By Carmella Gutiérrez
As a third-year accounting student, Stacy Palacios-Esparza has her hands full with school and her full-time role helping the physical therapy department in the School of Integrated Health Sciences stay organized and productive. As if that wasn’t enough, she also is planning a summer wedding and shares her new workspace at home with three colleagues who like to play and cuddle, her pups.
In a University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) series entitled “The (Remote) Interview,” Palacios-Esparza, an administrative assistant III and business student shares tips on keeping her life organized and productive.
What is your job like?
As an administrative assistant III, I am handling a whole bunch of things at once.
Photo: Josh Hawkins/UNLV Photo Services
Stacy Palacios-Esparza switched to a business major after taking an office job in the School of Integrated Health Sciences gave her a taste for business operations.
For example, I manage purchase orders for equipment and pay vendors, and process all payment transactions and P-Card reconciliations in Workday. I also ensure class schedules are inputted into MyUNLV in a timely and accurate manner. While these things are interesting, my favorite part of my job is engaging with our students. Each one is special and may have invisible stresses or pressures going on at home or other places, so I like to be mindful of that when they cross my path.
I chose UNLV because the College of Southern Nevada, where I was originally enrolled, didn’t offer a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. As a student worker at the physical therapy department, and later in a full-time clerical role, I got a taste for the way an office functions and I really liked it. I changed my area of study to business after that.
With everything on your plate, what is your secret to getting things done at work and at school?
Time management and organization are key. I missed a deadline once and was not happy with myself so keeping everything organized and on track works so things don’t get jumbled. I can track my school assignments and my work projects and yes — even my wedding guest list and expenses in Excel. I love spreadsheets because they make life easier!
Any remote hacks you can share with the rest of us?
Staying consistent with your routine and what you’d normally do in the office is helpful. I’ve always worked with my to-do list on a notepad and my spreadsheets at the office, and I do the same at home. So far, so good.
What can people do to make your job easier?
It would help if people could plan ahead and then communicate with me. There have been several times when people have brought things to me at the last minute that they needed done that same day that unfortunately couldn’t be finished. An early heads-up is always better.
What’s the best part about working from home?
My normal commute is about 45 minutes, so not having to drive is great. And now I get to see what my three dogs (a husky named Luna, a malamute-husky mix named Akira, and a pit bull named Oreo) do during the day. They’re like toddlers, running around, acting goofy, and playing with each other. Oreo likes to paw at the air like she’s dancing or boxing throughout the day. Pets make everything better and these three make me laugh. And I now get to see my fiancé more often, which is wonderful.
How did your fiancé propose?
One day in October, he said he had planned a surprise for me. When we arrived at the helicopter area close to McCarran Airport, I thought the ride was it. We were the only passengers, which I thought was weird, but it was fun flying above the Strip. When we got above the MGM, he took out the ring. I was totally surprised. If things go well, we will have our wedding here in Las Vegas on July 18. If things are not back to normal, then we’ll plan a later date.
What don’t most people know about you?
I’m bilingual and English is not my first language. I was born in El Paso (Texas) and lived in Juarez, México, until we moved back to Texas when I was about 10 years old. Two years later, my family moved to Las Vegas and I have been here ever since.
Whom do you admire most?
My grandma, who is retired now, maintained a full-time career as a nurse and raised eight kids. I admire that so much and love listening to her stories of how things were back in the day. When she comes to visit, her favorite thing is to shop for clothes with my mom. I mean, they go bananas!
What about you?
Nah, I’m the driver but grandma’s cooking makes it worth the drive.
Carmella Gutiérrez is a Reporter with the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
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