Every day, Nancy Walsh gets to see the students she loves to work with.
If they’re not coming through the door, there are the dozens of pictures of former students Walsh has pinned to boards in the office in LaFortune where she works.
Walsh has found a great fit in her job as student government administrative assistant. She relishes her daily interactions with students, staff and faculty.
Walsh works with the Student Government, class officers and Student Union Board. Her duties involve arranging meetings, helping with projects and general clerical work. “Most of my work is with student government and the student body president and vice president,” she says. “If somebody needs something, that’s what I’m here for.”
She’s worked for the University for 17 years, to her surprise. “Honestly, I was surprised when I got my letter (marking her 15-year anniversary) from the president. I have been in my position full-time for 11 or 12 years. The time has gone by very fast.”
With a background in social work and counseling, Walsh was working for Educational Talent Search when she decided one day to apply to her current position. “If I was going to work at a university, I wanted to work with students directly,” she says. “I believe in education and hoped this job would allow me to interact with a broad range of people.”
Her experience is helpful in this role, she says. “I think my people skills come in handy. You have to like people a lot, because every year you have new people to work with. You can tell, when a student walks in, when they’re having a bad day. You can tell if they’re a little homesick,” she says, “or if they did very well on an exam in a class they were struggling with.” Walsh is always there for the students to cheer them up or celebrate their achievements.
One of her favorite aspects of the job is going to the Student Leadership Awards Banquet every year, where she gets to find out what her students have accomplished. "Many of the students I work with are very humble about the amazing things they do. I know they do good things, I just don’t always know what they are until they’re recognized at the dinner.”
Walsh says the best part of her job is staying in touch with the students after they graduate. “I miss them all after they leave,” she says. “I love staying in their lives and watching them change the world. It’s such an honor to stay in touch with them and see the fabulous things they’re doing.
“I truly love my job every day,” Walsh says. “It’s hard to have a bad day when you see so many smiling faces, students anxious to tell you what is going on in their classes or with their families. I feel like I have the perfect job.”