Matt Navarro

Major: History
Hometown: Chico, CA
Class: Senior
Program Position: Information Clerk and Compost Education Coordinator | AS Sustainability

How did you first get connected with the Associated Students?
I heard about the Information Center job from a friend and applied online and now I’ve been here for 3-1/2 years. My job with AS Sustainability just started last fall. I used to live near the compost display area and garden, and I’d always check it out as I walked by. I did a little research to find out about it because I wanted to have a job outdoors. I did a phone interview since I was studying abroad in India and I got the job.

How would you describe your current positions with the Associated Students?
As an information clerk I provide all types of information and referrals to the public – mostly students and parents, but community members as well. I deal with telephone inquiries and walk-ins. Questions include everything from financial aid, adding and dropping classes, and grad checks to hours of operation, parking permits, what to do in Chico, and where to eat.

As the AS Sustainability compost education coordinator, I conduct workshops on how to compost; maintain the garden (compost display area); and do community outreach on the importance of sustainable practices. I have the perfect job combination: a clean, indoor desk job and a “get your hands dirty” outdoor job.

What does working for the Associated Students do for you personally, professionally, or academically?
Communication! I’ve learned to be kind of a detective at the Info Center when people don’t know exactly what they want. I ask the right questions to help resolve their problems. I get to deal with a wide variety of people from all ages and backgrounds. My goal is to provide the information they need and alleviate their stress when they’re frustrated.

What do YOU bring to the table in both your positions at the Associated Students?
I have a lot of patience and am willing to work with people to find out what their needs are. I keep a positive attitude, and I’m creative. I like to make my work environment fun for me and my co-workers. There are five of us at the Information Center. We try to keep it light, but we do our jobs professionally.

I love teaching the compost education workshops. I like being the center of attention when I’m teaching – especially when it’s something I believe in.

What are your career plans and how does your job with the Associated Students better prepare you for that path?
I plan to apply to the teaching credential program here and, ultimately, teach history at the junior high or high school level in a public school. But first, after I get my credential, I’d like to go to South America for a couple of years and learn Spanish.  Working at the AS with a diverse group of people, improving my communication skills, and getting to teach workshops are all good preparation for my teaching career.