Day in the Life: Reily Center

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Canela Lopez | Senior Staff Photographer

Junior Emma Pejko feels more connected to the Tulane community through her job at the Reily Center.

If they are brave enough to climb up the steep, grey steps leading to Tulane’s Reily Student Recreation Center, students are greeted by a cool gust of air conditioning as they walk through the glass doors, the loud clicking of workout equipment and a bright smile at the front desk.

Junior Emma Pejko is one of the first faces gym-goers see upon entering the building. As a Reily employee in the Member Services department, Pejko’s primary responsibilities have to do with greeting gym guests, swiping them in and renting out gym equipment.

“At Member Services, basically we let people into the gym, we do all the rental equipment and then we sell memberships which can be kind of complicated since Reily has more than just students use the gym — a lot of community members use the gym,” Pejko said.  

Typically situated in the afternoon, Pejko’s shifts are characterized by the buzz of students rushing in after spending long hours in classrooms to unwind and get their daily workouts in.

In addition to gym-goers, Pejko also encounters many tour groups in the afternoons which are eager to learn more about student life at Tulane and the different amenities available upon their arrival to the university.

One of the benefits of working at Reily for Pejko has been the connection to Tulane’s campus she has been able to rebuild after studying abroad fall semester and living off campus spring semester.

“Coming back, it was kinda hard to feel connected to the campus again, and I definitely don’t spend a lot of time on campus,” Pejko said. “I go to my classes and I leave, but having a job on campus makes you part of the Tulane community; we say ‘Reily Fam’ a lot.”

Sanjali De Silva | Senior Staff Photographer
Read about Lacy Watson, a student worker at PJ’s, in our last installation of Day in the Life.

Pejko said her favorite part of the job is the connections she makes with her co-workers and the community developed during the working hours.

“It’s nice that its majority students and … we’re all in the same boat, we both have schoolwork but we all need money, too,” Pejko said.

Though Pejko is majoring in computer science and mathematics, she said she feels many of the skills she has learned in her time at Reily can apply to her professional life outside of the university.

“I mean definitely having customer service experience is good for a lot of industries and just learning how to talk to people,” Pejko said. “It’s just been good to have a work routine and be used to working I think. That prepares you for any work you’re gonna do in the future.”