People’s Summer | #4

I can’t believe that the midway point of my internship is already here! When I woke up this morning to the Opportunity Hub’s “Midway Through Your Internship” reminder, I had to mentally count back and make sure that was right! It honestly feels like my first day was just yesterday – and while we still have so many more days to go, the Primary Election (and my official final day!)  is so close.

I’ve been focusing a lot of my time and efforts into the Help Desk over these past few weeks. As the election draws nearer, we’ve been getting a huge influx of messages. I remember when I first started, we averaged about 20 a week – now we easily get over 40 FB messages daily! Because of this, I’m online practically 24/7 – helping our Help Desk members, answering messages myself, reaching out to various members of our team. It’s a lot more work than I originally anticipated, but I’d be a liar if I didn’t say I’m enjoying myself immensely. I’ve gotten closer to Aarica, and we recently “adopted” Hannah, a member of our Policy team, into our Help Desk family. The two have made my life a lot easier (and I hope I make theirs a bit easier too!).

There have been a few changes to the way we run our Help Desk that have made it more efficient. First of all, we finally figured out our scheduling dilemma! I realized that if we double the number of shifts we have in a day while cutting back on the length of the shifts, we would have much smoother transitions. The bulk of the messages would also be more evenly distributed because no one person is online during peak hours. We implemented my idea last week, and it seems to be working very well so far.

Aarica also had the idea of doing nightly audits of all the messages we sent out. I believe I mentioned earlier the importance of the Help Desk, and it’s something I’ve seen firsthand. Our responses can literally make or break a potential vote – and we want to make as many as possible! Therefore, I spend an additional hour or so (depending on how many messages we got that day), going through our Inbox – adding to responses, flagging down potential concerns, archiving messages accordingly. It’s a lot of work, and I won’t lie – it is a bit tedious. However, I do feel that adding this to my responsibility has made me a much more active and involved leader. Since part of the audits includes flagging messages that could be worked on, I have a lot of discretion in setting the tone of the Help Desk. At first, it was a bit hard messaging other members about how they can improve, but all the people I reached out to were very receptive to the feedback. Overall, we’ve assumed a much more uniform and (as we joke in our Slack channel) “customer service”-like voice, and our responses have never been better!

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