A Day in the Life: Shadowed students keep busy on two distinct campuses

Senior Danielle Phillips constructs a ballot box for the SGA elections.
Senior Danielle Phillips constructs a ballot box for the SGA elections.

For most people, 24 hours in a day is plenty of time. But for Danielle Phillips, it might be just enough. This week, I spent the day with Danielle to see what an ordinary day for her is like, and I am left speechless by everything she accomplishes. The self-proclaimed Folder Queen, a senior who is majoring in journalism with a public relations track and a minor in event planning, keeps every detail of her days scheduled in her planner. Here’s what Tuesday, March 30 looked like:

The day started around 11 in the morning when Danielle had to prepare the Sweigart Auditorium for the SGA Presidential/Vice Presidential Debates.  When I first walked in, she was setting up tables, filling water glasses and making sure everyone else was doing their jobs correctly. Throughout the debate, Danielle’s job was to warn the candidates how much time they had left to answer their question: 60, 30 or 10 seconds. Immediately after the debate ended, Danielle was on her feet making sure the room was cleaned before she left. After the room was emptied, we were off to her next destination: the Office of Campus Life (OCL).

Danielle works in the OCL about two days a week and has a long list of responsibilities. I don’t know what she does when I’m not there, but on Tuesday, Danielle’s main goal was to prepare for the elections on Thursday. So, in addition to printing out ballots for the elections of class officers and making ballot boxes, she also did her daily responsibilities: answering e-mails, taking telephone calls, approving flyers, making signs, assisting others in the office and answering questions of those who walk in. And she does all of this for no money.

That’s right. Danielle works at the OCL for no money. Why? Because this is her second job and students are not paid for more than 20 hours if they hold a job on campus. Danielle’s first job is with Study Tours, which is a program for students from other countries to come to America for two weeks in the summer and learn English, while also seeing American culture up close. She has worked with Study Tours for three years now. She currently works as the site coordinator, which means that right now, she is planning everything for summer, when she goes on local trips with the students and keeps everyone in the group together and organized.

And “organized” is a word that perfectly describes Danielle. It appears that others believe she is an expert on the matter, because on Wednesday, she made a presentation about “Sustaining Your Organization” for the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of New Jersey, which consists of student leaders from other private schools.

After putting in three hours at the OCL, her next stop was at Auxiliary Services, to show the office where she spends most of her time and hopes to turn into her future career. Danielle said at first she worked at the New Jersey location near Rider’s campus, but this summer will be different. Danielle applied for a position for this summer but was not hired.

“I knew that I wanted to work with Study Tours this year. So I contacted them and said, ‘It’s OK that you didn’t hire me, but I really want to work for you, so please place me somewhere,’” she said.

Her persistence paid off: This summer, Danielle will be working in California, at Pitzer College.

“It’s extremely exciting, because who doesn’t want to go to California and maybe see someone famous?” Danielle said.

I would have to agree. As we were leaving Auxiliary Services so that Danielle could head to her first class of the day, she told me about the rest of her day. After her 3:30-5 p.m. class finished, she would attend a meeting with the committee that makes decisions about the final senate event of the year, the Senate Banquet. Then, Danielle needed to go find tablecloths for that banquet, which is quickly approaching. Finally, at 10 p.m., she has another meeting for her team, the Organizational Affairs Team,  part of the Executive Board of SGA. When asked if she’ll ever eat today, she responded, “I don’t know. Maybe after I get back from buying the tablecloths.”

I just had to know why she chooses to do so much on a day-to-day basis. Danielle simply replied, “I like to keep busy.” Well, this girl definitely gets what she wants.

Angelique Lee, a freshman English education major from the Lawrenceville campus, shadowed Danielle Phillips, a senior journalism major with a track in public relations and a minor in events planning  from the Lawrenceville campus.

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