Employee Spotlight: Lukas Neamtu (BSc '08), Programs Coordinator, Applied Studies & Co-op
Where are you from?
I’m from Okotoks. I came here to be a teacher and stayed for everything else. Over the course of my degree I changed my major three times, completed four co-op work terms, lived in residence and worked on campus as a residence assistant, a tour guide and a safewalker. After all that I realized I loved post-secondary. It was the environment that kept drawing me in.
How long have you been at the U of L and what do you do here?
I graduated in April of 2008 and started here in September. It was a very long four months being a server. I wasn’t very good at it, so that made it even longer. I started as a recruitment officer and my territory included southern Alberta and Saskatchewan. I toured the country for months on end; it was awesome! To this day, it’s the best job I’ve ever had. For an extrovert like me, it was exciting and awesome to talk to people about coming to the U of L. Not to mention that I loved driving, I built up an impressive collection of U of L golf shirts, and I got to bleed blue and gold all along the way. By 2010, I was ready to get off the road and a maternity leave came up in orientation & transition. My career then took me in a number of directions over the next seven years, including continuing in orientation & transition, managing the recruitment officers and three years in Housing as the associate director. But when this job in Co-op came up, I couldn’t turn it down. So much of it takes me back to my roots and what I loved about being a recruiter — a little bit of travel, lots of talking and tons of presentations. Each semester, I have 45 to 60 students who are all over the province and country on cool, interesting and unique experiential education opportunities. Some are co-op work terms, which are full-time paid employment, and others are applied studies, where students turn part-time paid or volunteer experience into course credit.
I’ve also been involved in Supporting Our Students (SOS) since 2010, both as a donor and a member of the committee. I donate because I want to give back. The committee is great too because it is a group of people just like me who want to give back and encourage other staff to do the same. What we accomplish together is so much fun. It’s really neat to see the dollar amounts for the awards go up, receive the thank-you cards from the students, and help staff and faculty determine what they want to give to. About 60 per cent of donors right now are giving to one of the three main SOS awards. Forty per cent of us are giving to 110 other different awards. While we brand it as one SOS campaign, each of us is putting our donation exactly where we want it to go. Mine goes to the ULSU Foodbank and a residence scholarship.
What is the best part of your job?
The best part is when a student gets hired! It takes a lot of effort and hard work to put together a competitive app, prepare for the interview, and then go in and rock it. For them to be successful at the end just makes my day! My students never cease to impress and inspire me.
What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?
I was a band geek in junior high and high school. I played the baritone sax up to Grade 11 and then the tenor sax in Grade 12.