Q&A with Big Red Shipping and Storage Manager Nick McConnell ('19)
Hi Nick, how did you first get involved in SAI?
I applied for Big Red and Hired Hands my freshmen year and was ultimately rejected from both in the final round of the interview process. I came out again my sophomore year and was hired as one of the general managers for Big Red.
How has SAI shaped your experience at Cornell?
SAI has taught me a lot - both in the office and out on the job. I’ve developed professional skills through meetings and presentations with company executives and board members, and learned how to manage interpersonal relationships between employees, co-workers, and the rest of the SAI team. Additionally, as my primary extracurricular, SAI has structured my experiences outside the classroom, teaching me how to manage my time efficiently, plan ahead, and deal with obstacles as they arise.
What is the craziest story from your times on the job at Student Agencies?
During our 2016 December Peak, our truck got stuck in snow at our warehouse. Our phone batteries were both under 10%, and it was already close to 10PM. We probably spent 45 minutes constructing a makeshift ramp out of unused boxes, and another 20 minutes digging the tires out of the snow. Eventually we were able to drive out, but the entire ordeal was incredibly stressful.
What do you do in your free time, when you aren’t at the office in eHub?
Besides stressing about Big Red, when I’m not in the office, I can often be found relaxing with friends and exploring all Ithaca has to offer. I enjoy live music at local venues, taking advantage of the magnificent gorges that dot the Cornell campus, and exploring the best of Netflix original content.
What are your hopes for the coming year?
In the coming year I hope to improve the status of Big Red for future managers and customers alike, by working on implementing solutions that address key operational and logistical issues. By standardizing operating procedures, hiring more full time employees during our peak periods, and working to actively promote Big Red through an analytics based marketing campaign, I think that we will increase the overall customer base, improve customer satisfaction, and leave in place a company that runs more efficiently than before. If we can meet these objectives, the year can be considered a success.
How do you anticipate your time at Student Agencies will impact your future?
As an American Studies major, I hope that my time at SAI will provide me with practical business skills that I can apply to my profession. As someone who isn’t sure what I want to do yet, I’m hoping that this experience will help me explore my passion, once I figure out what that is. Additionally, the professional connections formed on the job between both fellow student managers and a passionate alumni network will serve me well as I enter the workforce.