Update (April 2019)
I just earned my CompTIA Security+ certification and am now looking for new career opportunities where I can use my existing writing and editing skills, my experience improving the customer experience at organizations like LifeScan and Comcast, and my interest in and knowledge of the information security and cybersecurity fields to contribute to the success of forward-thinking organizations.
I am not just a writer and editor; I am experienced in a variety of administrative, logistical, and production tasks that support the creation, distribution, and consumption of content.
I work at LifeScan, formerly one of the Johnson & Johnson Diabetes Care Companies and a leader in the blood glucose monitoring sector, where I am a technical writer who creates support content for the OneTouch Reveal app, available for Android, iPhone, and via the web. OneTouch Reveal is one of the the most downloaded diabetes management apps in the world. My job involves working with colleagues to investigate issues reported by customers and other stakeholders and find possible solutions while reporting any defects to other teams so that they can be fixed in future releases. I write articles by researching everything from requirements docs to device and operating system usage statistics and occasionally pricking my finger to test my blood sugar. I also update customer-facing user manuals for both patients and healthcare professionals.
Previously, I worked as a contractor in Comcast Business to create technical documentation supporting the company’s advanced communications solutions that help organizations of all sizes meet their business objectives. I was a member of several product deployment teams throughout the project management life cycle, using the Agile method to develop, deploy, and support voice and data product development.
From 2013 to 2016 I managed instructional content as an on-site contractor supporting Comcast’s 27 million customers. My colleagues and I helped migrate Comcast’s customer service knowledge base to a new and evolving knowledge management platform that has transformed the company’s ability to resolve customer issues. In addition to creating new content and revising existing content for both customer service representatives and customers, we interacted with front-line agents, taking suggestions and questions and working with subject-matter experts to clarify content and enhance user experience. The new tool is a significant part of Comcast’s company-wide efforts to improve the customer experience and turn around its reputation for customer service.
For over two years I was the editor-in-chief of The Infamous magazine, a cutting-edge publication giving readers unparalleled access to the world of art and urban culture, including graffiti and street art, fine art, music, extreme sports, and more. Advertisers included Boost Mobile, LRG, and Reebok, and The Infamous had newsstand distribution in approximately 1,300 retail outlets in the U.S. and Canada, including Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million. The magazine has a dedicated global readership of young, educated, active consumers. (I know that because I conducted a readership survey of those readers.) I handled all manner of content gathering, creation, and development; I built a website for the magazine; I tracked anything to do with numbers (from postage costs to web analytics); I was a customer service rep; I did business development and event management; and I did a whole bunch of other stuff, from producing video content to packing boxes.
I was born and have lived most of my life in Philadelphia, PA. At Fordham University in the Bronx, New York, I earned a Bachelor’s of Arts in Communications and Media Studies and a Master’s of Arts in Public Communications. I gained newspaper experience at Fordham’s student newspaper, The Ram, and a neighborhood newspaper, the Bronx Press-Review. I also worked as a researcher for investigative reporter Greg Palast and supporting Palast’s operation administratively, including helping to coordinate the nationwide book tour for his The New York Times Best Seller, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy. After university, I worked at The St. Petersburg Times in Russia as a copy editor and translator.
During school I worked at Yankee Stadium as a merchandise assistant for the concessions operator, Volume Services America (later Centerplate). I learned a lot about how a business works: customer service and the customer experience, how to run a warehouse, shipping and receiving, inventory control, and more. I’ve worked three World Series and more home games than I can count while acquiring the administrative, logistical, and practical fundamentals that sometimes escape “creative types.”
From 2005 to 2010 my employer was the publisher of PGA Magazine, the official publication of the Professional Golfer’s Association of America, the largest working sports organization in the world, with over 27,000 members. That made PGA Magazine the preeminent trade publication of a $75 billion industry that touches everything from apparel and sports equipment, to high-end country clubs to real estate, hospitality, and corporate sponsorships. Editorial tasks included copy-editing and writing, as well as acquiring and acquiring the rights to use third-party content such as photos, illustrations, and more. I was the circulation manager, coordinating the magazine’s circulation and distribution and finding ways to minimize postage, shipping, and other production costs.
In a world where advertisers are constantly asking for digital solutions as an alternative or a supplement to print, I also worked on all of the company’s online efforts, serving both trade and consumer audiences, including e-mail marketing campaigns, blogs, digital magazines, and online merchandising supplements.
My employer also played a leading role in the PGA Merchandise Show, an annual trade show in Orlando, Florida. We worked with Reed Exhibitions, the show’s producer, to provide attendees, exhibitors, and sponsors with a wide range of programming that went far beyond the standard booth-in-a-convention-center experience. I was a lead manager for several of these efforts, including Demo Day at the PGA Merchandise Show, an outdoor event with over 6,000 attendees testing golf equipment. On the editorial side I worked on every phase of the creation, printing, delivery, and distribution of the PGA Merchandise Show Daily, which included up to 16 pages of live content, written, designed, and printed only hours before readers picked up the publication on the floor of the Orange County Convention Center.
At PGA Magazine I learned the importance of filling (or even creating) a niche for your business and then dominating that sector, and the importance of relationships in achieving that. The ability to connect with one’s readers – or customers – and having those readers tell your story to advertisers and other stakeholders, to have those readers be your advocates, is a crucial strength. Building and leveraging those relationships takes a lot of work and comes with a lot of responsibility.
I have also worked as a mover in Philadelphia at Old City Movers and Mambo Movers. You want to talk about teamwork? Try moving a solid, one-piece home bar – with glass doors and a 1.5-inch marble top – out of a Manayunk row home and into an Old City condo. That’s teamwork.