Chances are that all students have attended an event on campus since move-in day Aug. 16. The chances are even greater that Umair Abbasi, executive director of marketing and media relations, was working on some aspect of it behind the scenes.
Abbasi said there’s nothing wrong with behind-the-scenes work.
“It’s not the dirty work – it’s the fun work,” Abbasi said. “It’s the so-much-fun work.”
A day in the office for Abbasi typically begins at 8 a.m. with greetings.
“It’s kind of funny, he will show up with his bag still on and stop in every office to talk to us before he goes into his office,” said Kathleen Dorcas, art director of marketing and media relations.
Visiting with his staff, including students, starts his day off. Abbasi said he’ll have “anywhere from a two to 30-minute conversation with everyone.” He doesn’t get into his office until 9:30 a.m.
After greeting each staff member and finally entering his office, Abbasi tackles the mountain of work awaiting him.
“Following up email… and making sure that these folks are talking to each other…I’m in meetings constantly and (the number) has increased because we don’t have a web designer,” Abbasi said.
On busy days, it is usual for Abbasi to sail through the day without a break of any kind. He doesn’t “do lunches” unless he is meeting someone for lunch.
“I generally don’t eat during the day unless my body tells me, ‘You need to eat, man,’” Abbasi said.
Forty hours a week, and then some, is a typical week for Abbasi. His busiest time during the day is from eight to five.
“It slows down after five so I can be a little more productive then,” he said.“But I generally go home to at least 60 emails and answer that many or more during the course of a day.”
With few breaks during the day, and many responsibilities to uphold, Abbasi relies on members of his department to help him accomplish everything.
“I mean, we communicate constantly…we have anywhere from 25 to 35 jobs that come through every month,” Dorcas said. “Just in the month of August, we’ve already had 50 or more jobs come through that need done.”
Tony Hall, the manager of social media, takes cares of ESU’s official Facebook and Twitter pages, along with Foursquare, and Pinterest – a new project for the university. Student employees also help manage the work load in the office, including two students in photography, one student intern and two front desk students.
At the end of the work day, Abbasi said he is mostly thankful for his team because they are what gets him through the day.
“My team is what gets me through the day,” Abbasi said. “(We have to be) making sure that we’re on top of everything going on in Student Life things because it’s awesome to have students back on campus.”