Becoming an Operations Assistant with the NC Public Charter Schools Association is my first job in the career for which I went to graduate school. I earned a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from UNC Charlotte in 2012 with a concentration in Nonprofit Management. My career goal is to be a director or officer in a nonprofit organization that advocates for education or economic development, and this role is the perfect start!
My first month on this job required much initiative, self-learning, and self-direction because I had very little experience in education and nonprofits outside of grad school. I had to research what charter schools were, their purpose, their history, major policies that affect them (particularly in NC), and what it means to be a member of the Association. Also, much information needed to be updated including the charter school directory, the business directory, the charter school map, and the job board so I had to develop ways to collect and re-organize that information. In addition to this, I had no experience in web design so after being introduced to WordPress by Eddie, I had to learn to navigate the program through online tutorials, some trial and error, and tech support.
Now that I am nearing three months in this role, I am familiar with many of our member schools and can speak about the current state of charter schools, what they offer, and the challenges they face. After updating our member school directory and cross-referencing our contact information on file for each member school, I wrote a data report which includes the current number of member schools, which ones have closed, and which ones are set to open Fall 2016. I am also familiar with many of the businesses that provide goods and service to charter schools through corresponding with them as I update their contact information in the business directory. I can now comfortably use WordPress to make updates to the website; even edit a little web code! And on a less technical and more creative note, I created the logo for this year’s summer conference!
These are just a few examples of the things I have experienced so far in this short time. Although I have wished an opportunity like this came earlier, it really came at the perfect time! My background before this job was five years with Bank of America where I learned how to conduct myself more professionally, think on my feet, and take action and initiative when not all the answers were right in front of you. The Master’s in Public Administration (MPA) at UNCC developed me into a better writer, researcher, analyst, and presenter, and being a music ministry leader at my church helped me to be more creative, and communicate more effectively. I am very thankful that I have these experiences to help me with my duties in this role.
(Editor’s note: We are extremely fortunate to have Josh and all he brings to the Association!)