> ... Articles > Feature

BYU-Pathway Student Services Takes to the High Seas

Pathway student employees engaged in hands-on themed workshops to refine their communication skills

The BYU-Pathway home office embarked on a journey through the seven seas for a Student Services employee training. Sounds of ocean waves and pirate tunes echoed through the decorated halls as student employees donned costumes and anxiously waited to see what each workshop had in store.

Student Support employees in costumes for their training
Student Support employees decorated their office space and wore costumes for their training.

Walking in Another’s Shoes

BYU-Pathway’s Student Services office is home to 50 student employees that answer phone calls and emails from PathwayConnect students around the world. By participating in various pirate-themed workshops, student employees worked on refining their individual communication skills, strengthening teamwork, and better understanding how to respond to typical questions from PathwayConnect students.

Practicing Delivery and Enunciation

During this workshop, one student employee held a plastic knife in their mouth as they read off BYU-Pathway facts to another employee who had to write down what they heard. This helped emphasize the need to better enunciate words when speaking on the phone, so they can clearly communicate information when answering a PathwayConnect student’s question.

Enhancing Listening Skills

For this activity, employees were asked a question such as, “What semester is this student in?” or “What class are they calling about?” while listening to a fake phone call. Listening for hints, the employees found the best way to help a student when there is confusion or misunderstandings.

Student employee holding a plastic knife in her mouth trying to speak clearly
Student employees had to speak clearly to each other while holding a plastic knife in their mouths.

Problem-Solving Tactics

Occasionally, employees are asked to help PathwayConnect students solve problems they are experiencing. By deciphering riddles and equations, employees worked together to help answer a PathwayConnect student’s question. This helps the student employees strengthen their teamwork when asked a difficult question they cannot solve on their own.

Preparing for Interactions

In this workshop, employees were each given a different example of a problem they may encounter at work. Each employee took turns explaining how they would solve the problem and share the emotions they thought a student may feel. This gave the employees the chance to see different problem-solving techniques in action and relate to the emotions of PathwayConnect students.

Practice Makes Perfect

Student employees never know what to expect when they answer a call, so it is important to deepen communication skills in preparation for the future. BYU-Pathway works hard to ensure the Student Support team is well equipped with the tools to best serve the thousands of PathwayConnect students around the world.

Employees listening to a mock phone call while trying to pick up on clues that would help them assist a PathwayConnect student
By listening to mock phone calls, employees picked up on clues that would help them assist a PathwayConnect student.