Chrislyn Tziortzis, Digital Media Specialist
Senior Media Specialist, Ministry of Government Services, Toronto ON
“People in IT aren’t nerds. Some people outside of IT think that it means fixing computers. Today, IT is all about interaction. The needs of government are changing because people are demanding it – we need to stay ahead of the curve on diversity, new technologies, and other social trends.”
Once a year Chrislyn’s area of the Government of Ontario celebrates its employees through a ‘diversity hour’. Each office hosts a speaker, a potluck dinner, games, and other motivational team-building activities. Chrislyn designed the first ever interactive online tool that tracked these events across the province. The program mapped out the different events and cities as if it were an Olympic torch relay, allowing staff in the Ontario public service to celebrate its diversity together.
“The needs of government are changing because people are demanding it. We need to stay ahead of the curve on diversity, new technologies, and other social trends. The tools we use to communicate information are evolving. For example, The Government of Ontario is developing mobile apps for phones and tablets. We’re focused on getting real-time information and data to Ontarians, being quicker, smarter, and more interactive in the way we work,” Chrislyn says.
Chrislyn works on a team that develops media products – websites, graphics, and videos designed to communicate government services more creatively. She’s part of a staff of 1700 people in the Ministry of Government Services that handles requests from across the provincial government. She has to stay on top of both government services and tech trends. The goal is always to communicate a simple message across simple platforms.
Outside her role as senior media specialist, Chrislyn mentors other women in tech. “I see the need for women in IT, and I want to work to promote this in terms of education and career opportunities,” she says.
A day in the life
“Every day is different – one day I work on a website, the next I make posters and graphics, the next I shoot video and showcase it, the next I’m developing podcasts,” says Chrislyn. When not in her downtown Toronto office, she travels around the province to consult with clients and advance tech initiatives.
Why this job rocks
- Chrislyn gets to travel throughout Toronto, meeting people and discussing their tech needs.
- Chrislyn’s job is creative. “Turn those discussions into products like websites and mobile apps that help your colleagues do their job better, and help Ontarians access government services with ease. “
- “Some people outside IT think that it means fixing computers. Today, IT is all about interaction. I work in multimedia IT – many people don’t even know I exist!” Chrislyn says.
- Chrislyn graduated with a bachelor of commerce in information technology management (now Business Technology Management) from Ryerson University.
- She went on to complete an MBA in technology and innovation at Ryerson.
- Straight out of school she entered the Ontario public service through its two-year internship program, which is designed to give new grads the management experience they need to jump-start their careers.
Tips for Success
- Be creative: “Think outside the box, try new things, and support a culture of innovation. People in some departments are on twitter and Facebook as part of their job – we want to apply technology to government services. Don’t be afraid to push the norm,” Chrislyn says.
- Pitch yourself: “You’ve got to stand out. In an interview, don’t just look like you want a job. Tell them how you can fit in, and exactly what you will contribute. That will put you ahead of the pack,” she says.
- Embrace life-long learning: “Admit that you don’t know everything, but always try to learn everything – it means you’ll never be bored at work!” Chrislyn says.