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Reconnecting with Past Skills: Adrian G. Colborn ’24 at Scrutineers

Scrutineers - Logo

Logo on the public-facing website for Scrutineers.

Overview of Position 

My second co-op position was as an Election Protection Intern for Scrutineers, and non-profit election transparency organization. My outlined goals were to learn their platform, Mighty Networks, in order to help develop training and resource modules; to attend regular meetings and potentially assist in the hosting of some events; to call members of the organization to improve member involvement; and, finally, to collect information on voting systems and potential updates to those systems all over the country. 

Residence Halls - Antioch College

An image of Case Commons from the college website — a loose representation of where I stayed my first week.

An Unfortunate Starting Point 

Extremely unfortunately, my co-op began just as I had contracted COVID-19. This led to my first week on the job being almost entirely spent learning the website and attending meetings in order to recruit new members — as the illness has almost entirely robbed me of my voice, it wasn’t yet a good time to begin my other tasks. Fortunately, after about ten days, I was back into my own room and feeling much better for being out of quarantine. Very luckily for me, my supervisor was more than patient while I recovered from my illness, and provided me simple tasks while I recovered (so that I could maintain the hours that I needed to). 

Old and New Skills 

Overall, many of my tasks were based in skills I already had to some degree. Prior to this co-op I already had a background with cold-calling, data entry, and working with different platforms websites are built on. One of the genuinely best parts of this experience was having the opportunity to connect skills I’ve had for some time to new tasks or concepts. 

Being able to develop modules and transfer presentations into a format fitting the website was an extension of my prior work with websites — despite having never worked with the Mighty Networks platform, I felt comfortable learning and working with it, through having the opportunity to spend time with it to understand it better. 

Back when I worked in canvassing for a presidential campaign, I spent a great deal of time placing phone people I had never met using a script full of helpful canned responses. My time with Scrutineers allowed me to work with this skill more — through my calls to members — and extend my abilities with gathering information through phone calls — through my calls to counties and state offices.. 

I felt very grateful to have the chance to work with spreadsheets more and learn my tips and tricks for myself; the data analysis side of the job was interesting, and introduced me to a fascinating tool called AirTable — essentially a spreadsheet/database hybrid which you can attach a form to so that anyone with a link can fill out information to enter your AirTable. Learning about this tool was amazing, and I hope to make use of it in the future. Alongside that, I learned how to create and utilize “Choose Your Own Adventure” style presentations to develop navigation tools for websites, which was something I had never known before. 

First Slide - Navigator Tool

AirTable - Logo

Working with Accessibility 

One final project I took on with Scrutineers was performing a series of accessibility checks (both by hand and using a diagnostic tool) on the new public-facing website. This was an enlightening experience into what all goes into making a website work for everyone, and is something I would like to have the opportunity to utiliize in the future, now that I know much more about the processes by which you can test a website for potential issues (some of which include contrast issues or websites breaking when the text size is maximized). Genuinely a wonderful learning experience to work with the WAVE extension, and diagnostic tool that can be used to directly inspect a website and its coding for any of a long list of problems, many of which I doubt would ever come to mind for most individuals (or teams) designing a website. 

Closing Thoughts 

Even though I had hoped to work in a new location for my second co-op, this was a work experience that I don’t regret. I learned quite a bit that, while not factoring into my direct interests, absolutely work to develop my skills and elevate them to heights I had not possessed before this co-op — and for that, I deeply appreciate the position I held with Scrutineers as their Election Protection Intern. 

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My name is Adrian G. Colborn (Class of 2024). I am an Antioch College student with a background in customer service, residential administration, data entry, and canvassing. My academic pursuits involve social work, organizational psychology, and linguistics. Previous co-op was with Antioch College as the Residence Life Administrative Assistant.

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