Director Of Operations
(Female, Age 32) from Boston, MA
This is a REAL-LIFE job profile written by a Female aged 32 who works as a Director Of Operations in Boston, MA. We have removed all names and personal information in order to protect privacy. This professional kindly spent a bit of their time to complete one of our job profile surveys so that prospective job seekers like you could read their insights. Please excuse any punctuation or grammatical errors in this profile.
At a Glance
Basic data on your current job
|Job Title||Director Of Operations|
|Other Compensation||None Set|
|Company Size||(not answered)|
|Years Experience||3 years|
Opinions on your CAREER overall (i.e. not just your current job)
|Years in Career||0|
|Income Rating||0 / 10|
|Interest Rating||0 / 10|
|Work-Life Rating||0 / 10|
|Fulfilment Rating||0 / 10|
Current job Q&A
Describe the type of organization you work for.
JSI and its staff are dedicated to improving the health of individuals and communities throughout the world. We believe that all people are entitled to accessible, appropriate quality health care. To make this vision a reality JSI applies practical and innovative solutions in management, research, education, information and training. World Education is well known for its work around the globe in environmental education, community development, maternal and child health, school governance, integrated literacy, small enterprise development, HIV and AIDS education and prevention and care, and refugee training. World Education also works to strengthen literacy and adult basic education programs in the United States. Projects are designed to contribute to individual growth, as well as to community and national development.
Describe your job role and responsibilities.
I run operations for two non-profits which includes a lot of office management internally at the home office, managing relationships between staff, management, and funders; coordinating proposals for international health projects (grant writing), working with vendors to buy and maintain office equipment, coordinating with state government and international governments on contracts and legal matters, leading internal teams to improve environmental and safety practices throughout the company, coordinating and facilitating social events among staff, liaising with building management and cleaning company, managing overhead budget.
Please list an additional benefits (beyond compensation) that you receive.
100% health, 3 weeks vacation, sick leave, vested 401k
Do you feel you are under/over or well/fairly compensated at your current position?
under, but we have a great atmosphere, and amazing benefits
Does your job entail you working with others on a daily basis? Is this something you like/dislike about your job? Please explain.
Yes, this is a flat organization meaning we have very little hierarchy or management. While everyone has an autonomous job we work on creating and using and tweaking best practices and working on continuous quality improvement. Everything here is done in teams and with other employees.
Do you work collaboratively with supervisors/managers?
Do you work collaboratively with your co-workers?
Describe your work location (e.g., office, home, theatre, in the field) and what you like/dislike about working in it.
Please rate each of the following aspects of your current job on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the highest/best):
Job Title: 8
Level of Responsibility: 2
The Actual Work: 4
A day in the life of…
Please describe a typical workday for you in your current job:
|5am to 6am|
|6am to 7am|
|7am to 8am|
|8am to 9am||8:00 – Inventory storage slips for big load of off-site shipping that should leave tomorrow. Call shipping company to set it up and alert my staff.
8:10 – Pay bills for outside vendors
8:15 – Talk to Bill, my Jack-of-All-Trades here about Xerox coming and who should do what. Figure Bill is probably better at making this happen and relinquish my involvement .
8:20 – Start running around between floors to find the 65 boxes that need to be shipped tomorrow and match them up to the inventory I have on paper.
8:30 – Back to desk. Place orders online for 8 new sets of business cards for one division. Meet with an employee because he wants more information on his.
One of my receptionist calls in and is sick. Nooooo!
8:45 – Cancel 10:00 meeting because Xerox has called and they say that’s when they’re coming with the new machines.
|9am to 10am||9:10 – Go down to basement to find some more boxes that need to go. Move dusty and heavy boxes around, fear for my back, and crawl into dirty, dusty small spaces to get the numbers off the boxes I need. Thank goodness it is all successful.
9:20 – Back at my desk trying to search for Podcasts for my beginning French class who said that they are interested in listening and practicing during their train commutes. Find lots of audio files but nothing they can load onto their MP3 players. Table that for later.
9:40 – call catering company to make special order for a bag lunch I ordered for Thursday for a Safety Warden meeting I’m holding at lunch.
9:50 – make a hot chocolate.
|10am to 11am||10:00 – Advise receptionist on how to help with inventory labels and process.
10:20 – Xerox rep has arrived. Sit down and discuss how the installation will move. Ryder arrives with the machines. I agree to stay out of the fray and respond when needed. I call the Washington office to see what’s up with their installation. I guess they’re having some nostalgia or something over their old machines and won’t release them back to Xerox.
10:40 – finish the loop in setting up two interviewees with one of the organizations’ Africa divisions. Advise receptionist to set up applications for interviewees.
11:00 – Xerox is stuck in the elevator. Whoops, forgot to give them key cards so they could move throughout the building. Program two cards for them.
|11am to 12pm||11:20 – Talked with IT guy in Washington. He has no idea why there are now old Xerox machines and new Xerox machines. Neither do I.
11:55 – think about lunch. What? When? Where?
|12pm to 1pm||12:00 – return a phone call from an employee wondering when her Red Sox tickets are for from the employee season ticket raffle. She’ll be psyched to know she’s going on May 1st!
12:05 – Look at invitation to view a conference center and attend a luncheon lobster bake on one of Boston’s Harbor Islands on June 6th. Debate whether I can legitimize that this is a good use of work time. If the weather is right, I’ll have to decide it is.
12:10 – go to pick up stuff from the printer to work on and get sucked in to someone’s office who needs to talk me about an article called ‘Why Bother’ about why any of us should bother making ourselves more environmentally friendly.
12:15 – back at my desk. One of the accountants stops in to tell me how I have to tell her when the Celtics playoff games are so she can get a babysitter. Sorry! I don’t plan the playoff schedules and the games aren’t finalized yet!
Ask her to send me information about hiring inner-city kids to shadow me for the summer as I read an article saying that as a result of the recession Boston’s Summer Job program is in a precarious place. The private sector should really step up!
12:17 – an employee pops in looking for index cards. Give her some notecards I have . 12:20 – went to go grab something to eat for me and receptionist when the phones started ringing off the hook with people with questions we couldn’t answer. we tell people we’ll get back to them but it’s hard when you’re installing new copiers, trying to arrange trainings for tomorrow for the copiers, getting the storage situation in line for tomorrow, and wondering when the CPR trainer for tomorrow’s training is going to call.
12:40 – returned some screws at Home Depot. So far, the easiest part of my day.
|1pm to 2pm||1:05 – filled in answering phones at the Front Desk so the receptionist could get away. Sent all the faxes to employees that come into the central email hub at the Front Desk and told an employee she could hang up whatever pictures she wanted in the lounge.
1:30 – Back to my desk to read my email and answer 5 voicemails. Most of them were deletable.
1:50 – Realized I had a Green Your Office conference call with our Washington and Denver offices at 2:00 when I heard the conference room phone across the hall beeping. Got on the call after A LOT of ridiculousness from people on the other end who don’t know how to use conference room phones. In the meantime I responded to an email about meeting with a new employee being hired for our Sudan project whom I was to meet with at 11:00. I responded saying I couldn’t meet until 3:00 now.
2:00 – Call is useless. It told us not to use styrofoam and to shut down our computers at night. Thanks. Shut phone off. Talked with Green Team about how we can work to increase the behavior change of our staff to start using and reusing a cup from home for drinks at work and to bring in their own plate and utensils to use at work. There is a big debate about whether we should just stop ordering cutlery, plates, and paper cups or ween them off of them. I’m a fan of weening. I hate conflict and rebellion.
|2pm to 3pm||2:30 – Mohammed, the visitor from Sudan shows up. I leave my Green Team but first I distribute plastic bags for the new plastics and glass recycling buckets to them since the buckets seem to be filling up quicker than we expected.
2:35 – Meet with Mohammed who is actually Bagladeshian living in Canada. He has taken a single post on our Sudan project (meaning that his family has to stay in Canada)as a Finance and Administration manager. He turns out to be a great guy and we talk for some time about these organizations and the work we do. I get him a company tshirt and mug and send him on his way.
3:00 – Back at my desk. I use the new Xerox to photocopy some stuff and help another employee to make copies of a manual, collated, and 3 holed punch. The new Xeroxes are efficient and fun! They have cool big touchscreens which makes me feel modern and with it.
|3pm to 4pm||3:10 – saw Xerox rep out and started to get anxious about all the events that need to pan out for tomorrow. Still hadn’t heard from Red Cross rep about training for CPR and First AID. Still waiting to close up the process for the storage boxes as some staff were still doing their own personal inventory (no matter that I have been telling them for THREE months that April 23rd was the day for shipping to storage!.
3:20 – met with employee to cross-check invoices that strangely we are both paying at the same time. She had her headphones in and I was on the phone while we did this. What are we coming to?
3:30 – Sent email to employees about the mandatory Xerox training tomorrow. Waited for barrage of responses and only got a few. Posted training reminders on 3 floors for training times.
3:45 – called employee on Red Sox season tickets reserve list that someone had relinquished their tickets and she was first in line to go instead. I love leaving voicemails like that!
4:00 – Discussed the interview of one of the interviewees who came in which I had set up for today. He was a tall glass of water, that’s for sure.
|4pm to 5pm||4:15 – Sat and contemplated what I did today and all the things I may have forgotten to do. Started making my list for tomorrow though really, what’s the chance I’m going to get to it knowing what lies ahead tomorrow?
4:40 – Went down to do another final inventory of the boxes people had prepared throughout the day for storage. A never-ending process!
|5pm to 6pm|
|6pm to 7pm|
|7pm to 8pm|
|8pm to 9pm|
|9pm to 10pm|
|10pm to 11pm|
|11pm to 12am|
Table of Contents
How you got your job
How did you get your current job?
I worked for another non-profit and we had contracts with this company.
What was the application process?
Submit resume online, 3 interviews – each successively with more important people.
Did you have to interview for your current job? If yes, what did the interview process entail?
For the program manager job there were three interviews. The first was with a group of other program managers and the HR recruiter from that division. The second was with the division head. The third was with the President of the company.
If you can remember, what questions were you asked during the interview?
What had I done; why this company; what did I bring to this company; what were my goals and how did this job fit into them; and then practical ‘on the job’ scenarios about how I would act and react in certain situations which are typical to this intense kind of project work.
Do you feel your employer properly prepared you for your job? Explain.
yes, though it was a long learning curve. This is something we’re working on.
Was there training for your current position? If yes, what did it entail?
There is a lot of internal training here. A lot of shadowing and employee led reviews of systems, software, protocols, and finally industry-specific tools and processes.
Do you feel your educational background prepared you for your job? Explain.
Absolutely. I use both my business and social work degrees every day.
If applicable, do you feel your internship experience helped you prepare for your job?
Not really, my internships were in small community non-profits. Any internship will give you better social skills and decision-making skills though.
If someone wanted to go about getting a job similar to yours, what would you recommend for him or her to do?
Call and ask for an informational interview. This will give you the chance to find out more about the structure of the organization, how it relates to competitors, what the hierarchy (or lack thereof) is, and if there is a ladder to move on professionally. If there is no such ladder, it helps to learn where people go from here and also where they come from before they start here. Make sure to understand what department you are looking to be a part of before you take this step.
What skills do you think a person should have if they want to pursue a position like yours?
I got into this position after hold a program management position here first. While the organizations are public health and education oriented, the entry-level positions (which are often high-level bachelor’s graduates or master’s graduates) are staffed by a variety of charismatic and curious young people who have degrees in everything from business, to religion, to international relations, to public health. Many of the employees have done and continue to do a great deal of community service both locally and globally.
Do you feel that you need a certain level of education or training to be successful in your job?
You definitely need a college background.
What advice would you give to someone who was about to start work in your position/ line of work?
Be curious, ask a lot of questions, really understand the nature of the industry and the kinds of roles you might be applicable for. Follow the lead of the interviewer or the person who screens you. I’ve seen too many applicants who are either clueless or overly aggressive. Just show that you’re intelligent, that you know what you can bring to the organization and that you have an idea of what the next 5 to 10 years looks like for you. If you don’t know, don’t lie but know where you think your skills and experience might take you.
Long-term career plans
Is your current employment part of your overall career plan? Why or why not?
no, I originally was filling in for the old Operations Director who got sick and left on medical leave. I will be holding an Operations Position for a state contract, but with the same company when I leave this position.
What are your current career goals?
I still want to work in the community on the ground level with my neighbors and the people in my city. I want to be helping people improve the quality of their lives and find resources and determination to do that for themselves.
Is there anything else you would like to share about your career?
This is a fascinating industry and a great place to really get your feet wet in program management, policy, and topics that always rule the airwaves.
Prior work history
Please list your most recent jobs prior to this current job:
|Prior Job 1||Program Coordinator||4 years||45000||Operations and program coordination for a federal HIV/AIDS grant to provide HIV/AIDS education to doctors, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, and other medical providers.|
|Prior Job 2||Intern||1 year||$10/hour||Created a community network for to help provide services for the company’s clients who had urban low-income and minority employees who were looking for social services.|
Please list your educational background:
High School GPA:3.8
|3.8||University of Massachusetts||Management|
|Graduate or Professional
(Masters or Doctorate)
|3.6||Boston University||Social Work|
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