Breaking New Ground

Published by The Critograph on March 22, 2017
Katherine Graves, Copy Desk Chief-

Desmond 2

Desmond Mosby working at his new desk in the Student Employment Office. Photo by Katherine Graves. March 17, 2017.

The previous shift leader of On Common Ground, Desmond Mosby, has now taken on the position of Lynchburg College’s student employment coordinator.

Mosby is currently updating the student employment handbook that the school once followed. Once updated, student employment will follow the unified policies of this handbook.

He plans on working with Career Services to organize workshops for students to learn practical career skills.

“What I often find is that most people don’t get fired from their jobs because they lack the knowledge. They get fired because they lack the soft skills, and by that, I mean they don’t show up on time or they lack customer service or they lack any kind of proper training,” stated Mosby. “What we want to do is make this office a learning experience where we can provide workshops on customer service and work training and employability.”

Diversity and Inclusion Officer Aaron Smith worked as the previous student employment coordinator for five years. While in his previous position, Smith decided to stop using the old student employment handbook and instead to update student employment information online, where it was most easily accessible. Smith said he thinks updating the old handbook and reinstating its use is a good idea.

Smith said he enjoyed his time as student employment coordinator and is looking forward to seeing Mosby’s growth in the position.

Mosby is “a stand-up individual, and he has great rapport with the students. When I was looking at his resume—and even now through training him—I just believed that he was going to do an excellent job. I thought he would be an excellent successor,” said Smith.

Smith also stated that he believes Mosby will do well in his new position because he knows the college and its students, can handle pressure and has emotional intelligence. He said that Mosby’s leadership skills were evident because his employees appeared to be happy in their jobs and usually remained in their positions.

“Desmond had very little turnover in his department, both of the years that this building has been open. To me that says a lot because not having a lot of turnover in the food industry is special,” Smith said.

While working at On Common Ground, Mosby did an “excellent job with his budget,” stated Smith, and Shaun Dearden, the co-director for Dining Services, agreed.

Mosby stayed within his budget while On Common Ground added Starbucks to its operation, stated Dearden.

“We needed to take and move resources to be able to handle Starbucks, [so] we expanded our hours on Fridays and… our Starbucks hours to being open at seven in the morning. We have done all this without adding any labor and keeping within the constraints of his current budget,” said Dearden.

He worked with Mosby for about 10 years and stated that Mosby is dedicated and student-centered and that he maintains a positive attitude.

“He’s been one of the most reliable and responsible individuals that I’ve worked with over my tenure here at Lynchburg College, which is about 25 years… We couldn’t be more proud of him,” said Dearden.

Dearden stated that Mosby is consistent and genuine and was a mentor to all of his staff.

“Whether we needed him to go from On Common Ground to Westover or to help us in the Dining Hall, his ability and his flexibility to go to any area, and his willingness, shined a light to the other employees that they could do that too,” said Dearden. “If you’re capable and willing to go into other areas, it makes a difference for Dining Services and our success, and Desmond kind of led the way in that.”

Mosby stated that his new job is very different from his previous job at On Common Ground. He admitted to being nervous when he applied for his new position.

“I think I was really crying out for a challenge, something that coordinated with my major but also was different from what I was doing at that time. I’m going to miss where I came from, definitely… I come from a great group of people,” Mosby stated.

Mosby said he is excited for the opportunity to help and encourage students because he enjoys being a listening ear and loves that LC has a supportive family environment. He hopes to make a positive impact on the LC community with his new position.

“I went from being a student employee to a regular employee to a supervisor of students and regular employees to now the coordinator of student employment. So I know their experiences, and I want to be able to challenge them to be the best that they can be but also help them along the way,” said Mosby.

A Lynchburg native, Mosby attended LC and worked in Westover as a student. Then he left LC and received a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a Public Administration emphasis from Liberty University.

Mosby returned to Westover as a cook and was promoted to night supervisor and then shift leader. Later Mosby became shift leader at On Common Ground.

“I truly believe that if you put your mind to anything that you want to achieve, that you can do it. You can make it happen,” Mosby said.

Mosby is happy that his new job, with its schedule of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., allows him to spend more time with his family, his wife Taneisha and two children Johnathon and Erin.

“I looked at my son yesterday, and I said, ‘Did you like it when dad was working the 11 to 8 or when dad is working now?’ And he said, ‘I like it the way dad is working now.’ I’m able to spend more time, I feel, with them, which is very important to me, very very important.”

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