Student perspective on participating on large projects

17 November 2022
By Markus Gunadi and Quinn Buhman

In October, student blogger Markus Gunadi interviewed CSA Treasurer Quinn Buhman over Zoom, to find out what he’s learned about big software projects by being the student representative on the SEAMS Change Network.

Markus Gunadi: What do you think students should know in advance about Workday?

Quinn Buhman: I think students should take a look at the amazing resources that are featured on the SEAMS website. Preparation for the upcoming transition will definitely be the best tool for students to get an early view of how Workday will function. There are some great videos and informational articles that explain what is currently changing, as well as the reasoning why. I also recommend the update newsletter, which just gives a quick update about where the project is and what to be on the lookout for going forward with the project. I believe Workday will make managing a lot of students’ resources easier, so I am excited to see where future changes take us.

MG: What have you learned about large campus projects? 

QB: In my capacity in the CSA and various college committees, I have some experience dealing with large campus projects, but not to this extent. Workday interacts with almost every system and office on campus. Aside from being the largest Zoom meeting I’ve been in, the interaction between different campus groups is fascinating. Different offices have different needs and seeing how Workday can be applied to each is unique. Of course, with any large-scale project, patience is important — everything isn’t going to get done at once, and it may be a while before the focus turns to your department. It is also a good lesson in cooperation, since everyone is trying to figure out the new system, we all have to work together to move forward.

MG: What has your experience been as the only student in the Change Network?

QB: I definitely feel a lot of responsibility as the only student representative. The student experience interacts with a lot of different areas, making student input throughout the process incredibly important. It has been exciting, if not a little daunting, to see the deadlines of functionality approaching — in less than two weeks I will start some user-readiness testing. There are some logistical difficulties too, as the only student in the Network, trying to publicize updates in between all the other emails students get is a challenge. Overall, however, the experience is very rewarding and I enjoy being part of a great team. Despite being the only student representative, everyone on the team is committed to helping improve the student experience so I feel very supported in my role.

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