I Am a Student of Service. Are You, Too?
By Ron Kaufman
Guest post by Anna Eilertsen, Uplifting Service Intern
I am not a manager or consultant. In fact, I have very little experience in the realm of “business” so far. I am the intern, working for Uplifting Service for the summer. But I don’t need an MBA to know what great service feels like. And my short time at Uplifting Service has already helped me realize that delivering superior service is not, and should not, be confined to the business world. Lately I’ve been thinking about service in my own current world – the collegiate world. Every year, colleges compete to attract new students while simultaneously striving to keep their current students (and their parents) happy. I now realize that to achieve these goals, a superior service culture is a necessity.
I can say with confidence that I have experienced excellent collegiate service. I attend Whitman College in Washington state, a small liberal arts institution that is consistently listed among schools with the “happiest students.” And as a student of Whitman for several years, I have no doubt that this happiness is derived in part from the great service we receive from the administrators and professors. Who wouldn’t be happy when offered yoga classes, on-call tutors for every subject, free counseling services, or a 100-foot-long indoor climbing wall?
Certainly, “Top 10” college lists must always be taken with a grain of salt, but scoring high on a “happiest students” list makes it clear that the college is doing something right. By providing great service and developing a recognized service reputation, a college can please current students and also appeal to future students. (And of course, this high level of service is needed to help justify the high price tag that comes with college education these days!)
Most importantly, I believe that the effects of exceptional collegiate service will extend far beyond the time I spend in school. Receiving excellent service is the best role model and motivation to give excellent service in return. Because college has given me an understanding and appreciation for good service, I now have the desire to be a successful service provider when I enter the work force. I know that a great service culture cultivates a community of happy hard-working people, and the prospect of living or working in another service oriented community is high on my personal agenda.
An uplifting service culture in colleges and universities not only keeps the schools fresh and competitive, it also fosters an environment where students can experience and understand the value of good service.
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