Talking about a networking event at my school, the University of Ottawa called “Backpack to Briefcase”. I wrote about my experience attending it last year here
First things first, I have to say I was very blessed with a big capital B in 2011! It was a year in which the good things that are opportunity, luck, and desire came together to make things happen for me.
At times it felt overwhelming to work three jobs, go to school full-time for five classes, and volunteer but everything I was doing I was really into and in the end luckily (there’s that word again) it worked better than I thought it would. So with that said here is my goodbye to 2011, or review of 2011 if you rather, looking at what happened in work, school, and what I learned in 2011.
Disclaimer: The following views are my personal views and not the views of my employers.
Work dominated my life in 2011. Things started fairly simple enough with my continued employment at my government job of three plus years, but by the end of 2011, I added two others, pushing my work commitments to three. Surprisingly, It went very smoothly. The two positions, both at school, one with the University of Ottawa (uOttawa) and the other with Redwood Strategic working on campus, added to my creativity, leadership, teamwork abilities.
uOttawa – Student Online Community Manager
Being a Student Online Community Manager (SOCM) for the uOttawa was a position I really wanted. The position is one where me, along with a team of three others, engage students at the university through social media, primarily using Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook. You can follow some of the conversation on our Twitter account here.
After attending various networking events that I have written about here, being a SOCM has really allowed me to jump deeper into social media, gain experience in public relations, and help grow the school’s brand online. With planned presentations and a better understanding of what the student population is like, I’m looking forward to connecting with more students at uOttawa this year.
Windows Leader for Redwood Strategic
Getting the SOCM position definitely helped in getting this job. It was a quick turnaround from applying to the job then getting it but it was amazing how it all worked out. The first perk of the job was an all expenses paid flight to Toronto. Having not been on a plane since 94’, this was great experience. As well with all of my fun trips to the city earlier in the year, I welcomed going back again.
In addition to myself, I travelled with three other students from uOttawa. Our group would be joined by other students from provinces all across Canada, from British Columbia to Nova Scotia, for two days of training and getting to know more about Windows/Microsoft. It’s really cool being able to say you know someone in each province of the country, but there was way more too it than this.
There was more to learn about Microsoft as a company, and what the program, being a Windows leader on the uOttawa campus is all about. Basically our job is to hold personalized demos with students one on one, teaching them how to use Windows 7 effectively in all they do at school. After having these short demos, for each student that listens to me blab, they get a token of appreciation that enters them into a draw for gift cards as well as a new PC. But it gets better. Microsoft will also donate $5 for every token redeemed, to a maximum of $500, to a campus organization we choose ( I chose the Centre for Community and Global Engagement) which in short, helps students, faculty and staff at uOttawa find volunteer opportunities as well as supports grassroots initiatives.
In the end it’s a big win for everyone involved, as I get to do what I love doing, networking, the student learns something new, and the organization gets another source of money. As well for Microsoft, they get to re position themselves again as a leader in the tech space, by building a community of people who use their products. After an intense two days, one in which there was a lot of product training on Windows 7 and brand new laptops, the Samsung Series 9 notebooks, the experience was over. I learned so much from true leaders, the founders of the program and those from Campus Perks, who have made their dreams a reality, as well as my fellow peers from across the country.
I’m going to miss school life (I think) when it’s all done. Being six years into postsecondary schooling, now with only one more year left, has me thinking about this. Going to campus, connecting with your peers, is a unique time and experience. Although I won’t miss the bad profs, horrible groups, and useless assignments. With that said last years fall semester went so smooth, as I only had two exams for my five classes, and not a lot of homework. So it wasn’t all that bad.
Three important things I learned in 2011
I want to be a leader. It’s very satisfying having the responsibility of putting others around you in positions to be successful, being in charge, and also part of the reason for success in what your doing, whether that be on an assignment, project, or another initiative. In 2011, through these different jobs and in school, I got the chance to develop my leadership skills. The respect you get as someone who is counted on for anything, be it opinions, advice or what have you is great. But being able to encourage change and progress is so much better. I think I embraced not standing around, waiting for others to take charge and realized I could do it myself. However, it really is important who you surround yourself with, which leads me into my second point.
It’s really important who you surround yourself with. I always thought I knew this in my personal life, with my parents who kept hammering it home to me, in regards to my friends, but it’s clear that in the work and school world it is just as important. In 2011, being on good teams made coming together fun and enjoyable, as everyone was on the same page. This lead to some great results (90 percent on a research project, Windows demos on campus). I’m looking forward to doing more of this in 2012.
3. Preparation, Deadlines, Goals
I learned that paying close attention to each of these three areas was a key for my success in 2011. They are intertwined and rely on each other, basically from the point of view that your preparation leads to you making deadlines, which in turn help you reach your goals.
Before I used to set goals that were far in the future, without putting more emphasis on my short term goals. It was important to learn that I need to take more logical steps, to get from A to B first should be a priority, rather than A to C. .
2011 was a amazing year for me to grow more and mature through all these experiences in work, school, and life. Hopefully, using a common sports reference, it was my “breakout season”, and I can continue the momentum into this new year, 2012. There is so much out there and so much possibilities in avenues to take, it’s going to be exciting how it all plays out in 2012.
The new year is here! I started it off right, celebrating NYE in Montreal, which for those who live or party there often know, is a really fun city. It reminded me of the last time I was in the city, to celebrate mine along with two of my close two friends 21st birthdays. Although it didn’t top that experience, nonetheless it provided great memories and stories. Now onto the blog….
Doing more in 2012. I’m a very optimistic person. it’s in my DNA to be positive. But it’s also good to look back as well (need to get my 2011 review blog up) to things which I did a bit of last year that I’d like to do more of this year.
The drafts are there. The posts are not. The excuses are there. The results are not. With that said, I’m just going to do a blog at least once a week in 2012 and see how that goes.
I volunteer at school doing broadcasting a couple uOttawa women’s Gee-Gees games in basketball and soccer respectively, since 2010. I blogged about one of my experiences doing a game last year here. Doing broadcasting is something I’ve always wanted to do since I was young but this year it would be nice to align myself with volunteer opportunities outside of school, on issues that I’m passionate about (mental health, ageism/elder abuse being the two most prominent ones).
I’ve had this idea to write a book, or an e-book, or short story, basically I’ve had an idea to write something that people will find enjoyable to read, for over 1 1/2 years now. Lets start piecing the pages together and seeing what comes from it.
Let’s do more in 2012
These are three things which I did a bit of in 2011, that I want to do more of this year. Share your own list of things and good luck in doing more this year.