[  Abe Harb  ]

I am...
- I am a diverse collaborator by using adaptable communication styles and my personal zest 
- I am an experienced editor, writer, poet, playwright, and content creator
- I am a learning solutions generator and moderator
- I am a customer service professional and office support staff expert
- I am a stage manager with a talent for coordinating and real time problem solving
- I am an amateur director and photographer

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I graduated high school and started at Wilbur Wright College in 2009. That is when my passion also became a career path I began to pursue. I joined the staff of The Wright Times Newspaper (door number one) and The Wright Side Literary Magazine, which you can read more about on my full resume. I was given several opportunities to chase dreams I never knew I would be able to pursue that quickly. The first door opened, then the second, then the third and so forth. Next thing I knew, I was a newspaper writer and editor, editor-in-chief of a literary magazine, a published poet, a publish and produced playwright, and a budding social media coordinator.

During this time, I spread myself in all directions because I love to write and I wanted to learn how to do it in all of the platforms available. I took mostly English and Literature courses during my time at Wright because I wanted to strengthen my vocabulary and learn how the greats wrote. Huge shout-out to Dr. Helen Doss who suggested I submit my poetry after seeing a piece I had written for a poetry assignment in her poetry class. I was hesitant to submit my work but ended up submitting to The Wright Side. That was door number two that had opened, and I didn't even realize it. From there, it was a great rise to college fame! I had become known on campus, because I had to constantly introduce myself to people for pieces as a collegiate journalist.

By the time I had a few months left at Wright, I was excited to be moving on to bigger ventures. My writing skills had led to numerous awards and honors. My personality made me well liked and respected. My legacy was set in stone and my peers were proud to have seen me grow into the confident person I was. During my time as the editor-in-chief of the magazine, I was able to usher in new writers and gave them the chance I was given to flourish. I successfully produced and artistic directed a play festival. Most of all, I was one of the three people who helped take a bunch of great prose, poetry and visual art and made a masterpiece to present to the student body at Wright. During my time with the newspaper, I had created the features section (which was later expanded and called "campus life," I was able to work along with the editorial board to better the organization as a whole and sprinkled a bit of that magical personality all over the campus.

From 2011 - 2014, I was employed by Follett Higher Education as a customer service associate. I was able to hone my customer service and communication skills. The store location manager adored my skills, and she even gave me the task of multi-tasking as a customer service associate and telephone customer service associate. On any given day, I would perform any variety of tasks to ensure the productive workflow of the store.

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The next chapter was most the most challenging. I had the tools and knowledge, but how would I balance expanding that and other opportunities?

In 2011, I started at Northeastern IL University (NEIU) and soon made connections. Those connections led to more opportunities. Next thing you know, I am a full time student, with a job and a writer for the Independent Newspaper at NEIU. My first semester was a fluke academically, but I learned much about writing and was introduced to a slew of great writers through my course material (I still have every annotated short story from that term). That is the moment I made my decision and never looked back. I ditched the dream of becoming a writer via education and decided to focus my degree on Communication, Media and Theatre (CMT). 

In hindsight, that was the best decision I made. As a CMT major I learned how to articulate my thoughts using media, theatre, and visual art in general. Dissecting communication or lack of it became my favorite thing to do, besides writing. 

Between 2013 and 2014 was the most stressful and rewarding experience duirng my college journey. I accepted the job as editor-in-chief of SEEDS Literary & Visual Arts Journal with an amazing person by the name of Camille Severino. We both brought a different creative vision to the table that somehow. She brought the hunger to learn, and I brought the experience. Together we cranked out two almost flawless editions of the journal. 

During this time, I was also able to expand my writing experience as a social media coordinator. In 2013, I fell into the position of social media coordinator for SEEDS, when it was unfilled. I ended up doing it for 2 years. That experience led to me being asked to live tweet and assist in social media content creation for an independently organized TEDx event at NEIU, called TEDxNEIU. 

Getting through my degree meant focusing on the theatre portion of course and I opted to take fun classes like Experimental Theatre, Contemporary Theatre, Political Theatre and Acting I. These experiences drew me further into the world of theatre on my own terms. It also led to working on 5 productions at Stage Center Theatre on the stage management team - I was the stage manager for 3 productions and assistant stage manager for 2 productions.

In 2014, I was searching for employment and interviewed with the office manager of the CMT department who was searching for a good student office assistant. It was a one in a million match. In this position, I worked with him daily and another student office assistant. I was given the primary duties as a receptionist. I dealt with students and other visitors daily. I maintained a professional demeanor and my organizational and coordinating skills were utilized often and very appreciated. During my year long tenure, I was nominated for and recipient of The National Student Employee Association Student Employee of the Year Award. This distinguished recognition is for excellence in reliability, commitment, quality, initiative and professionalism as a student worker on the Northeastern IL University campus.

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After graduating from NEIU in May 2015, I didn't choose to pursue solely writing or creativity as a career. I purposely chose not to monetize my happy place. If the opportunity was there, I would take it. If not, I didn't chase it. 

Shortly after graduating, I re-imagined a short play written in the experimental theatre workshop I did in college. In 2015 I was asked by a up-and-coming theatre group called Bring Your Own Theatre (BYOT) to direct a piece. I was a last minute fill in for a theatre friend from college, Hilary. You can click here for the piece that I directed. For me, writing was not just tied to creative work, it was tied to clear communication as well. 

From late 2015 into 2016, I joined a startup company and contributed excellent customer service skills. This was my second job after graduation, and I ultimately parted ways with the company because the culture was not for me. But I did have some key takeaways: I was able to help enhance templates for external use and suggest creation of new ones. The in-depth input of my hiring class assisted the training team in restructuring the training process which they openly stated during our training. I was able to further my knowledge in customer service and use my experience as communicator, writer and customer service professional. This is also when I cultivated my skills to provide feedback in a corporate setting. 

At Stage Center Theatre, the first 3 productions I worked on were as an apprentice (while still in college) and the last 2 were as a contract hired professional. I was the stage manager for those two productions. I worked with a team of 3 backstage crew members and a cast of 8 (for With Two Wings) and 12 (for The Emperor's New Clothes), as well as a production team of 4 faculty members.

During this era, I focused on being the best customer service professional, combining my skills into a neat bundle while functioning as an informal teacher and mentor for new employees. From 2016 - 2021 I was Driver Acquisition and Retention Specialist with Grubhub using my skillset in a different way daily. I became a Senior Specialist and joined a taskforce to standardize department operating procedures and continued learning content up to date and easy to understand. I also worked on projects as they came up. From 2020 - 2021 was the Front Line Operations Training Coordinator for a year. I continued to write poetry (when inspiration strikes) and sporadically review albums exclusively for my website. I enjoy bringing out my creativity on Instagram where I create a variety of content and feature my phone photography (as I call it).

Starting in the summer of 2021, I joined the Learning Solutions team at Grubhub and became the trainer for 4 different workflows on the operations side of the business. In this role, I am finally able to bundle my skillsets. I take my passion for creativity and pair it with the ability to understand a process, break it down into teachable chunks of information and ask the right questions to understand the big picture. Also, as a diverse collaborator, I am able to keep on top of commitments and tasks with my organization skills. Through all of this, I continue to educate myself on learning and development techniques. 

At this point in my life, I have spent the time working towards become a trainer. Each company I have worked for did not have dedicated trainers - just tenure team members who also taught new folks. Each of those instances taught me what is bad, mediocre, sufficient, and superb training. I took the current experience and kept the takeaways for the next. Soon enough, I became one of those tenure team members who trained. Over the years, I built my teaching style - picking up certain tips and tricks to deploy in the right circumstances. I continued to learn and push through until I was able to climb the ranks. Now that I have achieved that goal, I vow to continuously learn through seminars, reading, podcast listening, but most important from my peers! I have received so many tips and tricks for instructional design from my team and unlocked a new skill that can boost my value to any work I do. My focus shifted from the creative writing side of life to using my creativity to create learning programs that have activities and process training that is engaging and fosters retention. 

Creativity runs through me, and I will always create and write - the platform is not as important these days.