Lilla Fisher Hoyes is a member of The Broad Residency's 2017-2019 cohort and served as Universal Enrollment Project Manager at Chicago Public Schools.
I wake up, eat breakfast and prepare lunch for the day. I walk to the Central Office, which is about a mile from where I live.
I catch up on email and get organized for the day before meetings begin. I sometimes have 8:30am meetings to prepare for critical items with my manager, the Executive Director for Access and Enrollment.
Today, and every Wednesday, I lead a 90-minute cross-functional team meeting, including all key workstream owners for our GoCPS, pre-K to ninth-grade application, initiative. The meeting includes IT, Marketing, Community Engagement and other groups. We cover short and long term project planning. On the 30th, our second round high school application opens, so there is a lot to discuss.
IT hosts a Delivery Plan meeting to discuss the mechanics of the site switch over, new banners for go.cps.edu website and more.
I eat lunch at my desk most days, but since the weather is improving I take a walk around Millennium Park for a quick energizer.
We are conducting an audit of our Selections outcomes with a local university and Federal agency. I am reviewing additional questions that we might add to our project scope.
I am leading the Year 2 plan for Universal Enrollment, so I am meeting with key internal stakeholders to map out milestones and next steps. There is a lot to do even though we still need to finish execution for the current year.
I finish email for the day and finalize the deck for my manager’s review for tomorrow’s weekly CEO update.
It’s time to grocery shop, cook dinner, hang out with my husband, and prepare for my upcoming Broad Residency session in Washington DC. There’s plenty of reading and homework to do!
It’s time for bed. I plan to work out tomorrow evening, so I need to pack for the day ahead.
I get up early to read Chicago newspapers because the GoCPS application audit/whitepaper that I have been working with the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and University of Chicago will be released to the public today. I read several news articles before preparing for work.
I get settled at work and continue to read local news coverage online. There are a couple of lively conversations on Twitter, but overall the dialogue is what we expected.
I have a follow-up meeting with the Fed and University of Chicago team to discuss research next steps, data needs and the news coverage to date.
Next up, I have a meeting with my Office of Access and Enrollment (OAE) colleagues on our Continuous Improvement Strategy. It’s due tomorrow and I’m responsible for making sure all of the components are complete and ready for submission for leadership review.
I have a quick lunch at a local Food Hall with great menu options.
I meet with our internal Communications and Research leads to debrief on concerns and opportunities for our next public GoCPS outcomes and enrollment release this fall.
Because my manager is on vacation, I lead an informal OAE team meeting to review coverage with the team, so they can be prepared for parent calls. We are gearing up to email all CPS parents in an effort to be transparent on the application and selections results.
I spend the rest of the day catching up on work and email before I depart for the day.
Time to head to the gym – There is a 6:15pm class that I like to take weekly.
I made dinner plans with my family that also lives in Chicago. I haven’t caught up with them in a while, so it’ll be nice to debrief on all of the news coverage. I notice that our local PBS station has a quick segment to cover the report.
It’s been a long day and it’s time to turn in for the night.
Time to start the day with breakfast – It’s going to be a busy Tuesday.
I arrive at work and gear up for the day, catching up on emails. The GoCPS deadline closes in just over two weeks and we have a lot to do to ensure it’s a successful application season.
The Office of Access and Enrollment (OAE) is partnering with the MIT School Effectiveness and Inequality team to better optimize GoCPS and we are welcoming their team onsite at CPS today.
I have been asked to interview potential ITS project managers, so I am off to meet a candidate for a quick discussion.
I host a cross-functional meeting to talk about data process optimization opportunities.
It’s lunchtime and I’m starving. Though it’s cold outside today, I’m leaving the building for lunch with colleagues, which is a nice break on a hectic day.
OAE hired a consultant to document OAE processes and support internal cross-training. We touch base to review her progress to-date.
I am working with Procurement on an RFP for a new application site vendor. I have a check-in with OAE’s executive director, our CIO, and an ITS to discuss the project’s status.
It’s time for our weekly status with SchoolMint – We cover troubleshooting and planning for the online application’s close.
It’s time to catch up on email before my departure for the day.
I have dinner with my siblings planned. It’s nice to be in the same city as family, so I try to take advantage of it.
Time for bed!
It is wake up time – it’s cold in Chicago, but we survived last week’s polar vortex, so today feels balmy. I don’t live far from work, so I have plenty of time to get ready to catch the bus to work when it’s cold outside.
I arrive at work, catch up on emails and check-in with a new team member I am responsible for onboarding to make sure she has no major questions for the day/week. I will be out of office later this week for Session 7.
I was recently assigned two direct reports and our department’s call center. Everyday there is a 10am stand up to connect on key issues.
I have my weekly check in with my new team to map out our timeline for execution of student offers and waitlist assignments through the end of the year.
I have a quick lunch with a CPS Broad alumna in the building. It’s always nice to catch up and get a sense for what things might look like for me in the coming years at CPS.
My department sends possibly the most robo calls and emails to parents in all of CPS. My new team is responsible for managing robo messages, so we take time to review all messages, associated data and send them as a small team to minimize errors.
I host a small meeting to review next steps to finalize our high school and elementary offer letters that will be distributed to applicants this spring.
I have been helping my manager lead a departmental cross-training effort. Though we had a consultant helping with the initiative, she is no longer part of our team. The data team has a cross-training this afternoon. I am beginning to prepare materials for a CEO update on the topic later this month.
I close out any urgent topics with our Executive Director, plan for the rest of the week and reply to emails before my departure for the day.
It’s time for a bit of cardio before catching up with friends via phone before winding down for the day.
I catch up on a few emails before bed.
Why did you join The Broad Residency?
I joined the Broad Residency to improve the educational experiences of Chicago Public School students, as I once was. I wanted to leverage my prior work history to make a difference.
How is your work improving educational opportunities for the students in your system?
Through my work with the Office of Access and Enrollment, I project managed the application process to match students with school programs where they apply.
What was the most important lesson you learned during the Residency?
The work can feel chaotic. It has ups and downs, but remembering why you’re doing it made it easier to survive and thrive.
Briefly describe your capstone project: What were your goals, what did you achieve and how did that impact or will it impact the organization?
My capstone covers my first year project managing GoCPS (the CPS transition to ninth grade universal enrollment) and outcomes. Overall the initiative transformed how students apply to school. There are always additional optimizations required, but fundamentally the application experience has been revolutionized due to the hard work of the project team.
What will you miss most about being in the Residency?
I will miss the sessions. It was tough to get away from work each time, but I always learned so much and had the best time with my classmates. I felt recharged when I returned to work.
What advice do you have for someone contemplating applying for the Residency? For new Residents?
Be clear on why you’re interested in Broad. Be clear on your value add. Bring humility to work everyday.