In our first series, A Day in the Life of an Honors Staff Member, our professional and student staff will walk you through a typical day working in the Blank Honors Center.
11:00 am | I take a seat behind the front desk of the fourth floor of the BHC, where the Honors at Iowa office resides. First things first, I catch up on all correspondences: projects in the student admin mailbox, emails, voicemails, letters, and notes from other staff members. The student admins field the Honors at Iowa phone line, email, and walk-in traffic.
Next, I start processing selective admission applications (from incoming students hoping to join the honors program) and honors forms. I secretly love this part of my job because I can creep on the cool things my peers are doing.
11:45 am | Jessica checks in at the beginning of all of our shifts to touch base on what we’re working on. Today, I’m copy-editing the University Honors General Catalog information and will start writing posts for the new and improved honors blog (meta, right?). This is also usually the time when we vent about a MAUI glitch or another tech failure, which happen more frequently than I ever would have guessed.
12:00 pm | I get started on editing the General Catalog. My focus area is editing, so I help proof all honors-related publications. I’ve usually found that the best way to catch typos is by reading aloud, which slows the process but is super useful! Whenever I get stumped on grammar or punctuation, I either pull out my battered copy of Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style or do a quick Google search. Today, I learned that “toward” and “towards” are both grammatically correct, but the Brits usually use “towards” while we Americans use “toward.”
12:30 pm | I’m starting to get hungry now, but silly me forgot to pack a lunch. When this happens, I usually order Jimmy John’s (or Oasis on OrderUp, if I’m feeling a splurge). The best days are when the delivery person comes up to the fourth floor, so I don’t have to trudge out in the cold.
1:00 pm | I start writing blog posts. Because we’re just starting, we’re developing series right now but will switch our focus to editorials later.
1:15 pm | I switch back to answering emails and processing forms. We prioritize responding to students as quickly as possible, so I’m usually alternating between processing forms/responding to emails and working on projects for the pro staff. Making sure students and parents get timely responses to their questions is usually what takes up most of my shifts.
2:00 pm | I sign out of my email and Lync, close up my projects, and update Kelcie on tasks I didn’t finish.
by Laura Wang, Senior
Area of Study: English (Creative Writing Track) Major, Chinese Major, Writing Certificate, Translation for Global Literacy Minor
Hometown: Cedar Rapids, IA