A Day in the Life of...



Chris TamblingTambling_Chris

Associate Director, Student Union
Northern Kentucky University
Highland Heights, Ky.

Educational Background:

B.S., Recreation and Park Administration

Number of years in the profession: 1


What have you learned from the profession?

The reason I am here is to enhance the college experience for every student I encounter. I work in their building that they paid for and help them feel as comfortable as possible. It is also important to give them opportunities to meet and gather in places to socialize and network with each other, faculty, and staff.

What inspires, motivates, or gets you excited about your job on a daily basis?

Interacting and/or engaging with students. I love working with our student employees who help run the building. I also enjoy meeting new students every day and discussing his or her college experience. We have great faculty and staff here at NKU, and it is also fun to work with them planning events and meeting here in the student union.

How did you arrive at your present job?

Right after college, I took a position with Marriott Hotels and worked there for 18 years. I worked in many different departments within the hotel and learned about customer service, cleanliness, facility management, and event planning. All of these skills helped me qualify for the position that I currently hold at NKU. The years of supervisory experience I obtained at Marriott Hotels was also essential when we increased the number of student employees to help operate the building.

Paper Clips(1)A Typical Day for Chris:

8 a.m.

I arrive at the student union and check in with the student set up staff. I make sure that all of the meeting rooms are set up properly and all areas are unlocked and properly staffed. I read the night building manager's report from last night and follow up with any problems or requests. I then check my e-mail and voice mail and respond accordingly.

9 a.m.

Student staff stops by my office and call me with questions regarding proper set up for events taking place later in the day. The information desk attendant calls me with questions regarding our flyer/banner hanging policy to find out how long they can remain posted on public bulletin boards. I focus my attention on my to-do list and special projects I have outlined to work on for the day. My list includes items such as ordering new equipment, restocking snack bars, reporting items in need of repair, etc... I assist staff in setting up some rooms and making sure all public space furniture is in its proper place.

10 a.m.

I meet with staff members from various departments such as Wellness, Financial Aid, Admissions, and the President's Office to review and discuss setup details for upcoming events. I pass on the information to our Audio Visual and Reservation staffs to update in our computer system for future reference. I reconcile the cash drop from the Game Room/Snack Bar from yesterday and record revenue and inventory numbers.

11:30 a.m.

I check in with student staff to ensure rooms are getting reset for the next event and special projects are being worked on or completed.


I typically have lunch with the Student Union staff, the Dean of Students, or Campus Recreation to discuss events happening on campus or to review related policies.We also discuss our family outings and favorite TV shows from past or upcoming nights. After lunch we may take a short walk around campus if the weather is nice.

1 p.m.

I continue working on special projects and following up on e-mail. I check on the Game Room to see if any change/coins are needed and make sure the room is clean and orderly. I make sure current student staff is in proper uniform as shifts change and that they are aware of daily events.

2 p.m.

I attend a staff meeting with the Student Union professional staff to discuss student employees, upcoming VIP events, budgeting, equipment needs, and adjusted building hours for upcoming holidays. The Director leads the meeting and then opens it up for anyone to share any additional ideas or concerns.

3:30 p.m.

At this time, I run a schedule of events report for the next two days to prepare for tomorrow. This report is a guide for our student staff so they can work ahead and set up open meeting rooms accordingly. I attend a catering meeting every Wednesday with the Catering Manager, Reservation Specialist, and Student Union Director to confirm details for upcoming events through the next ten days, double checking current details. We confirm room set ups, number of catering tables needed for food, and discuss VIP or larger events so we can staff properly.

4:30 p.m.

I assist staff in resetting rooms for this evening and meet with some customers to ensure they have everything they need. I finish up some e-mail replies, note appointments for tomorrow, and adjust my to-do list with updated progress.

5 p.m.

I shut down my computer and lights and leave for a half hour commute home.



Updated July 30, 2015