Billy Hylton ITS Web Services manager says one of his favorite aspects of the job is working with students.Collaborating with students is one of the best parts of the job for Billy Hylton, ITS Web Services manager.

“We’ve worked a lot with students,” he said. “I have student employees and I’ve also worked with several students on projects. The value’s just been incredible.”

Students, he said, bring “a perspective and insights that we wouldn’t have due to their take on technology and communications and sort of being a part of campus. They see things a little bit differently than us.”

Student workers bring fresh perspective, energy

Right now Hylton is working with four student employees. “That’s been really exciting and that kind of keeps my blood going and gets me pumped up each day – the energy, the enthusiasm and the student perspective that we haven’t always had,” he said.

One student worker, Annie Maynard, is serving as Web Services’ social media manager as Hylton’s group ramps up social media efforts. She’s contributed ideas for using Twitter not only to promote Web.unc.edu and new features and services, but also to spotlight other projects, people and ways people are using Web.unc.edu to meet their needs. “It’s a way to drive traffic to those sites,” Hylton said.

Student Government website was a standout

One of Hylton’s favorite projects also involved students: Web Services’ work last year with the Executive Branch of Student Government site and a sub-site of Student Government. Web Services collaborated with students using WordPress to better communicate about Student Government’s efforts. “That was fun—a lot of good energy and a good mix of ideas, personalities and perspectives,” Hylton said.

The project even finished ahead of schedule.

WordPress hired former Web Services student worker

Even though Hylton has worked for UNC-Chapel Hill for nine years, it’s another experience from the past year and another involving a student that is “one of my absolute favorite experiences at my time at Carolina,” he said.

That experience was a student worker who excelled during her year with Web Services, adding her stamp and a shine to projects and relationships with clients. Anne McCarthy “hit the ground running and contributed,” Hylton said. “She did customer support and theme development, the creative side of website editing, and just really grew her skills and abilities and her awareness of how WordPress works, the platform that we use for our sites.”

McCarthy “has just a fantastic style – the way she interacted with customers was really fun and engaging, and (she) got them kind of excited about the tool,” Hylton added.

He enjoyed observing McCarthy grow her technical and leadership skills. Demonstrating how proficient McCarthy became while working at Web Services, upon graduating from Carolina in May, she snagged her dream job as “happiness engineer” at San Francisco WordPress.com manager Automattic Inc.

“She’s definitely someone who we’re super proud of and we’ll keep an eye on her professional career,” Hylton said.

If you want to inquire about a student-employee job at the ITS Web Services, contact ITS at its_communications@unc.edu.