Thank you all for reaching out to me about the exciting news that I have officially joined The Community Roundtable team. As we are looking for a research fellow, and as I have experience being a fellow with TheCR for the past year, many have asked about my journey from fellowship to hire. They have asked what led me to consider a fellowship, what my experience was like, and how my path progressed and brought me to where I am today. So here goes:
One Year Ago
“I’m ready for something new.” I told my husband. I had just spent three years building community and leading social strategy that culminated with the successful organization and activation of consumer support around important healthcare legislation in New York State. I had found meaningful work that I enjoyed. The idea of enhancing traditional community building efforts with new and accessible social collaboration and media tools inspired and motivated me. Now that I had an emerging skill set I wanted to use it.
Not too long after I told my husband I wanted to look for opportunities to work in community and social media professionally, I opened TheCR’s monthly newsletter and saw the posting for a community management fellowship.
I had just been turned onto The Community Roundtable a few months earlier from Cindy Meltzer, a member of the TheCR Network, and I was following them with great interest. I liked the peer-network model and I appreciated their no-nonsense and drama-free approach to social in a world where hype had become status quo.
I knew right away that this opportunity was a big one. I would not only have direct access to mentors Jim Storer and Rachel Happe, but I would also have the opportunity to connect with and learn from community and social professionals from leading organizations across varied industries inside TheCR Network. Without hesitation, I filled out the application immediately and clicked “send.”
Some weeks and two interviews later Jim emailed me early one morning to offer me the fellowship. My husband and I spent the weekend in celebratory mode and then I rolled up my sleeves to get to work.
One Year Later
It’s just about one year later and looking back I can say with full confidence that the experience did not disappoint. It was fast-paced, learn by doing and there were opportunities to get involved in multiple capacities depending on my interests. I will also admit that it was hard work and I experienced a bit of informational overload at the beginning. But I kept working, listening, and learning and before long I found my stride.
I’m really grateful for the way the experience and TheCR team asked me to grow and learn. While reflecting over this past year the following points really stick out as meaningful parts of my fellowship experience:
-easy access to mentors
-talented, hardworking and supportive co-workers
-smart, generous community members
-access to the deep well of resources inside the network
-an industry wide view of community and social
At TheCR we talk, read and write a lot about the state of community management and the ways the Community Maturity Model (CMM) transforms businesses. Just as the CMM helps guide businesses towards a more distributed, integrative and inclusive organization, I was very happy to find that as an employer TheCR operates by those same guiding factors.
It’s with great pride and excitement that I have decided to continue my work with TheCR and take a permanent position. I’ve very thankful for the opportunity and the support I’ve received from both my team and from the impressive professionals I am lucky enough to work with inside the TheCR Network each day. I look forward to continuing to grow and learn with all of you!
TheCR Network is a membership network that provides strategic, tactical and professional development programming for community and social business leaders. The network enables members to connect and form lasting relationships with experts and peers as well as get access to vetted content.