Dorm Crew Captain

Aranza Caballero ‘20

Concentration: History and Science
House: Currier
Employer: Dorm Crew

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Since working as a freshman orientation leader in high school, Aranza has known the importance of working a job that offers both a community and opportunities for personal growth as a leader and team member. Upon entering Harvard and participating in Dorm Crew’s Fall Clean-Up Pre-orientation Program, Aranza has since found that very niche in college and has continued working for Dorm Crew to this day. Aranza says, “Since it worked with my schedule, it was great pay, and it helped me meet really cool people through the program, I thought to myself, ‘Why not keep doing it?’ so [Dorm Crew] became part of my transition into college.”

One of the largest student employers on campus, Dorm Crew is a student-run organization that was founded in 1951 and that sits within the larger umbrella of Harvard Campus Services. Dorm Crew provides students on campus with valuable services such as Harvard Yard classroom cleaning, residential life safety inspections, and snow removal, not to mention indispensable resources such as dorm room essentials, cleaning supplies, and kitchen equipment.

Soon after Aranza started her job with Dorm Crew, she discovered that it was more than just employment. “I think one of the things that I found really surprising - and in a good way - was the people I was working with. We were spending so much time together, and I didn’t expect it to be an opportunity to meet new friends, but it became that.”

As she became increasingly involved, Aranza applied to be a Dorm Crew Captain, one of 30 to 40 leadership positions that manages the 800 students Dorm Crew employs annually. The very process of applying taught Aranza a valuable lesson in working with others. “I wanted to make sure that I was performing well, so I really learned how to reach out to others to ask if there is anything that I can improve on. So I feel like I have been able to translate that into my academics and personal life, as well as with my advisers and friends.”

After successfully becoming a captain, Aranza embraces not only the large responsibility of the Dorm Crew Captain role but also its rewarding nature - as a captain, Aranza has the opportunity to also train new workers for the Spring Clean-Up program, as well as the freshman who will be coming in as trial captains. “It’s a great new way for me to become a mentor and friends with them, so I’m excited for that.”dorm crew_aranza_image2

Aranza explains how this mentorship dynamic is a learning experience for her as well, “You’re in charge of a group of people but just because you’re supervising them, it doesn’t mean that you’re not working with them - it’s a very mutual relationship. I personally think that I have grown a lot through it, as a leader, as a team member, as a person in general.”

Aranza shares how her experience working for Dorm Crew has been a very positive one overall, “I picked Dorm Crew because it worked really well with my schedule - it’s very flexible, there’s very high pay which obviously helps, and once I saw what a great community that it could be, I wanted to be a part of that.” Musing over the important takeaways from her experience, Aranza concludes, “I get to interact with different people and work in different situations and that has helped me grow and become a better version of myself… I definitely feel like I’ve grown a lot more through my employment than if I hadn’t been employed by the university.”