To begin, I have never had anyone trust me with anything so fragile, and this experience will forever be etched in my memory. I was given a task so big that even I was in suspense the entire time. I learned a lot about Project and Program Management, and most of the time, this was all I did daily. However, one of those times I received an assignment that was very sensitive in nature, and it was attached to the Maryland United for Youth Conference in which I had been a part of planning (Pre-Post) for 2019. My response when I first got the assignment was: Why? I found out two weeks later that the assignment had originally been given to the Operations Manager and in the back of my mind, I was thinking that this must be pretty serious because they are trying to fnid the right fit. They want the right person for this and apparently I am that chosen one.
So air goes I have the assignment. I look at the task itself, and I sized it up. After I decided how I would proceed, I began working on the assignment. I prioritized how the project would be laid out, timelines for specific deliverables and wether or not I would need assistance. I then chose times when I would send the Team Project updates and elicit assistance if ever necessary. After I came up with a definitive plan, I begin working the plan. This all occurred in February 2019. Fast forward and it is now April at this point. I would discover how huge of an undertaking this was and I elicited some assistance, which was later approved. However, that help did not come until late May 2019. I continued to work the project to the point of revisioning deadlines and obtaining all necessary information to demonstrate deliverable statuses to higher-ups. It then became a team effort to bring the project to a completion. Moving forward, the project was completed and sent off two months a head of my original and revisioned forecasted projections, which were originally set for May and then reset to June and later July.
The project then flipped and busted wide open what others of Conference Planning Team had not done, when the head of the Department for the State of Maryland's MSDE sent the project back with lots of questions. I was totally blown and blind sided. My only mistake was not including in my plan, a cross-sectional aspect of deliverables from other conference committee's and other independent assignment teams. What I learned from this is that I should have been getting other teams to share with me what they were working on, and where they were on their deliverables. Their deliverables would have shown me, what they needed to do before my project reached the point of being finalized. In this, I started looking to see what Conference Committee's I could help, and researching how other committee's would potentially impact my committee and my indenpendent team's assignment. We used the questions from the state to assess which conference committee we needed to approach and offer team assistance to. I put on the Calendar to address not making the same mistakes again for the next year - (Conference Debrief) learning curves, and then I put on everyone's Calendar all Conference Committee and Planning Team Meeting. This would help us compile the results of where we were, how to move forward, and what our next best steps were. We knew we only had a small window of time to act to help others of the conference planning team, so we came together as a Team with me at the helm of the assisgnement I was taked to complete. This was only a small setback that I felt we could overcome, and eventually we did. Once everything was reworked, I sent the project back off to the Department of MSDE for the State of Maryland and we were approved. This was still done 1 to 2 months a head of my forecasted projections and the State's. I was very proud of the work the Team did and what I had done. I was and still remain humble about this because I needed help and I did not do the work alone. I had help! I may have carried this on my back, but again I say I had help.
When we got to the conference, I saw the fruits of our labor when Packets for CEU's - Continuing Education Unit's and/or Credit's were handed out to the VISTA's first and then Conference Attendees. Whenever we were not working the conference, we were considered Attendees. We reaped the benefits of this work and earned CEU's ourselves. Ultimately, the State had backed the MD4YC2019 Event with a CEU Seal of approval. I have never been given an opportunity such as this before and I am so proud of the work I committed to doing for this conference.
I am Bee Scott and this is my VISTA Alumni Story!