By Richard Zagrzecki
Daria Martin just wanted to get some lunch when she walked into the Student Center Satellite one day late in the spring semester. She ended up also getting a part-time job.
Martin, a sophomore construction management major from Sugar Land, decided to stop at a table set up by UH Dining. She started chatting with marketing specialist Kimberly Cooper. One thing led to another, and by the end of the talk, Martin had decided to apply for a student worker position.
“It was spur of the moment. I wasn’t looking for a job, but I thought it could be a good opportunity for me so I went ahead and applied and got it,” Martin said.
The part-time position has kept her busy this summer. She’s been to every one of the new student orientations, where she and other UH Dining representatives man a table and answer any and all questions new students have about the services they offer, including the wide variety of meal plans.
“We let them know about all the great stuff UH Dining is doing and the benefits that enrolling in a meal plan provides them,” she said. “It’s been a lot of fun. Other students can relate to me because I am also a student and can give them my personal perspective.”
When the fall semester arrives, Martin will be juggling the part-time job with her studies – she’ll be taking 16 hours of classes. Living on campus, she said, makes that balancing act a lot easier to manage, since she doesn’t have to commute back and forth to her home and fight Houston traffic.
She’s enjoying pursuing her construction management degree, which she said she hopes will lead her down a career path as a construction manager. She’s always had an interest in construction, sparked at least in part by her aunt and uncle, who are in the construction field.
“When I was growing up I watched them build their own house and build projects for other people,” Martin said.
Although she lives on campus, her parents live close enough that she is able to drive home and visit them when time allows. Her father, she said, earned his master’s degree in computer science from UH.
When she’s not busy with studies or her job, she likes to relax by taking a swim at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center. She’s an excellent swimmer, having spent all four of her years at Fort Bend Travis High School as a member of the swim team. She also has an interest in pottery making, as well as walking around and exploring campus.
Her job with UH Dining has also brought with it some unexpected twists – she’s met old friends she hadn’t seen in a long time, including one girl she knew in elementary school.
“It was really cool to see her again after 10 years. I didn’t recognize her at first, but when she told me her name I recognized it right away,” Martin said.
As she enters her second year of studies at UH, she knows she made the right choice by coming here.
“I like how there is a strong academic focus here. I also like how it is a big campus. Everyone can find their niche,” she said.