Would You Recommend Working for HSAPQ?

Anything that's on topic but doesn't fit elsewhere, including related events that might be of interest to quizbowl players.
Post Reply
User avatar
Dominator
Tidus
Posts: 562
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 9:16 pm

Would You Recommend Working for HSAPQ?

Post by Dominator »

Cheynem, in another thread wrote:This is a honest question.
Dr. Noah Prince

Normal Community High School (2002)
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2004, 2007, 2008)

Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy - Scholastic Bowl coach (2009-2014), assistant coach (2014-2015), well wisher (2015-2016)
guy in San Diego (2016-present)
President of Qblitz (2018-present)

Image

User avatar
Cheynem
Sin
Posts: 6657
Joined: Tue May 11, 2004 11:19 am
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan

Re: Would You Recommend Working for HSAPQ?

Post by Cheynem »

I will let various writers (former or otherwise, nobody signs a non-disclosure contract) weigh in, but I'll offer my thoughts.

I would imagine for most people, including me until I became the chief editor this year, HSAPQ is a pretty no-frills company to work for. In 90% of instances, all you're doing is just uploading questions onto QEMS and then (eventually) getting paid for it. We've revised our payment and writer structure to not have weekly or set assignments if you wish, and freelancers can literally write whatever they want, when they want.

It's also a company that has been relatively drama free, aside from the constant bugaboo of making sure the sets get finished. We don't hold "events" other than NASAT, so there's not the added pressure there. We'd obviously like to expand and we've been trying that in past and present, but I don't think we're anywhere near the expansion-oriented model of NHBB or NAQT.

I'd like to see us improve at helping writers develop. We have some new writers this year, and i like their work, and I've tried to answer questions and offer feedback and I can, but I think we could do better. That's one area where it might seem a little disconnected as a new writer--you upload questions and maybe they get edited and maybe not and you don't get a sense of participating in a revision process (mostly because of time, with hundreds of questions, it's hard to go back and forth with a single person).

It's not all a barrel of roses. I quit in 2010 and I've threatened to quit every year since then (in the same way I think you contemplate that you might want to leave your job no matter how great it is). I always come back because I think the work is important and the people working with me are great. This year, since I am moving towards a close-to-full-time level of involvement, I hope I can begin to make the company more efficient and profitable for all involved.
Mike Cheyne
Formerly U of Minnesota

"You killed HSAPQ"--Matt Bollinger

User avatar
Victor Prieto
Yuna
Posts: 794
Joined: Tue May 08, 2012 5:15 pm
Location: State College, PA

Re: Would You Recommend Working for HSAPQ?

Post by Victor Prieto »

I applied to HSAPQ as a freelance writer during the summer of 2013, and worked until a month ago. During that time, I wrote a decent number of questions (somewhere in the order of 200 or so questions) and edited chemistry for a couple of NASAT sets. I decided to leave because I needed to cut back on some quizbowl commitments due to grad school, not because of HSAPQ's policies or anything.

I had nothing but a positive experience working at HSAPQ. There were almost always clear goals with set deadlines throughout the year, and it was as simple as just writing questions in your spare time and submitting them to QEMS. After Matt Weiner jumped ship in 2014, there was a blip in the organizational structure causing some disarray, but that has since been righted. I strongly appreciated the time I spent there cultivating my writing skills under other experienced writers, who provided quality feedback. If you've written a packet or two for an ACF tournament, or just want to give back to the community in a way that helps improve your own quizbowl ability too, I encourage you to consider applying to be a writer for HSAPQ.
Victor Prieto
Secretary, PACE
Tower Hill School '11 | Rice University '15 | Penn State University '20
Writer: NAQT (2019-present) | Writer, Editor: HSAPQ (2013-2016)
Member (and lots of other stuff): PACE (2015-present)

User avatar
AKKOLADE
Sin
Posts: 15291
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2003 8:08 am

Re: Would You Recommend Working for HSAPQ?

Post by AKKOLADE »

HSAPQ is a good company to work for.
Fred Morlan
PACE President, 2018-19
International Quiz Bowl Tournaments, co-owner
University of Kentucky CoP, 2017
hsqbrank manager, NAQT writer (former subject editor), former hsqb Administrator/Chief Administrator, 2012 NASAT TD

User avatar
jonpin
Forums Staff: Moderator
Posts: 2037
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2004 6:45 pm
Location: BCA NJ / WUSTL MO / Hackensack NJ

Re: Would You Recommend Working for HSAPQ?

Post by jonpin »

I was an affiliate/associate/whatever-the-term-was member of HSAPQ for a few years, primarily involved in the calculation questions for VHSL, and it's the only organization I've ever written questions for, for money. There were the (what I assume to be universal) occasional "hey, everybody we need to finish this set, so please get your work done!" emails, but there never seemed to be drama or complete abdication of responsibility during my time. When the CFO posted "hey everyone, please confirm your address so you can get paid", payment came very shortly after.
Jon Pinyan
Coach, Bergen County Academies (NJ); former player for BCA (2000-03) and WUSTL (2003-07)
HSQB forum mod, PACE member
Stat director for: NSC '13-'15, '17; ACF '14, '17, '19; NHBB '13-'15; NASAT '11

"A [...] wizard who controls the weather" - Jerry Vinokurov

User avatar
100% Clean Comedian Dan Nainan
Rikku
Posts: 314
Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2015 3:28 am
Location: Auburn, AL

Re: Would You Recommend Working for HSAPQ?

Post by 100% Clean Comedian Dan Nainan »

I began working for HSAPQ as a freelance writer about a month and a half ago, and it has been a great experience so far. I had no previous writing experience other than chipping in a few questions to a local housewrite, so I wasn't sure exactly what to expect. Mike Cheyne "edited" the questions in my application, gave me a few tips for improvement, and made me a freelance writer.

So far, the questions I've submitted have all been met with either positive feedback or constructive criticism. Mike has been very good in helping me to improve as a writer, as have a number of other people such as Ike Jose and Auroni Gupta. If you're a new writer considering working for HSAPQ, you'll be given advice/help by some excellent writers and editors. I'm almost certain I've improved in the short amount of time I've been writing for them.

As Mike mentioned earlier, it's very straightforward and mostly involves writing questions and submitting them through QEMS. The only time people are prompted to write something is the occasional "We're almost done with this set, if you can write in category x, please write some category x" email. Since Mike is the President/Head Editor, all of my questions about writing and such go to him, and he returns emails generally pretty quickly.
Chandler West
Auburn University '20
Good Hope High School (Cullman, AL) '16
Member, PACE

User avatar
Cody
2008-09 Male Athlete of the Year
Posts: 2331
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 12:57 am
Location: Richmond

Re: Would You Recommend Working for HSAPQ?

Post by Cody »

I've had my ups and downs in HSAPQ, but I've been involved since 2009-10 which should say something. In my opinion, Mike Cheyne is doing an amazing job running the company and it is a radically different (and better) organization than at any time in the past.
Cody Voight, VCU ‘14. I wrote lots of science and am an electrical engineer.
VCU Tournament Director ‘13-‘17. HSAPQ President ‘15-16. ACF Treasurer ‘19-20.
Hero of Socialist Quizbowl Labor (NSC ‘14). “esteemed colleague” of Snap Wexley, ca. 2016. Stats Hero (Nats ‘16).
Quizbowl at VCU

Post Reply