Skip to main content

Max’s Minute: Student Employees in OIT

Max Davis-Johnson, CIO, Office of Information Technology (OIT) at Boise State University, discusses student employees in OIT. He summarizes a recent study that investigated to what extent student employees in OIT provide essential services and also to what extent OIT provides student employees opportunities for professional and personal growth.


[steady music plays]

Hi, this is Max Davis-Johnson, Boise State Office of Information Technology.

Today I want to talk about student employees in OIT. A few months ago we did some analysis, we actually have a report that we’re going to publish on our website talking about student employment in OIT.

It was a little bit self-serving because there’s a couple things we wanted to verify. One, that students are an integral part, a very important part, of the services and products that we offer in OIT to the university. And also that student employment in OIT is also a valuable part of the students’ professional development and personal development as they progress through their career.

And basically the report did verify that. But at the same time it also highlighted a few practices that we could probably improve on across the enterprise in OIT.

Students at Boise State we use them in a variety of different areas. We employ basically over 50 student employees on a semester basis, sometimes more, here in OIT.

If you call the Help Desk, the chances are that the agent that’s taking your call is a student.

We use them in development support. They help our web developers. They work directly on the team. They’re a core part of the team.

We use them in BI development, business intelligence development.

They do WordPress support here here at the University with what we provide in OIT.

They also provide accessibility support. They do remediation. They help make the university more accessible.

We also use them in research computing heavily involved in HPC and documenting processes that we have there.

We even have one of our student developers involved in the Virtual World Museum, that I think is going to be out there in about six months over our new Fine Arts Building, helping write the software that transfers all the graphic files to the display units that are going to be part of that.

Students are engaged in much of what we do here at Boise State. We don’t call them student employees. They are employees and we give them responsibility and we give them autonomy too.

It’s worked out very well for us and I think it’s worked out very well for the University.

And, like I said, I think it works out very well for students. They gain a technical skill set that, maybe they don’t go into technology, but then they have the ability, they understand how technology works, they can configure machines depending on what their job is.

They understand how software works and that’s a valuable skill set regardless of what field you’re in as you leave Boise State.

Again, I encourage you to go read this.

Students, like I said, are extremely important to us and we plan to continue to use students, develop students, and provide them career growth and opportunities while they’re here at Boise State.

Thank you.