Leveling Up (or, "I have a new job!")

NOTE! This post was true at the time I wrote it, but I resigned from this position in June 2013, so this post is outdated. Basically, the cake was a lie.

It’s been a busy month around here. In the two-and-a-half weeks since I wrote my last blog post (“Be a Sponge”), in which I alluded to a job that I’ve had my eye on since (I kid you not) August 8th, 2009, I was working my then-future-now-current employer pretty hard to make it happen. Luckily for me, it worked! I am again gainfully employed.

I’m pleased as punch to tell you all that I’m now the Executive Vice President of Product and Technology at Interfolio.

Specifically, it’s my job to lead the already-intact and highly capable Development and Product Management teams in the design, development, implementation, maintenance, and analysis of software applications, information systems infrastructure, and data management policies and systems. Easy, right? As I told Steve Goldenberg, CEO of Interfolio and My New Boss, “Great! That’s plenty to do. I’ll be here a while.” As part of the company’s strategic leadership team, my focus is the continual alignment of product and technology initiatives as we create and maintain solutions that streamline the application, communication, and review process between institutions of higher education and their applicants.

In other words, it’s my job to make sure that we keep making good stuff to help individuals manage their academic and professional credentials while applying for jobs in higher education, and to help those folks running searches in higher education to make good decisions about who to hire. The image in this post? That’s painted on one of the walls in the office. The development room wall, to be specific.

So, now I get to explain the “August 8, 2009” date I mentioned in that other post. See, that’s the date that I, erstwhile graduate student who thought for a moment she wanted to get a job in academia, got my own Interfolio dossier account for that season’s job market. From the first moment I began considering a dossier service and poked around the Interfolio web site, I got the sense that these were people who Did The Right Thing by their customers. I wrote about that, among other things about them, in 2010 in a post for ProfHacker in the Chronicle of Higher Education. Because they were generally nice folks who I knew from the Twitters, I wasn’t shy about sending ideas for company products and services whenever, well, whenever I darn well felt like it…and you may or may not see one of those old ideas come to fruition sometime in the near future.

But I’ll tell you what really solidified my desire to work for them—a throw-away comment that Steve said to me the first time I met him in person, when we started working together on our stage 1 and stage 2 DML/Mozilla Open Badges Competition entry (which was unfortunately not selected as a winner, but we will find a way to do). He was talking about how the business works, and I asked something about how the relatively small team got all those darn dossiers out the door during the busy season, and he told a story about cleaning out the US Postal Service of all their Priority Mail envelopes (much to the Postmaster’s chagrin) and that “we’ve driven deliveries to the airport to get them on the last FedEx plane of the night, to make sure we take care of the customer.” That’s the kind of company I want to work for, I re-decided. And here we are!

When I left my last position I wrote in my What’s Next? post that I didn’t know what’s next but I knew it would include the following:

  • promoting and leading development in open source where possible, rational, and relevant
  • informing, training, and generally evangelizing the role of UX in the software development process
  • adhering to solid project management principles for the good of an organization, a product, its developers, and its end users
  • helping organizations—especially small and/or technically understaffed—understand software development methodologies and begin to implement something that makes sense for them
  • other related things, with gusto

I’m lucky enough to get all of those with this job right out of the gate, except the first one (which you can believe I’m working on…) It’s all very exciting.

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10 Comments on “Leveling Up (or, "I have a new job!")

  1. Congratulations on the new job, Julie. Sounds like a wonderful position and much rewarding work on the horizon.

  2. This is very exciting. You inspire me. I am proud to have been one of your students, albeit for only a shrt time. You pushed us. We hated it. In the end, the class I had with you was the hardest, yet most rewarding.
    Thank you, and congratulations on your dream job!

    • Thanks! I won’t lie, my experience with your class made me decide not to teach anymore (not YOU, and not those 10 or so people you know who you are), but I’m glad to have done it.

  3. Congrats, Julie! I’ve been a fan (and customer) of Interfolio since I was DGS in 2008-9 and had to figure out a way to solve our dossier problem. We used interfolio for our (extremely complex) job search this year and enjoyed working with a team that clearly wanted to work with us.

    But Oh! Can I buy you lunch or dinner some time before too long? Hoping to get your advice on a number of things. Let me know if/ when you’re in the NY area. Or I might have to come down to you! Meanwhile, many congrats — to you, but also to Interfolio for landing you!

    • Thanks, Meredith! Now that I’m in DC it’s a lot easier to get to New York, so yes, we can certainly try to do something!

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