Volunteer Spotlight: Interview with Jacquie Clermont: PDC Post Editor and Volunteer
As you may know, the PDC is always looking for volunteers, and some new volunteers have recently joined the Collaborative. Among the new volunteers is the current editor of the PDC Currents newsletter herself – Jacquie Clermont. Jacquie’s extensive background in writing and marketing make her an ideal person to take on this role. In this issue of the newsletter, we decided to interview Jacquie to get an inside look at a PDC volunteer who is also a stellar example of someone who has made amazing use of her time to explore many new career options, increase her knowledge and skills, and even pursue a lifelong dream. Hopefully, she will inspire some of our readers to do the same!
PDC: Jacquie, you’ve been quite busy these past few months. Can you tell our readers what you’ve been doing? For example, I know you are pursuing some training opportunities to gain new skills. Tell us a bit about that and how you think they might be of benefit to you?
Jacquie: “Yes, I am taking two online and one live course to update my skills. Live courses are also great opportunities for networking. For me, the online courses have an added benefit, in that I am interested in eLearning, which is an exciting and growing field.”
PDC: Where are you taking your online courses, and do you recommend that option?
Jacquie: “edX, the Harvard-MIT online learning center, and w3schools.”
PDC: I know you’ve also been busy with your job search. Can you share some strategies about organizations or networking opportunities you’ve been pursuing? What do you feel has been the most helpful so far?
Jacquie: “I think a critical component of the search is strategy, which I have been refining. I am combining participating in networking groups with volunteering and freelancing. The volunteering and freelancing component allows me to use and challenge my new skills. This week I am looking at temporary agencies, which is also a great way to network.”
PDC: Have you found any temporary agencies that cater specifically to your fields of writing and marketing?
Jacquie: “Yes, they are HireMinds, Hollister, Randstad and there are many more.”
PDC: Are there skills you find employers want that you’ve been able to acquire or will be able to acquire in the future? What do you think might be most in demand in your field now?
Jacquie: “I am taking a full course in social networking because that is so big right now. I am also taking a course in computer games for education. I really think eLearning is going to grow, as well as adult learning. Also, “gamification” is huge right now in education.”
“I am a strong writer with design skills and teaching/training experience. Overall, I call myself a multifaceted communications professional. I could go in a number of directions and am interested in all things digital. I’d love my next position to involve the web.”
PDC: How are you getting experience with moving into the digital realm? Or were you already well-versed in area?
Jacquie: “Over several years, I have been growing this experience, out of interest and curiosity mainly.”
PDC: I know that you had mentioned you’ve also been able to pursue a lifelong dream of yours. That must be so exciting, can you tell us about that and where you see that going in the future?
Jacquie: “Yes, again I love the web and digital communications. My dream is to create an online magazine; I have the skills to both build it (at least initially) and write the content. I am using this dream as a project for my courses.”
PDC: Finally, do you have any words of wisdom for the many job seekers out there that your own experience has taught you?
Jacquie: “Oh, I have been here before, and usually everything works out. As for tips, there is a saying by Winston Churchill, “If you are going through hell, keep going.” This is particularly important in the job hunt. After you come back from an interview, you write your thank you’s, then apply for another job right away. Always keep something in the fire. “
PDC: Thanks Jacquie. That’s a great tip. I’m sure the readers out there have found your story inspiring!