Tuesday, July 29, 2008

What’s it like to be a….News Reporter?

What does a normal day look like? Is it consistent throughout the year? If you’ve had this position for a while, how have things changed?
I go to work at 7:00 a.m, write stories, conduct interviews (over the phone in the morning), help with designing pages (i.e. organizing stories on page using inDesign, write headlines and place photos), and proof printouts before 10:45 a.m. deadline. Then plan for future stories, and interviews in the afternoon and cover meetings at night. So basically writing in the morning and reporting in the afternoon.

But it’s not very consistent because if a story comes up, I have to write it not matter when it is. So if a story comes up before I’m planning on going home, I have to stay.

With more experience has come more responsibility. Started with a county beat and then had a city beat added; started with 20 stories a month and now average 30.


Posted by Bonnie Speyers on 07/29 at 10:22 AM

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

What’s it like to be an….Interior Design Assistant?

My job title is: Interior Design Assistant at a small but expanding design agency

What does a normal day look like? Is it consistent throughout the year? If you’ve had this position for a while, how have things changed?
A Normal Day:  I never know what to expect on a daily basis. I work mostly with designers who need my assistance for a number of reasons.  Some of the assistance I provide includes: searching for a fabric, piece of furniture, accessory, light fixture, tile, etc… that fits into a given design; making deliveries to or picking up items from clients’ homes, vendors or retail stores like Pottery Barn.  Attending every rep meeting with sales representatives from many vendors. For example, each fabric line we carry has a rep and they usually come in a few times a year to update our library and introduce us to new products. (Sometimes they even take us out to dinner!) I also take care of our company’s huge library of design materials- each item has a specific home in our library, so I make sure things are where they belong.

My job is fairly consistent throughout the year.  It does get busier during the holidays when we are shopping for client gifts, wrapping and decorating.  I have been at my job for more than a year. It keeps getting busier and I have much more responsibility now. 



Posted by Bonnie Speyers on 07/23 at 09:05 AM

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

What’s it like to be a ...Senior Architect?

I don’t know about you but when I think about the field of architecture, I think grand buildings, creative structures, post-modern lines. But patience? That’s not a quality I normally associate with the profession. Turns out, that’s an essential. Read on for a fascinating peak into the life of an architect.

My job title is: Senior Architect (very recently retired)

My actual position is (if this differs from job title):
Job responsibilities included project management and oversight. I was responsible for leading and scheduling a group of employees and for reviewing their work. Generally, the Project Manager is responsible for a project’s client contact, schedule and budget.

What does a normal day look like? Is it consistent throughout the year? If you’ve had this position for a while, how have things changed?
Generally the work day is fairly consistent, averaging 8 to 10 hours per day. I think the biggest change over the last few years is that project schedules have been compressed, primarily due to the use of the computer and clients’ needs to get immediate returns on their investments.

What other, if any, positions have you held prior to your current job? How did you get to where you are now?

In the architectural field, you are required to serve a period of internship prior to being able to take an exam for licensing. Even after licensing, a period of learning continues. One intermediate step before becoming a project manager is to be a Job Captain or Project Architect, who is responsible for project design and coordination with other design disciplines involved and works with the Project Manager.


Posted by Bonnie Speyers on 07/16 at 12:34 PM

Monday, July 07, 2008

What’s it like to be a .....Curator of Archives?

Check out the following for a glimpse into a curator’s world, where multi-tasking and creative thinking are essential survival tools:

Q. What does your typical day look like?
A.Typically I spend the first hour of the day answering email, which comes from around the world; usually inquiring about resources available in our collections. 
○ Then I move on to specific projects underway, which can range from reviewing finding aids for processed collections, to producing reports (including statistical summaries) of date we collect   for the college, the seminary, or the denomination (we serve as the archives for all three). 
○Probably ten percent of my time every week is spent in some sort of committee related function. 
○ Throughout the day I am on-call for researchers who come in and have questions about the collections – from genealogists to post-doctoral scholars.
○ I determine which collections to acquire and then spend time working on acquiring those collections. This requires a sense of what data is or may become of interest to the wide range of   researchers that will visit our collection.
○ I work on the various administrative functions (budget, personnel, etc.) necessary to run the department.
○I spend time researching and doing some writing on the history of the three member institutions (denomination, college, seminary), some of this writing is intended for publication.


Posted by Bonnie Speyers on 07/07 at 11:09 AM

Friday, July 04, 2008

What’s it like to be a…Marketing Specialist?

Marketing Specialist at a multi-national footwear company:

A typical day for me starts with checking my email.  Usually there are orders to be filled for the sales people out on the road or questions from the creative department on the projects that we are working on.  Throughout the day I do the majority of my work on the computer.  I use Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Publisher to work on catalogs and buyers guides, filling orders, coming up with and proofing ads, etc. 

This is usually pretty consistent throughout the year.  My focus changes a little bit depending on if we are working on a new line of shoes or not.  A new line of shoes means a new catalog and that makes things a little busier.  Also, after a new line comes out the sales people are making more visits to accounts so usually requests for orders are more frequent. 

I started my career path working in shoe sales, but I also interned on Capitol Hill, worked as an administrative assistant, and managed a retail clothing boutique. 
I came to the company where I am at now because a friend of mine worked here.  I was looking for a new job and she told me that I could forward my resume to her boss.  I came in to meet with him for an informational meeting.  When a position opened up, they thought of me for the job and, after interviewing, I was offered my position.

In terms of educational background, I received a BA in business and political science from Calvin.  I feel that my education, combined with my work experience is very beneficial in my position.  I gained confidence in my writing and presentation skills while an intern.  I learned leadership and problem solving while working in retail and I learned multitasking and office skills while working as an administrative assistant.  I feel that all of those skills make someone in my position successful.

One of the greatest rewards of this position is being able to see a finished product after hard work.  Completing catalogs or seeing the final version of an ad is exciting.  A good day is one that is busy with all different kinds of work.

The biggest trend/change I see in the future is the shift towards technology.  In the next 5-10 years it will be essential for people to have a good understanding of computers and technology because that is where we are headed.

For further information on marketing careers, check out American Marketing Association‘s Career Management/Ask the Expert link.

Posted by Bonnie Speyers on 07/04 at 09:47 AM

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

What’s it like to be a ____? (series intro)

Freshmen ask. Seniors ask. Even grads arrive in my office with variations on the same question. Sometimes even wistfully, they ask something to this effect, “I’d like to know where to go with my major/gifts/talents, but how do I find out what’s out there?”

Good question. How do you know where to head if you don’t know what the destination will look like? What’s it like to be a doctor, lawyer, or social worker? Or going beyond the obvious, what’s it like to be a child life specialist, a credit analyst, an archivist? A marketing specialist or actuary? What do these people do every day and how do you know if it will a good fit for you in particular? 

Of course, there’s always the web. One can start researching careers at sites like Career Browser or the gold standard of them all, O*Net. Great sites. Helpful information but, at best, still generic. Not personalized. Not necessarily what you have been gifted to do.

What I typically suggest is that people follow up with their own informational interviews, i.e. that they spend time with a professional who can pass along rubber-meets-the-road type of advice. Stuff you can’t get from books.

So to help students in that fact finding endeavor, I have decided to put on my own research cap and run a series of blog entries straight from the mouths of professionals in the field. It’s all up and coming under the title of “What’s it like to be a ______?” So check out the forthcoming stories or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) if you’re interested in letting students know what you do every day.

Posted by Bonnie Speyers on 07/01 at 02:26 PM
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