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Balancing commuting, classes, and coding with Help Desk student worker, Mahfuza Rahman

  Mahfuza Rahman, OIT Help Desk student supervisor
Completing a computer science degree and supervising Office of Information Technology (OIT) Help Desk consultants is all a part of senior student Mahfuza Rahman’s daily routine. Rahman is a student supervisor at the OIT Help Desk and has been with the team since her first year at the university. From commuting to coding applications to trying new culinary experiences in New Brunswick, Rahman does it all while balancing her work with OIT.

How did you get your start as a student worker within OIT?
I’m a commuter from nearby so I wanted to find a job at Rutgers where I could spend more time on campus aside from my classes. I was looking for a role somewhat related to my major and that could eventually turn into a leadership position. That’s when I found out about the Help Desk, and while it was a new opportunity that was intimidating at first, I wound up enjoying it and becoming very invested.

What is it like balancing student life while also working for OIT?
It can be difficult at times. Now that I’m a senior I have a lot of responsibilities on my plate – I’m taking major intensive classes, applying for jobs post-grad, and going on job interviews all while working. However, my professors and OIT Help Desk supervisors have been very helpful in working with me to balance my class schedules and shifts. One thing I’ve learned is the importance of knowing when to take a break. If I didn’t know how to take a break, I don’t think I would be able to balance a lot of what I do.

What has been your favorite thing about your job, either during your time as a help desk consultant or now as a supervisor?
I love the collaborative and fun environment we have at the OIT Help Desk. It’s great interacting with and getting to know the other student workers. Previously, I would have tended to keep to myself, but here I found myself coming out of my shell more with our common interest in technology.

Are there particular skills you have learned through the experience?
One great thing has been the enhancement of my communication skills. Prior to working at the Help Desk, I was nervous about even ordering food over the phone! But within the first month of working, I felt so much more confident in communicating and holding conversations, which has allowed me to grow a lot personally. I think this pattern is similar for many other students at the Help Desk as well.

Were you always interested in computer science and the IT realm?
In high school I was really determined to become a doctor. Those classes were mostly focused on biology and the medical field, but I ended up getting placed in one computer science class despite it being the last elective I wanted. I began the class knowing I just had to get through it, but my teacher noticed potential in me and encouraged me to take more of these type of classes. Eventually I started enjoying computer science so much that the idea of being a doctor went out the window and I haven’t looked back.

What are your future aspirations after you graduate from Rutgers?
I’m currently looking into software engineering positions. I’m passionate about this field and know it’s exactly what I want to do. At the end of the day, wherever I work, I know I want to do something where I’m coding.

What’s an interest of yours outside of work and school?
Ever since coming to college, my main passion has been trying new food. Being a commuter, I don’t really want to go all the way home to get a meal when I can easily get one on campus, and I love trying new places and cuisines. George Street in New Brunswick has some great restaurant options, with some of my favorites being Bagel Nosh, Ramen Nagomi, and Destination Dogs.

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