Meet Hilary, Community Manager at the Exchange Lab
1. What is your role in BC GOV and what product are you currently working on at the Exchange Lab?
I’ve been with BC Government for 7 months and recently moved into my new role as Community Manager of the Exchange Lab. Currently, I am working on creating community and increasing engagement in The Lab while continuing to support my previous branch during this transition period. My goal is to create a physical space where colleagues, in-house teams, and the external community alike are excited to work — where people feel welcome, and which inspires the best results.
To achieve this, I want to build off the experience of the existing government Shared Spaces, and learn as much as possible from the two community managers already working in this space. Like them, I hope to take our space one step further, tailoring it to meet our needs. Therefore, any feedback, requests, or queries you may have I want to hear! Please feel free to contact me anytime at Hilary.Walton@gov.bc.ca or drop me a message on Teams.
2. What do you like most about working in the lab?
The Atmosphere and what the Lab represents:
To me, the Lab is a place that fosters creativity, where minds come together to find beneficial solutions, and where ideas can be trialed throughout the building process, allowing the team to continually learn from their end user and ensure products are tailor-built for their needs.
Upon completing my own orientation of the Lab, what struck me most was the adaptability of the space. Want a quiet room where you can focus without distraction? How about a larger space to host your meeting which can support your team attending virtually? What about a sound-proof phonebooth for those times when you need complete silence or moveable panels with whiteboards so your space can be adjusted depending on in-person attendants? We have all of this and more.
To me, it is a great physical representation of what The Lab is all about and being a part of this adaptable, experimental, forward-thinking team feels a little bit like I’ve found my people.
3. Do you have a favourite failure or apparent failure that has set you up for later success?
My favourite perceived failure was not knowing what I wanted to do professionally upon graduating. I took a gap year during which time I worked in hospitality and travelled. After this break from my studies, I found my true love — connecting with people from across the globe, finding effective ways to share knowledge and positively impacting other peoples’ experiences as they go along their own journey. By taking the time to get to know myself, I learned what my strengths are and what brings me the most joy which in turn has helped me both personally and professionally.
4. What is an absurd thing you love?
True Crime TV and books! I love nothing more than settling in on the sofa after a long week with a glass of red wine and a true crime show on or novel in hand to keep my mind at ease during the weekend. The more twisted the criminal or heinous the crime, the more intrigued I am!
5. What is a book that has greatly influenced your life?
The book that holds a special place in my heart is Tina Fey’s autobiography, Bossypants. It is an unapologetically funny novel which discusses the highs and lows of her life, the dreams she had, and how she achieved her success as an atypical Hollywood heroine.
Growing up in Victoria, I never quite knew where I fit in, something Tina Fey relates to in her book. It wasn’t until I moved away and gained some perspective that I was then able to see all the magic of the Island and people.
To this day, it remains one of the only books I have laughed so hard while reading that I ugly cried publicly, embarrassing myself in the process and causing more than one person to check on my wellbeing!