Our Nominee for Student Employee of the Year 2017

This Monday kicked off National Student Employment Week. At Tech Services, we're fortunate to work with amazing student employees in fields as diverse as privacy and security, customer service, and writing.

While all of our student employees are crucial members of the Tech Services team, one student in particular really shines.

Tara Ibrahim is a graduating senior in Mechanical Engineering. She’s worked at Tech Services for almost three years. In her time with us, Tara has provided stellar support for faculty, students, and staff who use the presentation equipment in over 270 classrooms on campus. Given her dedication to and knowledge about helping customers, she now serves as a student team lead.

As such, Tech Services was thrilled to nominate Tara for the Office of Student Financial Aid’s (OSFA) Student Employee of Year 2017 award.

Student Employee of the Year is an annual award given to undergraduate student employees for excellence in their jobs. Any undergraduate hourly employee working on campus for at least six months can be nominated. Candidates are evaluated on five categories: reliability, quality of work, initiative, professionalism, and uniqueness of contributions. To learn more, see https://www.osfa.illinois.edu/types-of-aid/student-employees-of-the-year

What makes Tara so awesome? Read on.


Tara is a student team lead with the Technology Services Help Desk. She’s finishing up her degree in Mechanical Engineering and is excited to graduate this year.

Tara has always liked working with technology. It’s a passion she inherited from her dad.

“My dad does IT, so computer parts were always around the house. One summer, he had to build 200 PCs, so that was a lot of parts. I started building them with him; it became a family project. I got it down to twenty minutes,” Tara says with a laugh.

Tara is also from Champaign, so between her local status and her love of computers, she knew exactly where she wanted to go to college.

Once admitted to Illinois, Tara quickly found her way to a position with Technology Services, where she helps instructors use the presentation equipment in classrooms across campus, tests and cleans the equipment, and ensures that other student employees provide great customer service.

It’s a busy job, but as Tara explains, “I wouldn’t be happy if I was doing something that wasn’t related to technology.”

Working at Tech Services has provided Tara with the opportunity to work not only with computers, but with the people who use those computers every day to teach and learn at Illinois.

“Working here has taught me a lot of basic troubleshooting and customer service skills, as well as office etiquette. I’ve developed a lot of things like that. It’s very important to communicate with people. I used to be terrified of talking to people over the phone and that’s gone away,” Tara says.

After graduation, Tara hopes to work as a mechanical engineer.

Being nominated for Student Employee of the Year during her last year is a sweet note on which Tara will end a full and vibrant career at Illinois.

“I work really hard, and it’s nice to be recognized for your hard work. A lot of people here do their best, and my boss recognizes that. But it’s really nice to be singled out,” Tara says.

A huge thank you to all of our amazing student employees, and a special good luck to Tara!