1. The time when I drafted the social media plan
As part of my role in my company, I manage our social media platforms. After a year of kind of getting my feet wet and testing things out, I wanted to be more strategic about the approach that I took. I wondered if what I was doing had made a difference with regard to our social media presence and what general best practices were. My goal was to prepare a strategic plan for moving forward. I spent time assessing our current strategies and metrics for engagement. I defined goals for each platform that were aligned to our greater organizational goals. I outlined the ins and outs of managing the social media – i.e. how many times to update each platform, the purpose of using each platform, a measure of success. I conducted extensive research in the areas of social media, consulting at least 50 articles spanning 6 months of learning. I prepared the document and presented the findings at our Spring company retreat.
2. The time when I reviewed our company’s data systems
Perhaps something that I am most proud of is the thorough report that I produced regarding our data systems. I took lead on our quality assurance data, i.e. surveying customers 3x per year, and dramatically improved the return rate on the surveys. I also reformatted the questions to improve validity. I created a system for documenting following up with customers who submitted the survey as well as a way to track whether or not they responded to the follow up. I conducted extensive research on surveying customers and applied these best practices to our survey. I reflected after each survey to determine what went well and what could be tested to improve our results. At the close of the first year, I took a 40,000 foot view of not only our survey data but all the ways in which we collect data. I crafted reasons why we collect data as well as what greater organizational goal it may satisfy. I outlined the benefits and problems of our current system and then made general recommendations to improve on next year. I presented the report during our Summer company retreat.
3. The time I climbed a mountain
One of my most favorite memories is when my sister and I climbed a mountain. We didn’t exactly know what we were getting ourselves into, but I was tired of looking at pictures and thinking “thats so pretty.” One day, I just had to see it with my own eyes. I spent the summer walking every day after work, trying to jog a little bit. I told myself that I was training for the hike because many people said it was an easy one. Boy were they wrong. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done physically – I wanted to stop multiple times. Along the way, though, fellow travelers kept encouraging us saying “you’re almost there.” We weren’t, but that’s not good etiquette. The top of the mountain was so beautiful; it was worth all of the stress. Amazingly I forgot our sandwiches in the car and my sister didn’t begrudge me. We enjoyed the view, took lots of pics. It is one of our favorite memories to this day.
4. The time I painted a picture
After I left the classroom, I found myself with more time on my hands. I was curious about painting and developed an interest in it. I went to the store, got some paper and paints and figured “why not?” I have been long in love with the moon. I felt drawn to create a painting that showed a moon at midnight being reflected in water. I worked on the painting over the course of about a week and finished it on my 27th birthday. I was very pleased with it and came to an interesting conclusion “art takes time. move slow.” I realized that in art class I always rushed. I didn’t seem to understand nor do I think I was adequately taught that you can spend 100 hours on 1 drawing. That’s how you get good.
5. The time I paid off my credit card debt
I literally recalled this moment and thought “ooooo yeah,” that was amazing. I had racked up about 6,000 worth of debt on my credit card balling out of control during college and otherwise. When I was accepted into Teach for America, I realized that I’d be back in school and back in ‘deferment’ on my loans. I understood I had the opportunity to focus on paying down my debt by spending whatever money I’d apply to student loans on my CC debt. My goal was to have it paid off by the time I completed TFA and was thus out of deferment. It was an amazing day – I think it happened in February, 3 months ahead of schedule – I officially paid it off! That is still one of the best feelings ever.
6. The time I Taught Composition at the charter school
One of my favorite memories from teaching was my time with the 7th graders at the charter school. I loved the classroom jobs I created. I took it to a huge level. I loved creating the jobs, thinking of titles for them, designing the poster, selecting people for the jobs. I took them very seriously and so did the students. In general I loved all of the planning of systems and procedures. I liked thinking out exactly what I wanted things to look and sound like. I enjoyed planning vocabulary lessons and locating pictures that would help the students learn words. I enjoyed decorating my classroom, trying to come up with interesting themes that were age appropriate. I creating unique lingo to teach them certain skills or to celebrate them. I liked creating the students’ awards.
7. The time I installed moveable-type on my website
Back in high school, I developed a website. I had many dot coms, so I can’t recall which one I enjoyed the most. I do remember being overjoyed when I installed moveable type (MT). MT was what all the cool kids were using, it was super customizable and allowed you to retain all of the control of your blog. I struggled so much with uploading that onto my site. It was incredible – I was overjoyed when it finally happened. I spent hours troubleshooting lines of code, reading help guides, etc. That’s how I created my website. I wasn’t a pretty coder, I just did what had to be done and when it looked right the feeling was unforgettable.