A door to opportunities and initiatives

Posted on Friday, October 2, 2020

Author: Astha Tiwari, Graduate student in digital transformation and innovation

It’s been a wonderful journey since I started working as a digital strategist in November 2019 for Information Technology. I have had a chance to work on several initiatives associated with the Digital Campus Transformation Plan and have gained many new skills, from strategic development for defining principles to graphic design and video creation. Here’s a glimpse of my journey.

A door to opportunity
I wanted to work at uOttawa because I always believed in the need to form connections where we are. At IT, while I still spent most of the time as a student, I was also an employee. I hardly knew back then that I was entering a world with a plethora of opportunities that could benefit my professional career.

I had a chance this summer to develop a teaser video for the Digital Campus Transformation Plan,  working with a multidisciplinary team. I discovered my creative instincts and learned how to use a very handy program called Adobe Premiere Pro. My co-worker and I had frequent touch points with the IT Strategy team, which built up my confidence. My manager constantly motivated me to collaborate with different teams, which helped expand my skill set.  

A chance to implement an idea
It’s easy to come up with ideas during conversations but to give life to them takes the right amount of push. During a discussion session with CIO Martin Bernier, I proposed an idea about making data available at the University open to the public. I thought this was a step that would engage our community, especially students. The trust the leaders at my workplace showed me helped shape the initiative into the experience I think students strive for. This initiative came to life in late summer and has received great support. 

A chance to contribute to society 
Today, I understand a workspace to be somewhere we can explore, grow and be recognized for even our smallest efforts, while also contributing to society. During the first week of this journey, I was introduced to Women in Innovation, a group that creates and sustains awareness regarding the STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, math) community and our profession through networking and knowledge sharing. I was involved in writing articles and generating a creative strategy for promotions and event planning. I got to explore my creativity and organizational skills.  

A backpack of skills and experiences  
I explored numerous technologies, such as Adobe Illustrator for graphics and Canva to design publications on enterprise architecture (EA) principles (one pagers, MS Teams backgrounds, etc.) to promote the Digital Campus Transformation Plan. I also learned how to create animated video clips through PowerPoint for an awareness video on EA principles. As for web development, I took the IT Drupal beginner’s workshop. The mentorship I received from the architecture working group led me to explore business intelligence (BI) technologies like data-driven diagrams to produce an interactive visualization of the proposed technical reference architecture.  

Thanks to my experience working at Information Technology, I have a set of amazing, transferable skills. As Kimo Kippen (founder of Aloha Learning Advisors) says, “This whole level of wholeness is a place where I am able to show up as a full human being with all of my gifts to the table to be a part of this organization.” I saw this wholeness in my experience working here. I saw leaders take the initiative to bring the change we desired. It’s great that, as a student, I had the opportunity to make these changes come to life.

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