This week on the Not So Secret Guide to Being a Berkeley Engineer we talk with Luis Castillo, Student Development Manager, about the Center for Access to Engineering Excellence. You can learn more about their tutoring services, study spaces, workshops and more. Check out the tutoring schedule now on our website.
- Tutoring Schedule
- Engineering Student Services & Center for Access to Engineering Excellence Events
- Engineering Student Services Facebook and Instagram
- Center for Access to Engineering Excellence Facebook
LAURA VOGT: Hello and welcome to The Not So Secret Guide to Being a Berkeley Engineer. My name is Laura Vogt. I’m the Communications and Events Manager for Engineering Student Services. This week I am delighted to have Luis Castillo on the podcast. He is the Student Development Manager for Engineering Student Services. Luis, please introduce yourself and tell us what services you work with in ESS.
LUIS CASTILLO: Hello everyone, to build on Laura’s introduction my name is Luis Castillo and I am the Student Development Manager here in ESS. I work in the Center for Access to Engineering Excellence and what I do there is that I manage the center the physical space, all the touring that goes on in there, the student assistants that work there and the front desk. I also work closely with engineering student organizations through the funding that the College of Engineering gets for them. And aside from that I also managed the LeaderShape program that we put on every year in which we take engineering students up to the Redwood’s to talk more about their skills as leaders within engineering.
LV: Thank you. And again thank you so much for joining us today. Let’s talk a little bit more about the Center for access to engineering excellence. What is the goal of the center?
LC: The goal of the center has been to act as a service to all students. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re struggling in the course or anything like that tutors are just there to answer any questions that you may have. You may not have had the chance to discuss in your discussion or more likely in your lecture. So there is there for you to have an open study space but also to have access to tutors and also when midterms come along you might want to review with the tutors from other subjects so you may not be familiar with. So basically as a study space with tutors to guide you through a bunch of process depending on what your interest is or if a course is being a little bit difficult we can also schedule review sessions and thus depending on the tutor and the group of students and they meet with. Overall we not only provide the service of tutoring we provide up a bunch of other services aside to make sure that you are successful in engineering. And we have a lending library and in that lending library we have different items from calculators that you might want to use for test and short term lending tools that you might utilize.
LV: And the tutoring aspect at the center is open every semester correct not just fall and spring?
LC: Yes it’s open fall, spring and summer as well. So the Center for access to engineering excellence is open Monday to Thursday from 9 a.m. till 9 p.m. and on Fridays we’re open from 9 p.m. till 5:00 p.m.
LV: And you’ve got students that are there staffing the entire time that can help students?
LC: Yes, there are student assistants on the front desk of both 2 2 7 Bechtel and 240 Bechtel and those students are there to answer any questions or guide you to the tutor that you’re interested in meeting or if you’re interested in finding a space to study. They can help you answer any questions or if you’re in need of any type of too they can guide you through it. We cover over 45 courses and we have about twenty eight tutors drawing on to 30 focused in those courses and they are there the entire time that we are open.
LV: And if you want to come in to tutor do you have to make an appointment?
LC: There is no appointment you have to make. It is a drop in basis tutoring.
LV: And the calendar is someplace we could find online?
LC: Yeah, if you go to engineering dot Berkeley dot edu and you click on the top tab where it lists student services. It will take you to another page and on that page on the left hand side you can look at academic support. On the academic support you can click tutoring and you are able to see all courses that we tutor on a day to day basis. The schedules for them and also on a weekly basis.
LV: And when you check in at the front of the room they’ll help you find the actual tutor?
LC: Exactly. All of our student assistants know who our tutors are and they’ll be able to introduce you to one of them so that you may work with them.
LV: The second part of what you do with the center is you do a lot of workshops and events. So let’s talk about the first workshop that we have coming up is deal or no deal.
LC: Yeah. That’s the first workshop we have coming up soon so deal or no deal is loved by Marvin Lopez who is the Director of Programs. Marvin has had a previous experience as a recruiter in industry so he’s able to guide you to different tips as to how to go about different job offers and you may be offered, how to negotiate salaries and how to figure out if you do have two job offers. How to make those two work so that you are being offered the best possible compensation salary.
LV: That’s great. And then it’s important to remember that just because somebody offers something doesn’t mean you have to say yes right away you can have some negotiating power.
LC: So Marvin that has all the insights so please please please go ahead and take the advantage a lot of students think that they know everything that is to know about recruiting and how to go about job offers. But there’s really important things that I didn’t even know that Marvin mentions in that workshop and it is I would say for older students to have gone to it they have taken extreme advantage out of it.
LV: And then other workshops that we have coming up this year we’ve got a momentum speaker series we’ve got our end at the semester wrap up events. Next semester we’ll have our etiquette dinner again at the beginning of the semester.
LC: Yes. We have a bunch of different things coming up next semester. AT any point you feel like there’s a workshop that you may be interested in that we have not yet offer. Also at the bottom of our page is a suggestion thing and feedback so please let us know if there’s anything of your interest that you feel like we can provide.
LV: And the best way to find out about our workshops is to you can bookmark our page on the Web site which is engineering dot Berkeley dot edu slash e s s events and I;m updating them regularly. We talked a little bit about LeaderShape. We were going to add a couple events for LeaderShape in October info sessions as soon as we get the dates picked out of what works for our student workers for the program because LeaderShape the applications are open October 1st through…
LC: October 1st all the way to the 31st. So the entire month of October that’s when our applications are open. The actual event of your shape happens from January 13 to 18.
LV: Okay. So it doesn’t take the entire winter break so it’s a short week.
LC: And just to draw some names some of the workshops that we have planned for the spring are study skills, overcoming shyness, the etiquette dinner that Laura already mentioned. Eating for optimal health, finances after college cupcakes and headshots that Laura manages is one of the most exciting events that we have.
LV: It’s a pretty popular event.
LC: And on that same day we also have the LinkedIn workshop. There’s another workshop in leadership and management and definitely we’ll have other things coming up for you keep an eye open and make sure to pay attention to our website for things coming up.
LV: Excellent. And the end of the semester events that we’re doing a lot of them have to be RRR week?
LC: Yes during RRR week we’re we just started last year and we’re doing a bunch of events to help students de-stress. Well one of the events that we offered on those days is puppies on the patio and puppies on the patio is when therapy dogs come by and you’re able to pat them and de-stress from all the different stresses to study for finals and then another event that we have is a board game day. Students are welcome to bring any board games and we open up to 40 just for students to play. Get to know each other and we provide food and drinks just so that you can have a little bit of a time to hang out before you get back to studying.
LV: You also work with the student orgs and the funding and that happens in March or April.
LC: Yeah that happens towards the end of the spring. Which different student orgs apply for funding not only from the college of engineering but also from the engineering student council.
LV: Oh OK. So make sure that you’re reading the newsletter so you know when that is coming out. Because if you only do it once a year.
LV: And our social media is also we’re getting a little bit more robust in our social media sphere on our Facebook and Instagram pages. We’ve got one for engineering student services as well as the center for access engineering excellence.
LC: Definitely we’re trying to put our events more out there in order to engage you better. And if you have any feedback please let us know. We would love to use this information to you this way it’s possible.
LV: Well thank you so much for your stopping by today and talking to us about this.
LC: I thank you for having me here. I’m glad to talk to all of you.
LV: And thank you everyone for checking out the Not So Secret Guide to being a Berkeley engineer and I’ll talk to you later. Bye.