CSV has been lucky to have the help of Lee Hershey, a volunteer who stepped forward to launch our blog and social media campaign this past year. Now that Lee is moving on to new projects, we thought it was time to profile the voice behind our tweets, posts, and blogging. We are sorry to see Lee go, but we are grateful for all she did to create our social media presence.
How did you hear about Cambridge School Volunteers and our need for social media help?
Andrew Magliozzi of Veritas Tutors (and also on the board with CSV) was heading the search for a social media coordinator for CSV. Somehow, he got in touch with me; we met and discussed the goal for CSV’s social media campaign. I thought CSV was such a great organization; I wanted to help out!
How did you first get into social media?
I learned social media largely on my own. While I studied film at school (which incorporated media studies), I was on a literature major track, not communications. I was very intrigued by social media, because there was a lot of energy and movement going on in that industry and the changes were fascinating to watch. I observed the fluctuations and applied this when I started coordinating social media.
What was the best part of the experience for you?
I enjoyed talking to the tutors and then writing up the profiles for the blogs. Sometimes, with all the data and content, you lose touch. But the tutors were so passionate about what they were doing and so gracious to take time to speak with me; it was the absolute best part.
For part of your work with us, you were interviewing and posting remotely from France. What was that like?
I was very mobile for much of the time that I worked with CSV, even when I was in Boston. In France, the only challenges I had were with technology—I was living in a very rural part of France; sometimes the Internet worked, sometimes it didn’t. I think it prepared me very well to correspond and work with a team remotely, which is perfect experience since most of my job now requires me to communicate via email or video-conference with Singapore.
Was there anything particularly surprising or touching in what you heard from the volunteers you interviewed?
All of the volunteers I interviewed were so wonderful and willing to communicate either by phone or email, whenever they could. Tutors I spoke to brought so much to the organization and to their students. I loved hearing stories about their interactions with their students, especially when their students overcame some kind of adversity. The tutors’ stories are very motivating, and as I continue to volunteer to teach high school students, I’d like to be more like them.
Did you learn anything new from your work?
I learned what social media platforms work best for different organizations. Not everyone has a need for Pinterest, so it’s not always best to use it. The objective is finding out what the needs of the organization are and addressing them so that the organization can better accomplish its goals. Sometimes this takes months of tinkering and testing, but eventually it comes together.
What’s next for you?
Right now I work at MIT with SMART as an administrative assistant. I will continue to work here when I start at Lesley University in January 2013; I will be going for my MFA in Creative Writing. On Sundays, I teach AP Psychology to high school students—I will be doing this until May 2013. I eventually want to become a creative writing teacher at either the high school or college level. That means I have my eye on a PhD degree in a few years. Other than that, I contribute to Boston and online magazines.
We wish Lee the best, and we’ll follow her career with interest. Check out Lee’s blog to get updates on her unique style and adventures.