Technician because one of her friends had worked for the Help Desk. “They recommended the job because they said they got a lot of on-site experience in term of technical skills and learning more about computers and customer service, interacting with people,” Aeri said. “I thought it would be a good set of professional skills to learn and develop.”

After being hired, she went through extensive training to develop both her technical knowledge and her customer service skills. “We would come in for about five to six hours every day,” she said. “After about two weeks they let us start on phones, getting the basics down, helping users with basic issues.” Aeri and the other new technicians rotate through specific positions within the Help Desk. She has already worked the front desk and the phones in the call center.

One of the technology tools that Aeri found helpful in her first year at UC San Diego was the screencasting service available through Faculty can sign up for the service to have their lecture slides and other projected material captured along with the audio from their lecture for later review by their students. “It helped when I was stuck studying on a specific spot,” she explained. “I would go to that section and I would re-listen to what [my professor] said. I thought that was extremely helpful.”

A service that Aeri wishes she had known about sooner was the GoVirtual computing lab, which gives students using a broadband connection access to University-licensed software anytime, anywhere. “There’s so much good, well-known software that you can use through it, like Photoshop and MATLAB and other stuff that would be really helpful,” she said. “That was something I wish I [had] utilized my first year here. I didn’t know we had Photoshop and Illustrator and all those things.”

In addition to working at the Help Desk, Aeri is also involved in groups on campus, including Theta Tau, the coed engineering fraternity, which she joined in her first quarter on campus. “That gave me a lot of brand-new perspectives because of the other people who were older, like second, third, and fourth years, and a lot of them already have experience in the industry interning and [know] what classes to take.”

The next time you have a technology question or issue, stop by the ACMS Help Desk to get assistance from Aeri and her fellow Help Desk/ResNet Technicians. Welcome to the team Aeri!

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!

Student Scoop: April Kim

Picture of April KimHave you ever wondered how students at UC San Diego use technology to fuel their learning? Since Academic Computing & Media Services (ACMS) is one of the largest providers of technology to UC San Diego students both inside and outside of the classroom, we took it upon ourselves to go straight to the source. Meet April Kim, a Bioinformatics major in the class of 2013 at Eleanor Roosevelt College. She might be a self-described daredevil, but when it comes to using technology she is a typical Triton.

Like many students at UC San Diego, April has used clickers in her courses—including in an upper division Genetics class in Winter 2013. “It keeps me engaged, especially when you have to get the answers correct,” April said. She thinks that it is a good way for professors to make sure that students attend class, but that the benefits were not limited to boosting attendance. “On the student side it’s a better way to actually pay attention and learn material rather than just taking notes,” April said, “I think it’s a pretty good thing.”

April has also used Ted in a number of her classes. One of the features of Ted that she thinks is beneficial for students is how it functions as a communications hub. April also appreciates the ability to get assignment grades in Ted so she can evaluate how she is doing in a course without having to contact her TA or professor.

Outside the classroom, April has been a frequent user of ACMS computer labs on campus ever since she set foot on campus. During her first two years at UC San Diego April looked up computer labs online to find one that had the operating system and software that she needed. As time passed she learned where the labs were and which ones had what. “I like that there are plenty [of labs] and that they are easily accessible,” April said. She has used Macintosh, Windows, and Linux operating systems throughout her studies at UC San Diego.

One service that April has yet to try is the Go Virtual online computing lab. While she has not used the service, once she heard about the software available in Go Virtual for completing coursework, April described the ability to use MATLAB and Photoshop from anywhere as “pretty awesome.”

April has also used the ACMS Help Desk and spoke highly of the service that she received there. “It’s really cool. My roommate’s computer actually crashed so we ended up bringing it here and so they did a pretty hardcore maintenance [on it] and gave us advice,” April said, “Typically it would cost a lot of money to take it to an actual computer place just to get an evaluation, but it was really nice because it was free and we got our answers.” April was able to easily find information about getting support from the Help Desk through the ACMS website.

There you have it: the candid opinions on technology at UC San Diego from your average student who swims with sharks, skydives, and bungee jumps between classes. Thanks for all your thoughts April and good luck after graduation in the spring!

April Kim skydiving

The Student Scoop is a series of articles that finds out from students how they are using technology provided by Academic Computing & Media Services at UC San Diego. 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!