I am most grateful for turning around a mismanaged program that I inherited after getting hired.
Truth be told, I didn’t have any work experience with program management then. I worked as a temp initially, but in less than a week, the program director told me to apply for the open position. Hospitals scare the bejesus out of me, and working for one full-time wasn’t something that interested me. Then he baited me by saying he’ll fill that position with someone else, so I’d end up working for him and that other person. He was right – I didn’t want to work for two persons. I applied and got the job.
Early on, it was pretty obvious how poorly managed the program was. The program director was new. The previous one just retired. The current administrator was too busy politicking that she hardly had time to sort out the program. I inherited a mess. But I knew that I had enough organizational skills, common sense and a transferable skill set to get the ball rolling.
By the time I resigned from that place:
I developed a communication plan for the program.
I increased the program’s online visibility.
I reorganized and streamlined the program’s operational activities.
I implemented new processes for applicant interviews, applicant ranking process/selection, orientation and evaluations.
I increased the application rate by 140%. During my term there, recruitment efforts yielded 562 applicants for one position compared to the previous year’s 705 applicants for three positions. AND
I also coordinated the program accreditation that resulted in a four-year accreditation. For the longest time, it was consistently accredited for two- or three-year cycles only.
It wasn’t a job I loved. In fact, there were many days spent that I just wanted to leave that place. I was unhappy, stressed and sick most of the time. I always knew when to ask for help when needed, but the other women in upper management hated my guts and refused to help me when the going got tough. It was a lonely time, but it showed me my strength and going out of my comfort zone really showed me what I can do. It’s not something I’d go back to, but looking back on it, I learned a lot.