What Is It Like To Become A Remote Supervisor? -DJ Miller

DJ Miller, Marketing and Digital Marketing ’22 is tackling their work in remote learning while maintaining their Leahy Center position as the Marketing team Supervisor.

What it was like going from campus life to remote life?

DJ's cat behind her laptop as she works remotely on the blog website.

We found out during spring break that we were going to remote learning. It was a really quick but smooth transition. My professors and workplaces were instantly working to make plans that accommodated us, students. During such a stressful time, it was nice to see just how many staff members were putting what was best for us students as their main priority when planning for the rest of the year.

My work life changed a lot with Champlain going completely remote. Thankfully I was still able to keep my hours working for the Leahy Center and continue my supervising position. This meant all of us supervisors were going to have to work with our teams to make sure they had what they needed to continue their jobs and internships outside of the lab.

Finding a work-life balance while in quarantine has been pretty challenging. Going from being in the office and classroom to being home without any human interaction has been hard. Most of my work is done in groups, from a majority of my Leahy Center work to almost all of my marketing classes. All of them surround class engagement and collaborative projects. This meant learning all-new skills to continue being successful outside of the work environment I was used to.

How the Leahy Center helped transition students from being in the lab to being remote?

DJ's laptop set up with remote work.

Our managing director Joe Williams was instantly finding out ways to run the Leahy Center remotely. Since our students are already so immersed in technological skills we were able to create a quick turn about. Us supervisors and Joe got together during our extended spring break and began the lab to the remote process. We started by…

  • Letting students shift hours their hours to better accommodate their own personal at-home schedules.
  • We set up a VPN to our center so students could access the tools they needed for their projects.
  • Us supervisors scheduled weekly Google Hangouts to be able to work with our teams and get in some fun engaging times together to make working from home a little more fun.
  • We also set up fun things for students to continue getting in social time. Joe did his own Google Hangout where you could all make breakfast together, my marketing team does our shifts together over video chat, and we planned different takeovers for our social media pages so everyone could keep up with each other.

What is it like to be supervising from home?

As the supervisor of the Marketing team, I am super fortunate that all of my team works well together and that they all are highly independent workers with great work ethic. My team consists of

  • Two Marketing Assistants
  • One Graphic Designer
  • One Videographer
  • A Web Writer
  • One Web Designer

My job now revolves around me communicating throughout the day over Slack with my own team, interns, Cybertech, Supervisors, and our professional staff. We had to quickly change what we were putting out for content and quickly design new marketing ideas surrounding working from home. As a team, we all gained new skills surrounding communication, collaboration, time management, and creativity. We also had to learn more skills specialized to the programs we used, like Slack and Google Hangouts/Meet. Overall, the Center as a whole learned how to rely on each other in these uncertain times.

What have I learned about yourself or the team during this remote experience?

As I said before, I, as well as everyone else at the Leahy Center, have picked up so many skills during this remote experience. I personally felt that,

  • First I learned that everyone is understanding and is able to step up to the plate even when the transitioning felt stressful.
  • Second I learned how to work with others in a whole new way. Especially how to supervise and guide my team projects with all new obstacles.
  • Third I learned to trust your skills and your prior experiences. I have been able to learn so many things over the two years working at the Leahy Center that helped me be a strong member during this remote experience.
Example of a remote team meeting done through Google Meet.

My biggest take away from this is how strong of a marketing environment our team can be. We’re like a human body with how well our parts play together. The marketing assistants are the brains. They do all the forethought project planning for the whole team. The videographer is the eyes. They are showing everyone what we are doing in and outside the lab. The writers are helping us to communicate and properly function. Lastly, the graphic designer is allowing us to show off what we have put all together.

Thank you.

I want to end this by saying thank you to my team and the professional staff. The whole center putting in 100% effort during this crazy pandemic we are going through. I am very thankful to have had the opportunity to continue my position even from home. I am looking forward to my future work back in Burlington in the upcoming semester. Us Leahy Center students have so much planned and we have a lot more dedication and hard work coming!

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