Natural Progress

by Margar Harutyunyan

2020

I have been in DRC for already six weeks, and we have been progressing quickly in real time. My duties as an operation assistant have expanded, and the projects I developed have become more and more relevant for the long term advancement of this small learning center.

First four weeks of my internship, I dedicated my time to establishing past student databases. It involved some programming and hands on data entry from old paper form applications. At the beginning the July we already successfully established fully synchronized digital databases. While working on developing databases, I also set up electronic application forms connected directly to databases for new applicant and student registration. I also built another database for short program students. The adoption of an electronic database system gives a competitive edge to DRC executive board to better understand current trends and predict future trends as well as forecast long term developments. Electronic integrated databases and synchronized entry interface allows fast efficient and real time entries into data bases. Moreover, introduction of electronic applications also reduces the registration time for new applicants and the amount of paper used in registration.

One of my top priorities is to provide IT support to DRC. I have cleaned up the computers configured cloud storages for each computer in the center and installed new software packages to boost the productivity of the students. This is relatively less time consuming and energy intensive task to perform. I carry out technical support to some extent nearly every day but my main focus is the development of the center. 

Since the first day of my internship, I have been actively involved in organizing and participating in various meetings to discuss available strategies for further expansion. I managed to get an individual consultation from the director of the St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce. We discussed various topics including wider accessibility and membership opportunities, development strategies and financial advising, and social media advertisement. During this short interaction we were able to identify new resources that we can employ to advance the interest of DRC. After our meeting, we were able to set up an appointment with the Canton Small Business Development Office. During this meeting we talked about the current state of the center and discussed future possibilities. We made a decision to concentrate on instituting a marketing plan to double the number of student-members at the end of 2019.

Every day at DRC, I try to immerse myself in the nontraditional schooling environment. We have been actively debating, discussing and envisioning development plans for the center. I proposed to assemble an advisory board from local businesses and institutions to assist the DRC executive board. I am inclined to believe that this will also play a promotional role for DRC and influence the organization’s decision-making process.

All in all, my time in DRC has been busy but interesting. My adventures are continuing as I am approaching the end of my internship but I’m sure my last efforts will be rewarding, and I look forward to my next update.