Meet Alex Stevens, an operations specialist with the Workforce Partnership! We asked Alex to tell us about her work, a professional moment she was proud of and how she spends her free time.
How has your work changed during the pandemic?
Initially, a lot of the changes to my work were reactionary, like equipping our career center staff and other subrecipients with the tools they needed to suddenly be able to provide career services virtually. This involved launching an electronic filing system that I had been project managing (with the rest of my team) a full year earlier than initially intended! It was pretty wild and a massive lift for us, but we made it happen! The biggest change, though, is that I’ve had an entire role change. I’m now working within operations, a new sub-department of the Client Services team, and learning a whole new set of skills around the procurement process. I’m working much more closely with our finance and compliance teams and learning a lot of about the ins and outs involved in the operational side of the career centers. Since this is a new department, there are a lot of things on our to-do lists, but mainly we want to make things easier for everyone. It’s a process—literally!
What professional moment or project are you most proud of?
Definitely the electronic filing system we launched way ahead of schedule! It was a really all-hands-on-deck sort of experience, not just internally but with our external partners, as well. We had regular check-ins with our subrecipient staff and received a ton of live feedback from them as they were using the system. We had originally intended to collect feedback and run user testing in person. Of course, COVID-19 changed all that. It was such a pleasure to work so closely with so many of our partners during such a difficult time. We were able to support each other, talk about the challenges they were facing in their roles and make changes to the system in real-time, making it easier for them to do their jobs. I guess that’s what I’m about: making processes or systems easier for everyone.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working? Any new hobbies since we started working from home?
I’ve really upped my workout regime since working from home has cutout commute time and carved out some ‘free’ time. I’ve really taken advantage of it—it’s something I actually look forward to every morning, something I get to do just for myself. Pre-COVID-19, my husband and I used to travel quite frequently. Just before the pandemic, we had been to Mexico, England and Italy. We also had driven cross-country from Boston when we moved to San Diego and saw a ton of the US neither of us had seen before. We became parents during the pandemic, though, and have not yet started traveling again. I’m looking forward to my in-laws visiting from England soon to meet their grandson! Within the last few months, we have done a lot of outdoor activities with our 16 month old. Our membership to the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park have been well-used. We even went to the beach with him for the first time a few weeks ago and he loved it.