Much of what Eddie Montoya, III does on the job mirrors what he did as a student assistant.
That’s mainly because Montoya (’19, urban and regional planning) is working in the same place he was as an undergraduate — the university’s Document Resource Center.
The center serves as a repository of sorts for the blueprints, hard copy and digital, for every building on campus and is housed in Building 81, the home base for Facilities Planning and Management.
Montoya worked as a student assistant for a year, fulfilling the project managers’ requests for documents, helping the department with the campus master plan and digitizing blueprints, among other duties. When he graduated, the department offered him a permanent position at the center.
“I was open to the possibility of continuing the job here,” he said. “We’re one of 23 CSUs. The work we do here is not just work for us but part of a bigger system that supports student learning.”
As the center’s CAD technician and space analyst, Montoya works closely with the campus planner to ensure that specifications for classrooms and office spaces are up to date. He also uses his architectural drafting skills to amend documents.
While he taps into the technical knowledge he learned in the College of Environmental Design’s planning program, he also relies on the essential skills he observed and gained in practice in FP&M — how to present, convey information clearly and read an audience.
Monika Kamboures, who serves as the university’s sustainability coordinator, often works with Montoya on projects. Most recently, they have been working to expand composting on campus, tapping into Montoya’s expertise with campus blueprints and documents to figure out the best places to put additional bins.
“Eddie is so great,” Kamboures said. “He is so helpful and always willing to go the extra mile. The willingness to share his expertise is incredibly valuable.”
A part of Kamboures’ role is working with student assistants and advising the campus club under her office, the Student Sustainability Coalition. Students learn invaluable skills such as teamwork and collaboration to communication and learning to work with all different kinds of people, she said.
As a staff member, Montoya also is in the role of a leader and mentor to student assistants. He remembers what it was like when he was in their place.
“Supervising is a new thing,” he said. “Because I have that student background, I know the expectations, so I don’t want to overwhelm them. The No. 1 priority is to make sure the student is learning the job and getting ready for their career. That’s how I thought of it, as a steppingstone to get ready for my career.”