Take 10 with a Triton: UC Alum Olivia Rochelle on Mental Health Days and Making Music
Years she has worked at UC San Diego: She has worked at the Conrad Prebys Music Center for four years.
What she does at UC San Diego: A graduate of UC Riverside with a bachelor’s degree in business economics, Rochelle manages financials and funds at the Department of Music. This includes helping with student awards. “I was promoted to financial analyst last August, and with my new role, I am able to help more with graduate student funding,” she explained. “We also work on research travel grants for our graduate students and help create contracts and invoices for external clients who use the performance spaces at Mandeville Auditorium.”
Rochelle enjoys expanding her campus network, and found the Research Administrator Appreciation Day and Fund Manager Summit helpful. “Research administration is a small part of my role, but I still received some great tips and advice on how to work with Principal Investigators and other faculty,” she said. “I also got to meet research administrators that I would never have connected with, heard their experiences and realized that we have the same issues and can support each other.” She noted the summit helped her understand the next steps, should she want to pursue a role more focused on research administration.
What she loves about UC San Diego: She loves the UC San Diego community, and has already taken advantage of the Black Staff Association and the Chicanx/Latinx Staff Association to grow her social circle. “When I came to UC San Diego I was hoping to meet some new people, and since then I have made a lot of friends. The university is big, but in other ways, it is really small.”
Best advice she has received: Rochelle recalled receiving a message at a time when she was trying to manage the workload of three positions and found herself feeling overwhelmed. “A faculty member told me that you can’t help anyone if you’re in the hospital,” she said. “It stuck with me. I’ve always strived for perfection, but you can only do the best you can in a particular situation. I am trying to remember that and take care of myself—take a mental health day, meditate and work out.”
Something unique in her workspace: “Yesterday, I came into work and all of a sudden I could hear someone playing a saxophone,” Rochelle shared. “That is the unique thing about working here and a great reminder that I am here to help people achieve their musical or research goals.” She also loves listening and watching performances at the Conrad Prebys Concert Hall via Livestream. She plans to attend upcoming student and faculty performances in person this year.
Her favorite spot on campus: Her favorite spot on campus is Zanzibar Café at The Loft. “Once a month I go there for lunch and it feels like a get-away,” she said. “After a long day, it’s also a great spot for happy hour.”
Something most people don’t know about her: Rochelle used to play in a band, “I taught myself how to play the guitar when I was 14, and really like songwriting and writing my own lyrics.” She added, “I’m not in a band right now, but I continue to play and write songs, and I am in the process of recording my own music.”
If she had one day to do whatever she wanted: “Nothing,” she said. “I am always helping others and have such a busy schedule. It would be awesome to have no plans, no commitments, nowhere to go and see where that leads me.”
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