Year of Graduation: 2013
Major(s): English Literature and Management (now Global Business Leadership)
Current Position: Implementation Consultant, Granicus
Please give a brief description of your current position:
I work with government clients to integrate the digital communications solution, GovDelivery Communications Cloud, in ways that relate back to success that can be measured (e.g. HM Revenue & Customs increased their "how to get your taxes right" webinar attendance by 84% in one year: 8,000 people in year A to 50,000 people in year B. I consult on multiple solution implementations at once, reviewing best practices in trainings.
What path did you follow to get to your current position?
Most of my positions have boiled down to the same actions: implementing technology within an organization. I led HMML's (Hill Museum & Manuscript Library) use of social media to increase donations in 2013, created a new website for a local Minnesota landscaper in 2014, managed the development of two SaaS products at a software firm in Minneapolis, and I have always trained internal and external stakeholders why and how to use those tools. I consider this a happy medium, being that I am neither the developer nor end-user of these technologies.
What advice/suggestions would you have for students who might be interested in your career?
Find what you like. I'm happy I had opportunities to test what I was interested in through internships. Even when I was not interested in all of the work, I found what I liked and what I was good at through internships, summer jobs, on-campus jobs, and volunteer positions.
What skills are important in your field?
Communication skills in multiple formats - verbal and written. I have a lot of direct communication with government employees via email and phone so clearly listing tasks and requirements makes it easy for teams to understand and complete their responsibilities. I also decide how to set and carry out tasks based on priority every day.
What is the most satisfying/rewarding part of your position?
It's rewarding to work with government communicators that "get it" - they understand that digital outreach should be modeled to achieve business objectives. I have worked with all sizes of government clients: federal agencies that use digital communications to register veterans in healthcare, states that reward grants and scholarships to students and cities that host movie night in local parks and use digital communications to increase attendance. It's rewarding to work with clients that serve the general public and me.
Assuming positive intent! When projects are not progressing smoothly, it can be easy to find a pain point and try to fix it. My experience has shown that remaining curious and asking questions uncovers the root cause instead of a symptom... and, yes, decisions in government can take a lot of time.
What activities/experiences were helpful at CSB/SJU (and elsewhere) in preparation for this career?
I use the details I learned in my intro Computer Science course (that fulfilled my science credit for graduation) every day!