Every month or so the OTW will be doing a Q&A with one of its volunteers about their experiences in the organization. The posts express each volunteer’s personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OTW or constitute OTW policy. Today’s post is with Juliane Cassidy, who volunteers on our Strategic Planning Committee.
How does what you do as a volunteer fit into what the OTW does?
I volunteer with the Strategic Planning Committee. We draft the strategic plan, a document of goals that will guide the OTW over a three year period. Working with committees throughout the organization, we select goals that will help make the OTW stronger internally and more impactful with fans, volunteers, academics, and more. In the three years between plans, we help committees complete the steps within the strategic plan so the OTW can reach our goals.
What is a typical week like for you as a volunteer?
Right now, we are drafting the next strategic plan, and a week will usually involve a meeting with the rest of the team to check in on our progress and plan next steps. Throughout the week, I might have tasks like research, talking with other committees, drafting sections of the plan, or editing.
What made you decide to volunteer?
When I first started volunteering, I was working in nonprofits, so I was very familiar with creating strategic plans. I also was an avid fanfic reader on AO3. When I logged on one day and saw the recruitment ad, it felt like a good fit. I was not really aware of all the amazing work the OTW was doing beyond AO3 at that time, and it has been wonderful to learn more about all the ways the OTW supports its mission.
What has been your biggest challenge doing work for the OTW?
I’ve always loved the brainstorming and ideas that can come from a group of people, but prior to working with the OTW, I had only ever done that in person and synchronously. The communication styles are vastly different in a volunteer-run organization that has volunteers spread throughout the world. Learning how to connect with members of my committee and other volunteers across the organization, figuring out the best communication styles, and how to collaborate so that everyone can contribute was a challenge, and definitely one I’m still working on.
What fannish things do you like to do?
I’ve written a few fics here and there, but mostly I’m reading fanfiction. While I am in school, fanfic is about the only reading I can stand to do outside of schoolwork and I always have half a dozen fics saved on my e-reader. I also cosplay and have done a lot of Disney, Doctor Who, Star Wars, and period drama cosplays over the years.
Now that our volunteer’s said five things about what they do, it’s your turn to ask one more thing! Feel free to ask about their work in the comments. Or if you’d like, you can check out earlier Five Things posts.