When Matthew “Matt” Struba recalls his first few weeks at the UH Foundation Student Calling Center, he remembers that the transition took some getting used to. Previously a welder for Honolulu Disposal Service, Matt had been doing construction and other hard labor jobs before coming to the calling center in 2014. But two years later and $100,000 worth of funds raised, Matt feels right at home.
“The transition of working in an office after working in construction, it’s a whole different environment,” said Matt, who was promoted to a student supervisor for the calling center in 2015. “But after working here for a while you start to realize how important this job is and what you’re doing it for.”
Originally from ‘Ewa Beach, Matt came to UH Mānoa from Leeward CC and learned of the student caller job after a classmate reached out to him about an opening in the calling center. In the past two years he has helped raise money to support the UH System including funds for scholarships, campuses, departments and more. As a student supervisor, he’s also had the opportunity to pass on his knowledge to newer callers who are just starting out.
“It’s such a positive atmosphere,” said Matt of working in the calling center. “That’s why I’m still here. It all ended up working out.”
Matt is now a senior majoring in coastal ecology, and will be taking on an internship in the fall along with his work as a student supervisor. After graduation he’s hoping to work in the natural resource management field, and believes that many of the skills he learned while working for the calling center will be valuable in the long run.
“In today’s world, being able to communicate and build relationships, that’s something that can be applied to any job,” said Matt. “But for now, being here has been a great ride, and I’m just enjoying it!”