One objective of the Education, Programs, and Exhibitions Department at the New York Public Library was to expand the reach of major exhibitions by delivering public programs and educational initiatives built around exhibition themes. In order to accomplish this, I worked with Exhibition staff and curators to understand the content, then with Programs and Education staff to communicate out the main ideas. I also served as a sounding board for those developing programs to ensure content alignment.
In 2011, the New York Public Library celebrated the centennial of its landmark 42nd Street building. A festival of high-profile events was held to mark the occasion. As the project manager, I regularly met with internal departments, such as Development and Marketing, as well as external clients, such as the exhibition design firm, photographers, performers, and game designers. I helped to ensure that the needs and expectations of all parties were communicated consistently.
Good communication requires adaptability. Everyone has his or her own preference for how to receive information and, as a project manager, it is my responsibility to identify these differences and modify my communication style. Whether its email or phone, bullets or paragraphs, Basecamp or Google Docs, I provide information in the way best suited to each individual.
Best Practices & Training
When the NYPL migrated its website to a Drupal platform, more staff members became responsible for managing website content. This change necessitated training, guidance, and support. I worked closely with members of NYPL’s Digital Strategy team to develop a collection of resource materials, deliver in-person trainings, and communicate best practices for content development and metrics collection.
During the summertime, the New York Transit Museum welcomes hundreds of kids in camp groups every day. Groups progress through a series of educational programs and, when one group is running late, all others can be negatively affected. To address this problem, I developed staggered scheduling for the educators leading the programs. With this new best practice, no matter how late the arrival, the group received the full slate of programs.
When a latent procurement procedure was put back into effect, it impacted the way the Public Programs division at the NYPL hired talent. To foster a better understanding of the procedures and the needs on both sides, I created a set of visual tools. This guide and accompanying conversations encouraged compromise and became a best practices resource.
Get It Done
In 2011, the NYPL celebrated the centennial of its landmark building on 42nd St. To mark the occasion, the Education, Programs, and Exhibitions department organized a major exhibition, a season of events in the branch libraries, and a weekend-long festival with high-profile performances, games, and talks. As the project manager in the department, I worked on multiple projects simultaneously to coordinate related activities, exchange information, and manage details.
When I was hired as a financial analyst, I had no accounting or finance training. I quickly learned about budget planning, applied my knowledge of Excel to financial data, and used my interpersonal skills to hold productive meetings with department heads. Over the course of six months, I helped ten departments manage their budgets, accommodate unanticipated changes, and plan for the coming fiscal year.
It takes planning and monitoring to meet deadlines. As project goals shift, challenges arise, and tasks are completed, deadlines sometimes need adjustment. In my professional, graduate school, and volunteer work I use schedules, project timelines, and lists to track progress, and I communicate when adjustments are necessary. With these methods, I deliver on time.