This summer, I have been fortunate to be a supervisor for the N.C. State Government Internship Program, run by the Youth Advocacy and Involvement Office of the Department of Administration.
It’s a highly selective program – both for students and for government agencies. After an intense, months-long process of putting together internship proposals and interviewing candidates, we were matched with a terrific grad student (pictured with me, above) to help the content effort for our intranet redesign project. It turned out to be a great partnership, and I’m sad our intern’s tenure is coming to a close on Friday.
My formal invitation to the reception
The highlight of the internship program is a reception hosted by the governor at the Executive Mansion. This year, interns and supervisors were welcomed with cookies and cold drinks on a blistering hot day, and we were treated to an address by Governor Pat McCrory as he stood on the staircase of his home. He touched on his previous internship experience, the importance of public service, and a brief tour of the mansion.
The governor prepares to address the interns
Our intern definitely deserved such an honor for his hard work and achievements, and I’m sure the other interns are equally as deserving! It was a pleasure to take part in this year’s program – and a real treat to have my first visit to the Executive Mansion with the governor himself as the guide.
Check out the Governor’s Office’s coverage of the event:
I’ve spent the past 15 months working at the N.C. Administrative Office of the Courts as an Information and Communications Specialist – but no more! That boring, straight-out-of-the-box job title hardly describes what I do for the organization. We just received word that HR has approved my title change: I am now the Digital Communications Project Manager.
Yes, it’s still a bit of a mouthful, but it gives a better picture of my job responsibilities and differentiates me from other Communications Office staff who have vastly different job descriptions. My primary job function is to project manage the redesigns of our websites, although I also do everything from newsletter editing to graphic design to public relations.
It’s nice to finally have a custom job title that really fits!
I’ve been using Adobe Photoshop for about a decade now. I first remember using it in college for my film courses, and I’ve been using it personally and professionally ever since. However, I’ve never had any formal Photoshop training.
Well, it’s about time!
Currently, I’m halfway through the N.C. Office of State Personnel (OSP) Professional Skills Program’s Photoshop 2 course, and I’ll have earned my certificate from the program by the end of the week. So far, after the first day of class, I’ve actually learned a lot! Over the years I’ve developed my own workarounds and “hacks” to achieve certain effects, but the class has taught me easier and more efficient ways to get the same results. I’ve already been able to put my new skills into practice in my projects at work.
This is the second course I’ve taken through OSP. Earlier in the year, I arranged for a group of my coworkers and me to take their Web Writing and Search Engine Optimization course as a precursor to our web redesign content migration efforts. Hopefully I’ll have the opportunity to take more courses in the future!
The number one question I receive about my “new” (4+ months now) job as an information and communications specialist is: what exactly do you do? Well, let me explain …
First of all, I work for the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts (NCAOC), which is the administrative arm of the judicial branch of the state government. Here’s a very simplified sketch of it:
Simply put, the NCAOC provides administrative functions – including IT, HR, financial services, legal services, purchasing, and communications – for the entire Judicial Department. There are roughly 7,000 judicial branch employees statewide, including many elected officials.
The Communications Office of the NCAOC falls under the supervision of the NCAOC Director’s Office. We provide communications support to the entire Department – everything from press relations to publications to graphics support. We’re a small team, and I report directly to the Communications Director. My personal responsibilities include:
That’s the overview of my day-to-day job responsibilities. Got any additional questions?
I’ve been at the NCAOC for almost two months now, and the verdict is in… I love my new job and am incredibly happy I made this career change. I’m still doing quite a bit of web work and project management, but it’s all on internal projects. Plus, I’m doing a lot more writing, press, and broad communications work.
I definitely had some anxiety leading up to this transition, but I now know I made the right move!
I’m hanging up my Web Project Manager hat.
Starting next week, I’m moving on to a new chapter of my professional life. I’m taking the brand new position of Communications Specialist for the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts in Raleigh. This position is more in-line with my long-term career goals and passions of writing, marketing, communication, and media — plus, I’ll help manage their web properties. I’m excited to start making a difference by joining the “family business” of judicial system employment.
It’s always a tough choice to leave a good job and make a career leap of faith — but I’m ready to follow my passions and steer my career in their direction. I’ve had a great run as a Web Project Manager, and it’s certainly bittersweet to be leaving it behind. I still plan on keeping up with the latest web trends and dabbling in web work whenever possible, though!
I really can’t speak highly enough of my colleagues and clients at Viget. I actually thought about naming this post, “Why I’m leaving a good career and a good job at a good company with good coworkers who do good work on good projects for good clients” — but that was too long, of course. If you’re interested, I definitely recommend you check out Viget’s careers page.
Wish me luck on my new venture!