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Jul 2, 2014

Spotlight: Ross Hawkins

Photo of Ross Hawkins

It’s easy to overlook who’s on the other end of that work order when you submit it, or to be excited about your new dorm room without thinking about who moved the bed and desk in; but when you work in ORL, you know exactly who’s responsible for getting those jobs done, and Ross Hawkins is one of them.

“I’ve worked in Business Operations for five years, two years during the school year and five during the summer,” said Ross. “I also worked as a RA for two years as well. I was a RA in Potomac one year and then in McGraw-Long for the other.”

Ross learned about the summer job in Business Operations by chance.

“I was walking through Wayland as a freshman and saw a sign for a summer job. So I interviewed with Sam, and I got the job even though I was way overdressed,” said Ross.

During his first year on the job, he got to see first hand just how much work is done during summer break while most students are away from campus.

“In the summer, my job is basically to pick things up from one place and put them down in another, specifically mattresses,” said Ross. 

The summer staff is also responsible for delivery and general repairs to desks, chairs, bed posts, bed springs, dressers, couches and TVs.

“We also spend a lot of time setting up temporary triples,” said Ross. “The biggest part of that process is actually removing the extra furniture from the room once the triples aren’t needed anymore in the fall.” 

While one might think that moving all of the extra furniture in during the hot months of summer would be the hardest part, Ross has discovered that the process of removing the furniture is trickier once all of the student’s personal possessions are added to the mix.

“I’ve learned that guys have more expensive stuff we have to be careful around while girls just have more stuff stuff, like makeup and stuffed animals and picture frames everywhere.”

Summer also serves as the perfect time to add upgrades to our halls before the students move in.

Since freshmen only live in a hall for one year, they don’t always realize how much new furniture is bought for the halls each summer.

“For instance we just put all new couches in Eagle and two summers ago we put in new desks, chairs, beds and mattresses. But unless you talked to someone who lived there last year, you would have no idea that all of it is new,” he said. “So the brand new furniture gets taken for granted because they can’t see what an improvement it is.” 

Ross’s work in the summer is focused on preparing for the incoming students, during the school year it shifts to maintenance. 

“During the school year, we are mostly responding to work orders that students submit online,” said Ross. “Most of those are small things like broken chairs, stuck drawers and trouble with shades or screens.”

While working for ORL, including forty-hour weeks during the summer, Ross managed to complete the five-year Education Masters Program.

“I want to teach History, preferably to middle school kids,” said Ross. “At that age I feel like you can still get their attention with a great lesson.”

We have no doubt that his great work ethic and attitude will make for an awesome teacher and an even better representation of our office.

“One thing I’ve learned from working in this office is that having a good attitude about whatever you’re doing makes life so much better and easier,” said Ross. “I’ve been very thankful to have a job every summer. I know a lot of kids struggle to find work every year so I’m fortunate that there has always been a spot here for me.”

By Megan Martin (’11)

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