You might not recognize her, but there’s a good chance you’ve heard her voice if you have ever called the school. Laura Kinsella has been helping the students of Durham College and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology since she started working at reception in September, 2008 as switchboard operator.
Kinsella says the function as a switchboard operator is to direct callers to the appropriate department and to help people find their way around the buildings and who they’re looking for.
Kinsella says her job is important to the school. If schools didn’t have switchboard operators people would be put on hold a lot more, she jokes. Her role on campus is to help make it easier for people to get around. She says her favourite part of her job is getting to talk to with the students she meets.
The switchboard technology hasn’t seen much change since Kinsella started but she says, one thing that’s really changed are the headsets.
She says, “receptionists aren’t directly connected to their boards anymore. They can get up and move around.”
Kinsella has a background in computer technology and IT services. She says, reception was part of the IT department but she never planned to pursue it but says, things change as your career goes on. Previous fields she has worked in are sales, administration and a lot of customer service jobs.
Kinsella has helped students in more ways than just leading them in the right direction. She’s had students ask for pencils to borrow and as even as their last resort, money for parking on campus. She doesn’t see any problem in helping out someone in need.
“And I’ve never had someone not pay me back!” she says.