People’s Summer | #3

Time really flies when you’re having fun! It’s been well over a month since I started my fellowship with the campaign. As of this week, I have officially settled into my role as Help Desk leader. We also added a new Distributed Organizer, Aarica, to our team! I’m super excited to have her, especially since she is working out of our Detroit office, and will have direct contact with members of our other teams. This will be super helpful in terms of answering policy, press or scheduling questions we may need some help with!

Settling into my role as Help Desk leader has (surprise, surprise) not as difficult as I expected it to be. Waking up in the morning to make a morning reminder in the group channel (our campaign uses an app called Slack, which allows us to coordinate in different channels, or groups, within our campaign) is a bit of a struggle – I like sleeping in, and the post has to be up by 8 in the morning! Aarica, John and I are also playing with new ideas on how to improve upon our scheduling. Our current method of doing so isn’t the best – it leaves some members with the brunt of the work, while others have shifts where there are very few messages. There is also an issue of time gaps – we might have people signed up for the morning and have no one answering messages in the evening, and vice versa. We’ve migrated from using Airtable to a Google spreadsheet, and while that seems to ease the issue of the time gaps (as now people can see who is signed up and when), we are still trying to come up with a way to help distribute the work evenly.

However, besides making the morning reminder post and having input on how we run the Help Desk, there isn’t much difference between my day-to-day role. I still hop on and answer questions in my free time. I have noticed that I am getting a lot more versed in our policy plans. Whereas before I only knew the main takeaway points, I now know answers to more complex and niche policy questions. And while on the topic of niche policy questions – boy, do Michiganders have a lot of diverse concerns! It’s fascinating to see the types of issues people reach out to our campaign about, and I’m learning a lot about issues and policies that I’ve never even been aware of. Honestly, the Help Desk has been a great help to me in terms of starting conversations about Abdul. I feel like I no longer sound like a blustering, idealistic teenager when I talk to people about Abdul – I know most of the agendas inside out, and can have a real conversation with people about issues that concern them without making them wait for answers.

2 thoughts on “People’s Summer | #3

  • August 14, 2018 at 10:21 am
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    Hi Alexandra, my name is Zane and I am an intern at the Opportunity Hub. I have read all of your blogs that you’ve posted to date and am glad to hear that you had a positive experience interning for Abdul! I plan to reply to half of them today and half of them next week, just so you know.

    I am very glad to hear that you started your internship motivated and ready to do whatever it took to help the campaign. That’s a great attitude to enter with. Your work definitely made a difference.

    I’m sorry to hear that you were “slammed” by work early on! That said, I am glad you were uplifted by the effort going into the campaign. That is fantastic to hear, and gaining that experience with some higher-pressure, high-nerves work will benefit you immensely in the future.

    I’m glad that things turned out not to be as tough as you expected! It does sound like your scheduling is inefficient, though. I’d recommend giving suggestions for how to manage that kind of thing in the future, if possible. Supervisors love that type of proactivity.

    I’d love to hear more about what aspects of the internship led you to shift from feeling like a “blundering, idealistic teenager” to an informed representative of the campaign. What did the internship do to prepare you? Was it just hands-on experience or is there some type of learning method you could apply to school in the future that you experienced here? Regardless, I’m so happy to hear things are going well!

    Reply
  • August 20, 2018 at 4:59 pm
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    Hello Alex – I’m Kate, one of the Coaches at the Hub, and I wanted to let you know that I have been following your posts alongside Zane. It’s been a pleasure to read about your experiences with the Abdul for Governor campaign and all that you’ve accomplished for your team!

    Reply

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